2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Review by Larry Nutson +VIDEO
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Mitsubishi was introduced in America in 1982. Now after over 30 years in the market Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) very recently announced that it achieved five million vehicle sales in the United States.
Mitsubishi recently reported its 21st consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases, and is up 23 percent over the same period in 2014. The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander, which launched in August, has been extensively updated with over 100 improvements and sales are up 43 percent for the year.
I had the chance to spend a week driving the 2016 Outlander 3.0 GT. This is the top of the line model powered by a 224HP V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic with all-wheel-drive. It’s priced starting at $30,995.
My media-loan Outlander GT was also equipped with the $3,350 GT Touring Package that includes a navigation system, forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.
There are six other Outlander models offered in three trims with prices starting at $22,995. The ES, SE and SEL are powered by a 166HP 2.4-L 4-cylinder coupled to a CVT and are offered in a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. The step-up for AWD is $2000 on each trim.
As you would expect, the best EPA test fuel economy rating is with the lighter weight front-wheel-drive Outlander. With the 2.4-L four it’s rated at 27 mpg combined with 25 city mpg and 31 highway mpg. The 3.0 GT is EPA test rated at 23 mpg combined with 20 city mpg and 27 highway mpg.
On this trip I used the adaptive cruise control that comes in the GT package. With the distance to the vehicle in front set to the minimum I thought the system too aggressively over-slowed the Outlander and when I changed to an open lane it too aggressively applied throttle to re-accelerate to the set-speed. I thought the road traffic to be a bit too heavy and ended up turning it off and let my right foot do the job. Adaptive cruise control is a good safety feature and has its place in many but not all traffic conditions.
The 2016 Outlander has a new exterior design with redesigned front fascia, front fenders, halogen headlights, LED position lights, lower door sections, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear fascia, tailgate garnish and LED taillights on all models, and power-folding side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer and LED headlights on the GT model.
I’m a big fan of power-folding outside mirrors especially on a somewhat wide vehicle to protect them when parked on narrow city streets.
I would have liked a heated steering wheel feature and some illumination for the driver’s window switch to help find it in the dark. The auto on/off headlights have no time delay for added security and they shut off with the engine.
The chassis includes increased body and suspension structural rigidity, redesigned suspension and Electric Power Steering, noise-isolating windshield and rear door glass, more sound insulation throughout the vehicle, dynamic front suspension and rear differential dampers, improved weather stripping and engine compartment trim.
On other that the GT, there’s a new generation continuously-variable transmission (CVT) for improved acceleration, performance, shift feel and torque delivery.
All-in-all the 2016 Outlander checks all the boxes on SUV functionality. The seating for seven is great to have especially if you are in the school car-pooling stage of life. The power tailgate opens to 10.3 cuft behind the 3rd-row and expands to 34.2 cuft with it folded and to 63.3 cuft with both rows flat. There’s lots of versatility here for hauling all those home-owner purchases as well as the family and friends. If this works for you the Outlander value equation is a pretty good one.
The 2016 Outlander has been named by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ with the availability of Forward Collision Mitigation. The SEL Advanced Safety Package is available for $1,550 and features Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power folding side-view mirrors, auto on/off headlights and front wiper de-icer.
The new 2016 Outlander has received a couple other accolades including a first place ranking on the Cars.com list of most affordable 3-row crossovers and "Best Value on Road" at the 12th annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards.
If you would like more information and specifications on the 2016 Outlander you can find that at www.mitsubishicars.com. You can compare the Outlander to other midsize 7-passenger SUVs right here at TheAutoChannel.com.
© 2015 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy
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