2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

Mitsubishi’s Outlander is a solid offering from a struggling automaker

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

The Mitsubishi Outlander competes in a tough and crowded segment of small crossovers.  Almost every carmaker has a least one offering, whether it’s the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Chevy Equinox, Mazda CX-7, Ford Escape, Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sorrento, or a host of others. After spending a week with the newest Outlander, I will definitely say that anyone looking for a high mileage sporty little SUV should certainly have this model on their radar for comparative shopping.

FAST FACTS

1. Fuel economy is rated at 21/25-mpg (city/hwy) for 4-cylinder models but we saw better.

2. Pricing starts at just under $21,000

3. New styling for 2010 is inspired by Mitsubishi’s Lancer Evolution.

4. The Outlander is one of very few compact crossovers with a 3rd row seat, although it’s mostly useless.

AGGRESSIVE STYLING BREAKS WITH CATEGORY NORM

If you were to line up all the vehicles in this segment, you’d find the styling and shape of most of them to blend in with the others. But for 2010 the Outlander has undergone a styling remake that is both good looking and makes it really stand out in the crowd.  The new shark-nose front end with its large trapezoidal honeycomb grill, cat-eye wrap-around headlights, and lower fascia fog lights, make the Outlander look meaner than the competition.

Large fender bulges are filled up with the 18-inch wheels on the SE model, and horizontal character lines make the car look longer than it is. The roofline, which slopes a bit at the rear end, features a lip spoiler above the rear hatch and clear rear taillight lenses with red LED lights are slick and distinctive looking. This is one of the best looking little SUVs around.

Inside, you’ll find the cabin to be spacious and clean-looking with attractive shapes for the upper and lower dash, and center stack. Brightwork accents the two large round gauges for the tachometer and speedometer, with an LCD screen between them for the dual trip odometers and fuel mileage info. The easy-to-use radio controls dominate the upper dash and a simple, large, 3-dial set-up makes it easy to work the heating and AC. 

Storage in the front part of the lower stack area is good and a dual opening center console that has a USB and auxiliary input jack as well as a 12-volt outlet. The top also slides fore and aft for comfortable use as an elbow rest while driving. There is also a dual glove box with a large storage bin opening on the top of the dash and an even larger locking glove box below the dash.

A leather-wrapped steering wheel has redundant radio controls, cruise and phone controls, while the optional FUSE hands-free link system allows for voice commands for the Bluetooth phone and audio files. The sport seats are quite comfortable and well bolstered with grippy fabric for both the shoulder and hip areas for those times you play Ronny Racer and contrasting rich looking and feeling fabric seating surfaces. There’s plenty of headroom and shoulder room for front and rear passengers and legroom in the back is good for tall adults. The rear seatbacks can recline a bit for comfort and a nice center armrest with fold-out cup holders is also a nice touch. Outside, the mirrors are large and heated and provide a good look at what’s behind you, without obstructing your view from the driver’s seat, and they have LED turn signal indicators on the outside for added visibility. The windows, doors, and tailgate are power operated, and you can keep that key fob in your pocket to enter and start the vehicle.

THIRD ROW SEAT IS CRUEL AND UNUSAL PUNISHMENT

As part of the Sun and Sound Plus option package ($2,110) there is a “3rd Row Compact Stowable Seat.” From an engineering standpoint it’s brilliant in how it folds and stows into a very shallow and tiny place in the flat floor of the cargo area. Otherwise, it’s as useless as your out of work brother-in-law. It has slightly more padding than a park bench, with almost no legroom for anyone over the age of 5. And I’m sure that once your 5 year-old has ridden on it once, you’ll never again be able to convince him to go back there a second time.

However, with that seat folded flat there is a nice large flat cargo area, which can be made even larger with the rear seats folded up. Adding to the usability of the cargo area is an extra large split tailgate opening with a 6-inch flap that folds down for a low lift height to place cargo into the back.

The other part of that Sun & Sound package includes a killer Rockford Fosgate 9-speaker sound system with 10-inch sub-woofer, satellite radio, 6-CD changer and MP3 compatibility. The CD sounded great, but I’m sure there was something wrong with the FM Radio, since it got the worst reception I’ve experienced since my ’60 Chevy Bel-Air.  The “Sun” portion is a tilt and sliding moonroof that brought a light and airy feel to the cabin.

The SE model comes with the standard 2.4-liter, 168-horsepower motor that puts out 167 ft-lbs of torque.  This motor is rated at 21-mpg city and 25-mpg highway.  My experience was 21 in the city, but a whopping 30 on the highway cruising between 60 and 70 miles per hour. Those are excellent numbers on regular gasoline, and with a 16.6 gallon tank, the Outlander has a highway cruising range of nearly 500 miles. There is an XLS and GT trim level that put a 230 horsepower V6 motor under the hood, which returns 18-mpg in town and 24-mpg on the highway.

BASE ENGINE PROVIDES ADEQUATE POWER

Acceleration from the inline-4 is more than adequate to move this 3,549 lb. car from a stoplight without feeling anemic. More power is always nice, but gas mileage is also important for many folks. The manumatic CVT transmission helps deliver the power to the pavement smoothly while in Drive mode and for a more sporting experience the driver can use the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, or console mounted shift lever, to row through the gears for more sprightly performance and keep the engine in its powerband.

The engine can be a bit noisy when taking it to the 6500 rpm redline, but a cruising speed of 70 miles per hour, sees engine turning 2500 rpm contributing to excellent gas mileage. On the road, the entire cabin is well isolated from road and wind noise. 

CHASSIS SHINES IN A FIELD OF WET NOODLES

The Outlander’s independent suspension is tuned to the firm side, but it’s never harsh, soaking up potholes nicely and offering a smooth highway ride. It feels athletic in the turns, with neutral handling and without much body roll.

I drove it mostly in 2-wheel drive mode, where all power is directed through the front wheels. There is a knob on the center console to switch to 4-Wheel Drive which will vary the amount of power routed to the rear wheels, and 4-Wheel Drive Lock means under very slippery icy conditions, as much as 60 percent of the power will be sent to the rear wheels. Standard on all Outlanders are ABS brakes, Active Stability Control, and Traction Control. 

There are 4 trim levels available for the Outlander. The base ES model in 2WD starts at $20,840 ($22,240 for AWD). The SE model starts at $22540 in 2WD, ($23,940 for AWD). The XLS, which comes standard with the V6, starts at $24,990 in 2WD ($26,390 AWD) and the top of the line GT model starts at $29,250 and comes only in All Wheel Drive. As a result, any buyer interested in the Outlander will have a lot of options in terms of trim levels with engine choices and 2 or 4-wheel drive systems. 

THE VERDICT

The Outlander offers fresh edgy styling, plus sporty agile handling with family versatility for convenience and economy. It does everything well and capably. It’s a solid, comfortable car for five passengers. If you need a vehicle for seven passengers, even occasionally, look elsewhere. 

RELATED READING

2009 Honda CR-V

2009 Volkswagen Tiguan 2011 Toyota RAV4 Review 2010 Hyundai Tucson: First Drive

2010 GMC Terrain SLT-2 Review 2010 Chevrolet Equinox 1LT AWD Review

« 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