The Mitsubishi folks are bandying the words “game changer” around with the 2016 Outlander since it is not just another all-new model being launched by the manufacturer. Nope, instead it is being touted as the new face of the brand. The Outlander is expected to strengthen and further define what Mitsubishi is all about.
Even after just two years on the market, the Outlander is already getting a significant face lift like a fun new grille, good line up of standard features and some excellent engineering and design advances.
The brand has indeed had a rough patch over the last few years. In 2002, Mitsubishi sold over 300,000 cars. But then at its lowest point in 2009, sales dropped more than 90 percent. With that startling figure, within the last few years, Mitsubishi has made a serious commitment to become a leader in the North American market again.
The competition in this crossover type of market along with the Outlander is the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Kia Sorento, Nissan Rogue and the Subaru Forester.
A seven-passenger SUV, the trims on the Outlander include ES, SE, SEL and GT. The base ES offers 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights, heated mirrors with full power accessories and cruise control. The steering wheel is leather wrapped with a tilt-and-telescoping feature and there is a 60/40-split folding second-row seat that slides and reclines. The third row also has a 50/50-split. For technology, the Mitsubishi’s “Fuse” voice-command system comes on the ES with Bluetooth and audio connectivity.
On the SE, there are additional fog lights, keyless ignition and entry, trip computer and dual-zone automatic climate control. You also get heated front seats with a rearview camera and a 6.1-inch touchscreen display.
For the SEL trim, you get roof rails, gloss-black interior trim and leather. There are some options that are only offered on this trim like a sunroof, power liftgate and upgraded sound system. There is an optional safety package offered with automatic wipers, lane-departure warning and a forward collision mitigation system and automatic braking.
For the high-end GT, the standards are a touchscreen navigation and advanced safety features as well as LED headlights, chrome exterior accents, shift paddles and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Under the hood, take note that only the GT comes standard with all-wheel drive but is not even available as an option on the ES trim.
The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander ES, SE and SEL trim has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque with CVT.
The GT trim has a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 224 horsepower and 215 pound feet of torque. There are shift paddles with the six-speed automatic transmission.
The standard safety features on the Outlander are antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, hill-start, driver knee/front-seat side and side curtain airbags for the first two rows.
There are also the optional safety features depending on the trim and option packages.
Inside the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander, the interior is quality with a nice urban edge and soft materials and trims on the door. The knobs and dials are easily placed and the touchscreen and interface makes getting around and navigation easy. There is also the third-row seat, but this section is definitely for the young ones in the family. The second row seats recline and slide, but headroom is cut off a bit with the sunroof option.
You can haul quite a bit since the 10.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row is the least space you will have or you can open it up to 34.2 cubic feet behind if you put down the third row seats. With both the second and third row seats folded down then you get a whopping 63.3 cubic feet for hauling as needed. For the towing capacity it is 1,500 pounds standard, but the GT trim can tow 3,500 pounds.
This Mitsubishi has excellent acceleration and enough power to get you where you need to go whether passing or getting on the highway. You can take the curves and you will enjoy the ride in this Mitsubishi – it really is fun to drive.
Should You Need to Know: Adding a SEL trim for 2016, the Mitsubishi folks say that the new look of the 2016 Outlander goes head-to-head with any competitor in the segment and is being considered a “world car.”
Miles Per Gallon: The fuel economy for the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is a combined 27 miles per gallon or with the GT it is 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway.
Cost: The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander starts at around $25,500 for the SE trim.
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