2008 Outlander New Car Test Drive
The 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander comes with a choice of two engines, a new four-cylinder that gets good fuel economy and a powerful V6.
The new 2.4-liter four-cylinder comes standard on Outlander ES and SE models, which get an EPA-rated 20/25 mpg City/Highway. The four-cylinder engine is matched with a continuously variable transmission, or CVT, designed to improve fuel economy.
The 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander LS and XLS come standard with the 220-horsepower V6. Outlander was completely redesigned for the 2007 model year. Bigger than the previous-generation model, it was launched with a powerful 3.0-liter V6, a six-speed automatic transmission with sport-shift, and a sophisticated four-wheel-drive system.
Outlander can seat up to seven passengers when equipped with a fold-down, compact third-row seat. All models come with a full complement of occupant safety features.
Completely redesigned for 2007, the Outlander features an electronic skid and traction control system and a modern four-wheel independent suspension. Its available four-wheel-drive system is designed more to be pavement-friendly than backwoods-capable.
The top models are luxurious, boasting automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, a rear-seat entertainment system with a nine-inch LCD screen and wireless remote and headphones. A GPS navigation system featuring a seven-inch touch-screen is available with a hard disk for speedy data retrieval and recorded audio tracks. Formula 1-style magnesium shift paddles mounted on the steering column allow the driver to shift manually, while a keyless ignition system eliminates the need to fuss with keys.
The 2008 Outlander models benefit from numerous upgrades.
All 2008 models are available with front-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (4WD). The four-cylinder is rated to tow 1500 pounds; the V6 is tow-rated at 2000 pounds with 2WD, and 3500 pounds with 4WD because the 4WD models come with a bigger radiator.
Competitive performance, fuel economy, and interior space along with aggressive pricing make the Mitsubishi Outlander a compelling SUV.
The 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is available with five-passenger or seven-passenger seating and comes in four trim levels. The ES and SE are powered by a 168-horsepower inline-4 coupled to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The LS and XLS upgrade to a 220-hp V6 and a six-speed automatic. Both transmissions feature a Sportronic manual override.
ES 2WD ($19,990) and 4WD ($21,350) come with fabric upholstery, air conditioning, the usual power-adjustable features, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted switches, AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with six speakers, 60/40-split rear seat, remote keyless entry, and P215/70R16 tires on steel wheels. A Convenience Package ($820) for ES adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather-wrapped shift knob, RCA auxiliary audio input jacks, pre-wiring for Bluetooth, 12V power points in both the cockpit and cargo area, a storage pocket in the driver's seatback, floor mats, rear privacy glass, black roof rails, color-keyed mirrors and door handles, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
SE 2WD ($23,250) and 4WD ($24,590) upgrade with mesh fabric seats with leather bolsters; high-contrast instrument gauges; magnesium paddle shifters; a passive vehicle entry system that lets you in as long as the key fob is in your pocket; a 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system with digital signal processing and nine speakers including a rear subwoofer; Sirius Satellite Radio with six-month pre-paid subscription; Special Edition trim; and P225/55R18 tires on 18-inch alloy wheels. Much of this equipment is exclusive to the SE.
LS 2WD ($22,510) and 4WD ($23,870) are equipped similarly to the ES with the Convenience Package, plus the V6 and six-speed automatic.
XLS 2WD ($23,750) and 4WD ($25,110) include all LS equipment and add automatic climate control, 6CD changer, split second-row seats that recline as well as adjusting fore-and-aft, a third-row seat that stows under the floor; shift paddles; a functioning Bluetooth interface; fog lights; passive keyless entry and ignition; and P225/55R18 tires on alloy wheels.
Option packages for the XLS: The Luxury Package ($1,600) upgrades to leather seating in the first two rows, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and auto-leveling Xenon HID headlights. The Navigation Package ($1,800) adds a 30GB HDD navigation system and a digital music server with CD/DVD capability and video input jacks. The Sun & Sound Package ($1,610) combines the high-zoot stereo from the SE, Sirius Satellite Radio, a power glass sunroof, and a 115V power outlet.
Accessories from dealers include an entertainment system ($1,480), navigation system ($1,999), a trailer hitch and wiring harness ($375), plus a cargo cover ($119) and other appearance and protection items.
Safety features include front (seat-mounted) side-impact airbags, which protect the upper body from injury in side impacts; roof-mounted side air curtains covering front and second-row seats, which minimize head injuries in side impacts; and active, front seat head restraints, which cushion the head and neck in rear impacts. That's in addition to the mandated front airbags, seatbelts and child safety seat anchors.
Active safety features (to assist the driver with crash avoidance) that come standard across the Outlander line include antilock brakes (ABS), which allow steering during panic stops; electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), which varies front and rear braking force to optimize stopping power in emergency stops; electronic stability control, which automatically minimizes skids during turning maneuvers; traction control, which limits wheel spin in slippery conditions; and tire pressure monitors, which warn drivers of under-inflated tires.