November 03, 2010
With the Fusion Hybrid down for the count, I needed another road trip vehicle, and our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander is it. We made the 300-mile journey without incident -- and without stopping for gas. I logged 314 miles before this visit to Terrible's Chevron, during which I put in 14.502 gallons of premium fuel (recommended but not required) for 21.7 mpg. Not bad for a 3,780-pound, all-wheel-drive crossover with a 230-hp, 3.0-liter V6.
So far, I feel lukewarm toward the Outlander as a road trip vehicle. It's significantly quicker than the Fusion, even when the Ford isn't in limp-home mode.
But the Mitsu's six-speed automatic transmission isn't very smart on uphill grades -- and there are many of those on Interstate 15. It will not hold 4th or 5th gear for longer than a few seconds (so eager is it to get back to 6th), so it's continually hunting around. You can't use the cruise control comfortably unless the road is perfectly flat, and ultimately, I found I didn't enjoy using "D," either, and ended up shifting manually. At least, Mitsubishi gives you some options there -- you can use the leftover Evo-spec magnesium paddle shifters or the console shifter.
Today I'm headed to San Francisco, and I'm still determined to use the scenic Tioga Pass. We'll see how the Outlander does.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,422 miles
July 29, 2010
Our Mitsubishi Outlander has a pretty sophisticated V6. That MIVEC lettering means it has variable valve timing on both the intake and exhaust sides of the equation. Good, but nothing too out of the ordinary these days.
It also has what Mitsubishi calls Idle Neutral Logic. When it senses that the car has come to a stop, the transmission automatically selects neutral to save gas. It's a step below actually turning the engine off like a Prius.
In day-to-day driving, I've never noticed the feature. That's probably a good thing as some drivers might get a bit unnerved with the idea of the transmission shifting around on its own. How much gas does it really save? Probably not much, but it's small steps like these that nearly every manufacturer is using these days to maximize mileage without the customer even knowing it.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 1,987 miles