The number of compact crossovers on the market right now seems almost endless.
Engine: 3.0 L V6, 224 HP, 215 lb-ft.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel economy (US): 20 MPG City, 28 MPG Highway, 21 MPG observed
Fuel economy (CDN): 11.5 L/100 km City, 8.4 L/100 km Highway, 11.2 L/100 km observed
Price (US): Mitsubishi Outlander begins at $24,045 after destination charges, $35,145 Outlander GT S-AWC with Touring package.
Price (CDN): Mitsubishi Outlander begins at $27,488 after destination charges, $40,378 for Outlander GT S-AWC with Navigation package.
With so many options, does something like the Mitsubishi Outlander, a crossover that defies convention and is built by a relatively small automaker, have a chance? Is there any reason not to run down to Toyota or Honda and buy the latest RAV4 or CR-V?
Well, the Outlander offers a V6 and seven-passenger seating, both features that no other compact crossover can lay claim to. But what about the rest of the vehicle? To find out, we put our general consumer reviewer Amanda behind the wheel of a 2015 Outlander GT S-AWC.
The Outlander comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but we borrowed the 3.0-liter V6 model for evaluation. Making 224 HP and 215 lb-ft. of torque, it’s recommended that the V6 uses premium fuel to extract maximum power. Unlike the four-cylinder engine, the V6 is only available with Mitsubishi’s S-AWC (super all-wheel control) all-wheel drive system and a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is officially rated 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.
The Outlander looks bigger than it is. Measuring at 183.3 inches in length, it’s only an inch longer than the Nissan Rogue. Weight is kept in check at a mere 3,751 lbs. and thanks to the V6 engine, the Outlander can tow up to 3,500 lbs.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review
Legroom for second-row passengers is a competitive 37.3 inches while the third row only has a cramped 28.2 inches. With that third row in use, trunk space shrinks to 10.3 cubic feet of cargo room, but fold both rows and space balloons up to 63.3 cubic feet.
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander begins at a price of $24,045 after destination charges, while Amanda’s test vehicle, a fully loaded Outlander GT S-AWC with the “touring” package, costs $35,145.
How Does it Drive?
Amanda said the Outlander delivers an agreeable driving experience thanks to how easy it is to drive and the soft, squishy suspension setup. After long trips, she felt no fatigue as the seats are equally as comfortable as the Outlander’s ride. Parking was a bit of an issue in tighter lots, but some of that had to do with the fact that she typically drives much smaller vehicles.
Braking is smooth when coming to a quick stop and she likes the Forward Collision Mitigation system that helps slow the vehicle down if traffic ahead suddenly stops. The lane departure warning and the size of the rear-view camera are also points she is particularly fond of because they help her operate the unfamiliar Outlander. Considering how much the Outlander GT AWC costs, she wishes it would come with blind spot monitoring.
The View from Inside
Amanda likes the overall look of the interior and its fairly simple layout. The leather felt premium and the power seat is easy to adjust to a comfortable position, as are the mirrors. The GPS took her a few minutes to figure out, but it’s easy enough to program once she understood it. The split screen function of the GPS that shows what road to take at an upcoming junction is a nice feature and she appreciated that scrolling though radio stations remained visible even when on the GPS screen.
What She Liked
Improved during a minor refresh for 2015, Amanda likes the exterior of the Outlander, especially her test vehicle’s red color. She really likes that the size of the screen for the navigation system and the fact it can show the speed limit.
She also liked that you can use the third row seats to divide the rear cargo are so smaller items don’t move all the way to the back to the second row seats. Amanda would recommend a rubber cargo mat though to make sure items don’t roll around on the low friction carpet while driving.
What She Didn’t Like
Amanda found it annoying that addresses can’t be programmed into the GPS system while the car is in motion, even when a passenger is present in the crossover. She also don’t like that the GPS doesn’t give street names for turns on the display display, just distances. Finally, the power rear liftgate is finicky at times and didn’t always open after she pressed the button on the remote,which is real pain when approaching the vehicle with an arm full of grocery bags in the rain.
Amanda did enjoy driving the Outlander. It’s a little bit outdated, but it’s comfortable and easy to operate. It’s missing some of the options that its competitors offer at its price point, but the its simplicity compared to more recent, but complicated products along with V6 power and seven-passenger seating give it a unique positioning on the market. And like every Mitsubishi, there is a 10-year powertrain warranty and five-year new vehicle limited warranty for added piece of mind.