The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER 3.0 GT REVIEW


2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0 (select to view enlarged photo)
2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel


INTRO TO THE OUTLANDER 3.0 GT VEHICLE
Upon first glance, the mid-sized Outlander comes off as a sharp and athletic crossover choice for a family – especially when dressed up in my test-drive’s 3.0 GT attire. Affordability will further pique your interest.


2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0 (select to view enlarged photo)
2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0

I drove a 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT with the 224-horsepower 3-liter V6 engine with a six-speed Sportronic automatic transmission and paddle shifters. Available in four trim grades – ES, SE, SEL and my GT 3.0 – my GT 3.0 test drive came with the following standard features: leather upholstery; seven-passenger seating with three rows; eight-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; upgraded 7-inch touchscreen audio display; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; Rockford-Fosgate audio system; Hands-free Link System; power rear liftgate; sunroof; rearview camera; steering-wheel mounted controls; paddle shifters; roof rails; push-button start; LED fog lights; eighteen-inch wheels. Total cost for vehicle described without options came to $31,695.


2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0 (select to view enlarged photo)
2017 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER GT S-AWC 3.0

The Outlander is pitted against some heavy hitters like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Kia Sorento and at least a half a dozen others all vying to be your next family vehicle. Redesigned just last year, changes for this model include a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen and rearview camera; optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a 360-degree camera. I have also recently test-driven the more compact two-row Outlander Sport version as well.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: As I stated with the Sport version, the Outlander’s cabin has increased its appeal over the last couple model years with more thought put into construction and design (omitting the poor fit of the leather upholstery slipcovers) and for the price, it’s a deal. Highlights on my GT 3.0 model include the Rocksford-Fosgate audio system, all-wheel drive (optional on other trims) and a sunroof. I was a little more forgiving with the Sport’s comfort and cargo accommodations – yet the third row on this larger Outlander is incredibly cramped. My test drive had an additional $1,500 GT Touring Package that included the new 360-view camera, a heated steering wheel, and a suite of safety tech (Forward Collison Mitigation Lane Departure Warning). The overall issue with the Outlander is that when you compare it to other makers – Kia and Honda come to mind – the Outlander’s shine starts to tarnish.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The seven-passenger 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is a Top Safety Pick with The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). However, note the Sport version has ratings of “Good” but takes a ding with an “Acceptable” in small overlap front. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the vehicle a 4-Star rating (both versions). Standard safety equipment includes hill-start assist, anti-lock brakes, active stability control, traction control logic, and an advanced airbag system with side curtain airbags.

Cost Issues: The Outlander 3.0 GT starts at $23,495 with my loaded GT 3.0 trim at $33,195. That’s a couple thousand under your typical competitors. Starting price for a 2017 Mazda CX-9 in the base Sport trim starts at $33,320 with my fully loaded Signature trim at $44,315.

Activity & Performance Ability: The Outlander’s V6 doesn’t have the ingenuity to deliver 224 horsepower in a memorable way, and overall the crossover lacked the same solid road cadence when behind the wheel of a Toyota or even Kia – unfortunately performance is not really an attribute you want to question when hauling a family away for a weekend of fun. A bright spot is that bigger V6 means you can tow up to 3,500 pounds of recreational vehicles. Unfortunately, the Sport version also comes up short next to the performance of say, a Mazda CX-5.

The Green Concern: The Outlander 3.0 GT retains 20-city and 27-highway for a combined 23 miles-per-gallon (all-wheel drive). The Sport suffers in its smaller compact crossover segment at 23-city and 28-highway for a combined 25 miles-per-gallon with front-wheel drive – compare that to the Honda CR-V with the 1.5-liter engine that gets an EPA-estimated 27-city and 33-highway for a combined fuel economy of 29 miles-per-gallon (I was able to get 28.8 on Eco Mode during a recent test drive).

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT offers satisfying good looks for a three-row crossover with an excellent price tag, but study it a bit closer and you’ll find its shortcomings – the largest one being it simply exists in a very competitive market that can offer better performance and fuel economy.

©2017 Katrina Ramser

Learn More About Mitsubishi Vehicles