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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Review by John Heilig +VIDEO

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

MODEL: 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
ENGINE: 3.0-liter SOHC V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 224 hp @ 6,250 rpm/215 lb.-ft. @ 3,50 rpm
WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 184.8 x 71.3 x 66.1 in.
TIRES: P225/55R18
CARGO: 10.3/34.2/68.3 cu. ft. (behind 3rd row/3rd row seats down/ 2nd row seats down
ECONOMY: 20 omg city/27 mpg highway/21.3 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 15.8 gal.
CURB WT. 3,593 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Jeep Cherokee, Ford Escape. Toyota RAV4
STICKER: $35,185 (includes $850 delivery, $3,350 options (GT Touring Package))
BOTTOM LINE: The Mitsubishi Outlander is a nice redesign of a 12-year-old classic. It offers good ride and handling qualities combined with comfort.

At first glance, the Mitsubishi Outlander looks like a station wagon on steroids. The classic wagon lines are there, but it’s slightly taller. Of course, it’s a small SUV, but only by definition. It’s really more of a mid-size SUV with three rows of seating and excellent cargo capacity when the third row seats are folded flat.

Mitsubishi’s redesign includes metal strips on the lower side panels to protect from parking lot dings, and a more subtle grille than the former gaping mouth that looked like a sting ray (the fish kind) approaching you.

Despite its predilection to being a wagon, the Mitsubishi Outlander is indeed a sport utility vehicle (maybe a crossover) with all-wheel drive (Super All-Wheel Control in Mitsubishi-speak).

There is good power from the 3.0-liter V6. While the horsepower and torque may seem modest at 224 and 215, respectively, the Outlander only weighs 3,600 pounds, so there is enough to get it moving. Acceleration is good, ad is the ability to run with the big dogs.

Outlander verges on luxury, despite the reasonable sticker, with soft surfaces all around, black wood highlights on the interior, and leather seats that have a wonderful smell when you enter the car.

The driver faces clear instruments and controls. The only problem is that the Lane Departure Warning beep goes on automatically when you start up. It’s easy to shut off (it’s invaluable for longer trips) but the beep alarms you the first time. The Outlander also has Forward Collision Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control. Our tester didn’t have a blind spot monitor.

The 710-watt rockford-fosgate sound system is very good, with a clear 8.1-inch touch information panel. In a sense it’s sad, because my music selections tend toward the quieter. If I was a teenager, however, I could have been boom-booming with the best of them.

We had a variety of outside temperatures during our week with the Outlander, and the HVAC system kept us comfortable all the time. The heated seats helped.

At the base of the center stack is a large cubby with a 12-volt outlet. All the doors have room for water bottles, with the front doors also having larger storage cubbies.

While the front seats are comfortable both locally and on longer rides, the flatter rear seats are mode bench-like, in all senses of the word. Rear legroom is very good, with enough room to cross your legs. There are also childproof locks on the rear doors that allow you to adjust them so they cannot be opened from the inside. I discovered this when I found myself trapped back there and had to clamber out between the front seats. Four assist handles aid in entry and egress.

Good rear headroom is aided by “indents” in the headliner. Front passengers also have a sun roof.

Third row legroom is tight, but the third row seats fold easily for increased cargo capacity. There’s a well behind the third row that’s convenient for stowing the third row headrests. Second row seat backs also fold easily. A multi-step process allows you to fold the second row cushions into the foot well to perm it a flat floor (after removing the head restraints).

I was fortunate enough to be present at the introduction of the original Outlander in 2002. I liked it then and I like it now, but it was a good time for a redesign/refresh. It has a few quirks, like the lane departure warning, but overall, it does its job well.

(c) 2016 The Auto Page Syndicate