2010 Outlander New Car Test Drive
Mitsubishi has redesigned the Outlander for 2010 to look and be more like its brothers and sisters, in particular the Lancer and Evolution. It's got that face now, so at least you know what it is. No longer lost in the midsize SUV crowd. With the radical redesign of the Endeavor SUV five years ago, Mitsubishi had pronounced, Above all else: Presence. The Outlander picks up that philosophy and runs with it.
There's not much about it that doesn't work. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is an economical winner, with an EPA-estimated 21/27 mpg City/Highway on Regular gas. The four-cylinder models benefit from a fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission, or CVT.
The 3.0-liter V6 version offers 230 horsepower and smoothness at high speeds, mated to a sharp six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It gets an EPA-estimated 19/25 miles per gallon, Premium fuel is recommended for the V6. The flagship Outlander GT offers S-AWC, or Super All-Wheel Control, which provides super control and traction, as well as secure handling in corners. The GT has a standard compact third row, although the two flip-up seats are as small as they come. Outlander GT comes standard with the V6.
The interior design of the 2010 Outlander presents a handsome and functional dashboard and instrument panel, the bolstered seats fit just right, the standard 60/40 rear seat tumbles forward to create 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space. With heating and air conditioning vents in the rear, bottle holders in the door pockets, and sliding rear seats, passengers will be comfortable.
The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander comes in four models, ES, SE, XLS (all either as 2WD or 4WD), and GT, which uses S-AWC, or Super All-Wheel Control.
Outlander ES ($20,840) comes with the 2.4-liter DOHC I4 and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The 4WD version ($1400) includes paddle shifters controlling six steps to the CVT. Standard equipment includes cloth upholstery, manual air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, urethane steering wheel with cruise control, 60/40 folding/tumble rear seats, a 140-watt 6-speaker CD/MP3 sound system, LED taillamps, and 16-inch steel wheels.
Outlander SE ($22,540) and SE 4WD ($23,940) comes standard with the same paddle-shifting six-step CVT as on the ES 4WD, along with roof rails, foglights, privacy glass, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather shift knob and steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth capability, sport fabric seats with leather bolsters, a couple of color gauges, and on the outside there's chrome grille trim and body-colored front fascia, mirrors and door handles.
Outlander XLS ($24,990) and XLS 4WD ($26,390) raises the ante quite a lot, with its 3.0-liter V6 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, automatic climate control, console box between the seats, a compact third-row seat, and something called the FUSE Handsfree Link System, that can call up your songs using voice command, by artist, genre, playlist or album through an iPod or USB device.
Outlander GT ($29,250) is a new model for 2010, and it's the flagship. It uses the V6 and six-speed, but uses all-wheel-drive system as used on the Mitsubishi Evolution, called Super All-Wheel Control. It adds rain-sensing wipers, bi-Xenon HID headlamps, aluminum pedals, and a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate sound system. But not leather, that remains an option.
Options on all models are numerous, with seven packages containing upgrades in upholstery, sound, navigation, etc. There are also many stand-alone options, from remote start to tow hitch to rear-seat DVD system.
Safety equipment includes frontal airbags, side impact airbags, and airbag curtains; Active Stability Control, and anti-lock brakes with brake-force distribution, and a tire pressure monitor. All-wheel drive is optional.