2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Long Term Road Test

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander vs Mom's Honda CR-V

November 30, 2010

Mitsubishi Outlander and Honda CR-V.jpg

My mother was an early adopter of the whole compact crossover segment. She ordered a 1997 Honda CR-V having only sat in it at the Indianapolis Auto Show and was one of the first in town to get one. She loved that car and although she took a break for a generation (sharing an Acura MDX with my dad), she returned for generation 3 with this Green Tea Metallic EX-L above.

One of the reasons I opted for the Outlander over the Thanksgiving break was to see what my CR-V-loving mother thought about the Mitsubishi rival.

Well, she liked the way it looks, though disagrees that her CR-V is anything other than charming. She thought the Mitsu's engine sounded gutless, though agreed that it was indeed quicker than her car after I floored the Mitsu. She agreed with me that the Mitsu's seats were better -- both in terms of comfort and adjustability. However, she ultimately didn't like how much higher and bulky the dashboard is. My mother doesn't like feeling enclosed in a car and enjoys a nice airy cabin, and the CR-V not only has a brighter greenhouse, but its dash is designed in a way the reduces visual bulk. I don't know, it's weird, but I think it stems from her 1990 Integra days.

How do I think they compare? Well, I know that the CR-V's engine is gutless by comparison. There's just so little low-end power -- the car just makes (admittedly smooth) noises and nothing much happens. Then there's the staggering road noise even on smooth roads at meager speed. I would never want to take a road trip in the CR-V, because listening to the tires roar for hours on end would get old quickly. The Outlander generates a lot of wind noise around its bigger mirrors, but in comparison to the CR-V, it's a tomb -- well, if the tomb had a snake in its dash and a horribly squeaking third-row "seat." Of course, the CR-V's interior is vastly more sophisticated, refined and of a higher quality.

My mom wasn't about to trade in her CR-V, but I'd personally take the Mitsu's engine, seats and its quieter (well, sorta) cabin.

Which would you take?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor (and his mom) @ 9,855 miles

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