I'm not a gambling man, but if there were a pool for an automotive death watch, my money would be on Mitsubishi... Lincoln is a close second. To understand the plight of Mitsubishi, you only have to look at its current lineup; they all just look, feel and drive about 10 years older than they really are. With the departure of the Endeavor and merciful killing of the Eclipse (the Galant lives on, but is on hiatus for the 2013 model year), one of the worst remaining offenders is the Mitsubishi Outlander, which I recently drove in top-level GT trim for this Quick Spin. If we had a time machine and took the 2013 Outlander GT back to 1998, it would be revolutionary. If we could take it back to 2004, it might be near the top of its class. But in the current highly competitive crossover segment of today, the Outlander just falls short. Yes, the all-new 2014 Outlander is on its way later this year, but from what we've seen both inside and out, the new design would look great in 2008. That being said, spending a week with any vehicle can point out surprising highs as well as lows, and there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy Mitsu's midsize CUV. Driving Notes Unfortunately, I have to kick off my driving impressions on a negative note. There are few utility vehicles on the market that make the third row an enviable seating position, but the Outlander GT's rear-most seat is downright insulting. Not only is this the worst third-row seat currently on the market, it could very well be the worst ever created – that includes the uncomfortable rear-facing third row of a certain 1977 Impala station wagon I was relegated to as a kid during family road trips. The operation is clunky, the padding is lacking and the snap-on headrests are as tall as the seat back itself. On the opposite end of the scale, the best part about the Outlander GT is its drivetrain and platform. Replacing the base four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission, the GT trim level brings a well-aged 3.0-liter V6 paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. Since it shares its underpinnings with the Mitsubishi Lancer, the Outlander also has a pretty good ride quality in just about any road condition. My tester was equipped with Mitsubishi's dynamic Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) sending the engine's 230 horsepower to all four wheels, improving traction or performance depending on which driver-selectable mode has been chosen (Tarmac or Snow), and there is also an active front differential that that splits engine torque across the front axle or fully locks (in Lock setting) for better off-road performance. I didn't have the chance to do any serious off roading in Outlander, but I was able to test out the S-AWC along sandy, gravelly roads, which the Outlander handled like a champ. Thanks to a 2010 styling refresh, the Outlander is one of the better-looking budget crossovers …
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|MPG||22 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||168 @ 6000 rpm|
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