2009 Mitsubishi Outlander

Outlander outshines many compact SUVs

2009 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi’s Outlander is a spirited and versatile sport utility/crossover that does a good job of distinguishing itself from the competition. The Outlander is the most popular selling SUV-like vehicle from the Japanese automaker since the demise of the off-road-capable Montero five years ago and the aging mid-size Endeavor.

FAST FACTS

1. The Outlander is a “compact” crossover/SUV that offers a third row.

2. ES and SE models come with a 168hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine while the XLS gets a 220hp 3.0-liter V6.

3. The Outlander is based on the same platform as the Lancer compact sedan.

The first-generation Outlander debuted in the 2003 model year with Gen II arriving in 2007. Some would pigeon-hole Outlander as a compact. If so, it’s a large compact with plenty of room and an available third row. This versatile second-generation offering is longer and wider than Gen I.

Based on the same platform (Mitsubishi Motors’ global “C” architecture) as the compact and sporty Lancer sedan and tuner-friendly Lancer Evolution, Outlander has always been nimble and fun to drive.

FOUR-CYLINDER RETURNS FOR 2009

Gen I offered a rather underpowered four-cylinder engine standard while 2007 Outlanders came exclusively with a 3.0-liter V6. In 2009, both four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines are available.

Outlander’s 2009 base ES and mid-grade SE (Special Edition) models come with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine cranking out 168 horses and teamed with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) while the top-grade XLS sports a 3.0-liter V-6 generating 220 horses and is married to a six-speed sporTronic automatic transmission. Like the compact Lancer, Outlander has large and easy to operate paddle shifters on the steering wheel to manually shift gears (when desired) without the need of a foot clutch. A mid-level LS trim level previously offered is no longer on the plate. All 2009 trims are available with two-wheel (front-wheel) or easy-to-operate four-wheel drive.

FULLY LOADED TOP-LINE MODEL FOR UNDER 30 GRAND

Starting price for a two-wheel-drive ES is $20,380. Our tester, a four-wheel-drive XLS checked in at $25,780. This baby included all the optional packages including the luxury ($1,650), navigation ($1,950) and upgraded sound system ($1,610) for a bottom line of $29,990. A 2009 Honda CR-V, available only with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, starts at $21,095. The popular CR-V SUV is sold with front wheel or all-wheel drive, but no third-row seat.

Inside, Outlander’s deep set instrument panel has two circular analog tube-like structures with a digital window in the middle consisting of a fuel bar and secondary transmission indicator. Four vertical vents are spread across the dashboard (with brushed aluminum accents) with a covered, shallow storage bin at the dashboard’s middle top. Three easy to grab dials control ventilation functions. To the far left of the dash is a retracting single beverage holder. The fuel gauge release lever is on the floor left of the driver’s bucket seat.

The Outlander starts with an assist from an electronic key fob and a large tab on the steering column’s right side. Just push the foot brake and twist the tab, and the engine purrs to life. No ignition key is needed. This “Fast Key” system comes standard in SE and XLS models.

LOTS OF INTERIOR ROOM FOR A “COMPACT” SUV

Need lots of headroom? Bring your top hat because the Outlander delivers outstanding first row headroom. Maneuvering into the Outlander’s front bucket seat requires an easy sit down, not a step up motion. Our XLS test model featured the fold-into-the-floor third row, which is best left for the pre-teen set. Headroom is much tighter than rows one and two and knees must be held fairly close to the torso for any adults sitting there. Still, the third row is a breeze to fold up and down thanks to well-marked and step-numbered straps and large, visual instructions. The small bench third row props up quickly from the back cargo area. Maneuvering into the far back row is made easier by second row 60/40 split seatbacks that fold down after which the entire seat tumbles forward. Second row seats, like row number three, are not removable from the vehicle.

For 2009, four-cylinder SE models offer the third-row seat as an option in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive models. The top-level XLS continues with the third row standard. The top XLS trim is the only model available with a luxury package option (adding rain-sensing wipers in 2009). Returning in the luxury package are heated front seats, leather seating surfaces in the first two rows and Xenon headlamps. An in-dash navigation system with 7-inch in-dash touch screen is also optional only in XLS. New in this package for 2009 is a rear back up camera. The top XLS trim also distinguishes itself with standard chrome accents on exterior strap-like door handles and the on front grille.

PLENTY OF FUNCTIONAL SPACE AND FEATURES

Be sure to check out the back door. The rear hatch (with wiper), hinged at the top, folds up while the bottom bumper region folds down with the slide of a lever-type tab to create a small load floor capable of handling 440 pounds. For hearty sports fans, this doubles as a seat during tailgate season.

When ordering four-wheel drive, the chrome dial switching between the two systems is found between the front seats along with a hand-operated parking brake and dual cup holders. More cup holders are found in all four doors also. Although four-wheel drive is offered, Outlander is intended for on-road travel.

Midwestern travelers will find the four-wheel models very effective in the snow and ice. When these ‘cute utes’ burst on the scene a dozen years ago, four-wheel drive was in scarce demand. Offering great piece of mind, it’s easy to use (just a twist of a between the seats dial) and more road-gripping traction is apparent.

Outlander also registers as one of the top safety picks in the small SUV category by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) thanks to such standard fare as stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, dual front air bags, front seat side-mounted air bags, energy-absorbing interior pillars and curtain air bags covering the first two rows. In addition, all editions include as standard equipment air conditioning, cruise control power windows, power outside mirrors and audio system with compact disc player and MP3 capability.

THE VERDICT

What many may not know is that the Outlander is covered by a 10-year 100,000-mile limited powertrain (whichever comes first) warranty and a five-year/60,000 bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. In addition, five years of free roadside assistance is offered which includes towing to the nearest Mitsubishi dealer. No other compact sport utility vehicle with three rows of seating offers this extensive coverage. Some may cost less, but for those desiring nimble handling in a compact crossover, Outlander is tough to beat thanks to its sporty Mitsubishi Lancer underpinnings.

PLUS

One of the only compact SUV/crossovers with an available third row. Fold out tailgate extension capable of holding 440 pounds Insurance Institute of Highway Safety top pick.

MINUS

Available third row is diminutive yet kid friendly. Most up-level amenities only available in top-level (read most expensive), six-cylinder XLS

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked