2003 Outlander New Car Test Drive
The 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander is an all-new sport-utility similar in size and character to the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. And it measures up well against those two. Built on a car platform, it's smooth and quiet, and feels rock steady at highway speeds. It has four doors and a roomy cargo area, and loading stuff in back is easy.
Like other small crossover sport-utilities, the Mitsubishi Outlander offers elevated seating for better visibility. But it is neither tall nor tippy. Its compact size helps it negotiate the often-hostile asphalt jungle. All-wheel drive is an option when the pavement disappears beneath snow and ice or dissolves into a dusty, rocky trail.
Taut and toned, the Mitsubishi styling is bolder, more aggressive than the Honda, Toyota, or Subaru. The Mitsubishi Outlander is a good alternative to those vehicles and is priced aggressively against them. The Outlander ranges from a suggested base price of $17,997 to a fully loaded suggested price of $23,390.
Mitsubishi Outlander is available in two models: LS and XLS. Each is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Mitsubishi expects 65 percent of Outlander buyers to opt for the upgraded XLS version and anticipates 55 percent of buyers will want all-wheel drive.
All Outlanders are powered by Mitsubishi's 140-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. All are equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel mileage is 21/26 mpg City/Highway for Outlanders with two-wheel drive and 20/25 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Front airbags, three-point seatbelts for all five seating positions and child safety seat anchors are among the standard equipment. Side airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger and anti-lock brakes are optional equipment on the XLS model.
LS is not a stripped down model and comes standard with air conditioning; cruise control; power windows and locks; power folding rearview mirrors; a height-adjustable steering wheel; height-adjustable driver's seat; a 140-watt, four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system; analog clock; center console with storage; two 12-volt accessory outlets; 60/40 split, folding and reclining back seat; intermittent windshield and rear window wipers, and 16-inch steel wheels. Options for the LS include a convenience package with a cargo cover, floor mats, keyless entry, and roof rails. There's also an appearance package with privacy glass and alloy wheels.
XLS adds a rear spoiler, premium cloth seat fabric, a 140-watt audio system with six speakers, white-face gauges and clock, see-through headrests, and alloy wheels. Options for the XLS include a sun and sound package with an Infinity audio system and sunroof and a luxury package with an auto-dimming mirror with compass and temperature readouts, heated outside mirrors and heated leather seats and side airbags.