Crossovers are taking over parking lots nowadays. Today, the selection is endless. Its great for consumers, but for automakers it means a lot of research and development to keep their vehicles trending amongst the masses. Mitsubishi released aredesigned Outlander in 2014. Two short years later, they have opted for something more than a mid-cycle refresh. Mitsubishi claims it has more than 100 engineering and design improvements to the platform. Seeing as we previously tested a 2014 Outlander, the amount of changes caught our attention. It was time to see what all the fuss was about.
During the first walk-around the newest Outlander you notice refreshed appearance. The redesigned front fascia is accented with LED position lights and redesigned front fenders. Around back, LED taillights compliment the new rear end. For our top-trim Outlander GT, it also featured power-folding side mirrors, chrome accent pieces, great new wheels, and LED headlights. As simple as these upgrades may seem, they add a lot to the overall look and feel of the vehicle.
The interior received a design update which included more soft touch materials. Less hard plastics are a welcomed change; the interior feels a class above its predecessor. They also included a new Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) for navigation and audio controls. A redesigned steering wheel, accent trim on the doors and dashboard, and a higher grade headliner finish off the interior nicely. Mitsubishi apparently redesigned the folding rear seat system in an effort to simplify the folding process, but there’s still a learning curve!
The Outlander is offered with two available engines. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard in the ES, SE and SEL trims. It produces 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque and is paired with a CVT transmission. Fortunately, with the GT you get a 3.0-liter V6 that generates 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. As an added bonus, you get a traditional six-speed automatic. It’s certainly not a speed demon but is on par with other crossovers with an upgraded engine. With such a disparity in power, and only a 2 mpg penalty on the highway, we can’t recommend the Outlander in anything other than GT trim. Not only do the paddles actually change physical gears, but the car can move itself along rather well when provoked.
Many of the Mitsubishi’s improvements felt skin deep despite their claim of adding many platform enhancements to improve ride and handling qualities. They claim the Outlander has increased structural rigidity, redesigned suspension and electric power steering, as well as sound deadening improvements. Even knowing these facts going it, it felt as though the overall ride and handling has remained on par with our 2014 Outlander tester. However, we did notice a significant difference as it relates to road noise. The thicker rear door glass, sound insulation, dynamic dampers, improved weather stripping, and engine compartment trim paid off big time. Not only is the interior now a nicer place to be, its a quieter one.
If there’s one thing that the Outlander does better than its competitors, it’s offering more value for the money. If you compare the equipped features to the overall price of the vehicle and then look up a competitor, there’s no contest. An available third row, navigation, the GT Touring Package’s driver’s aids; there isn’t another SUV in its class that can challenge Mitsubishi’s price point. If you’re looking for a crossover with all the bells and whistles that won’t break the bank, the Outlander is right up your alley.
|2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC||$30,995|
|GT Touring Package||$3,350|
|As Tested MSRP||$35,240|