June 06, 2011
Our long term Outlander GT has grown on me quite a bit. I'm usually not into SUV's, but this has enough of the Evo blood mixed in to make it pretty enjoyable to me. Much like Donna's blog about our TSX wagon, here are the top 10 things I like about our Outlander:
1. Paddle shifters!!!!
2. It's got sauce
3. Truck-like tailgate
4. Blue Tooth streaming audio
5. Sporty suspension and taut ride
6. Seat heaters (yes, truly like Donna)
7. Flip up rear seats for a flat cargo area
8. Keyless ignition
9. Simple to use dial controlled HVAC system
10. Touch screen Nav
Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography
April 14, 2011
This stretch of L.A.'s 405 freeway is constructed of concrete slabs and as such is notorious with ride/handling engineers. The high frequency ride qualities of the Mitsubishi Outlander GT don't like it at all, and our Director of Vehicle Testing, Dan Edmunds (an engineer who used to design and test suspension on the OE side of things) characterized this as, "too little compression damping." Ya, I'd say so.
April 04, 2011
Had the opportunity to drive the Outlander on a dirt road with some genuine obstacles (for a car) this weekend. Following are a few notes.
March 28, 2011
Despite crazy snow predictions, we ran into zero snow on the roads by the time we got near Mammoth around midnight on Friday, so my original goal of driving the Mitsubishi Outlander GT in snow was squashed. At least temporarily.
Decent snowfall while we were on the slopes on Saturday did make for a minor amount of snowy/icy travel around town and on local roads. So how did the Outlander's S-AWC all-wheel-drive system handle the conditions?
March 25, 2011
Well, looks like it's my turn to head to Mammoth Mountain this weekend for a little skiing. So me and my much, much, much better half will take off tonight and head up the 395 after the crappy SoCal traffic dies down a bit.
What's cool, though, is that it's looking like we'll be able to give our long-term Mitsubishi Outlander GT's Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system a good test, as Mammoth's website says they have allegedly been dumped with "4-7 feet of snow" since Tuesday, with "multiple feet" more expected through this Sunday.
I say "allegedly" because the weather forecast both for the town of Mammoth Lakes and for Mammoth Mountain itself is predicting snow totals in terms of inches, not feet. Couldn't imagine that Mammoth's website would stretch the truth on snow accumulations...nah.
Regardless, here's hoping for some major fun in the snow; both on the slopes and during the drive in the Outlander GT.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 14,777 miles.
March 14, 2011
So how did our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT do on the road trip to Mammoth this weekend? Not too shabby. Here are some quick impressions:
- Air-conditioner still blows. The cabin gets stuffy pretty quickly with four mouth-breathers, plus it's been warm lately in SoCal. In any case, the A/C never seemed to get cool enough. We found instant relief from cracking open the windows.
- Yay for the USB port and powerpoint so two iPhone-equipped passengers could charge their smartphones while playing Scrabble and watching NetFlix during the trip. Only weird issue is that sometimes it would just show on my iPhone that it was plugged in but not charging. And then a little bit later it would charge. Not sure what that's about.
- With four passengers, their luggage, groceries and two snowboards, packing the cargo area took some creativity. But it all fit! Although we did end up having to sit with some of our gear. Of course this wouldn't be as much of an issue if we had a roof rack.
- Fuel economy for the trip: average was 21.8 mpg, 25.3 best mpg (last and biggest fillup), 18.9 worse (first fillup). Three fillups, 35.4 gallons of regular.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,512 miles
February 14, 2011
So this is not so much an ode as it is a list. Last time I checked it was Valentine's Day, a time during which we as a people
spend ridiculous amounts of money on gifts and flowers express love and affection.
In that spirit, I came up with a list of things I dig about the Outlander, which was my ride over the weekend. Wasn't too hard -- it's a great little SUV.
1: Assertive sheet metal.
2: Easy-to-live-with ride.
3: Relatively enjoyable handing.
4: Great sound system with crisp highs.
5: Easy-to-use audio interface.
6: Damn fine-looking interior.
What things do you dig most about your vehicle?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
January 11, 2011
The automotive industry showed signs of slow recovery in 2010. Sales for the year came in at about 11.5 million units, up 11 percent from 10.4 million units in 2009. Mitsubishi participated in this recovery, with a 2010 sales increase of 4 percent.
Mitsubishi reports that the Outlander was a primary driver in the company's sales growth and I can understand why the model is doing so well for the brand. Not everyone wants their next crossover to look and handle like a mom-mobile and the Outlander does a pretty good job of meeting the needs of this type of buyer. Solid handling, assertive looks and an attractive cabin make it a winner in my book.
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 11,802 miles
January 06, 2011
I just got over a rough case of the flu so I was a bit foggy the first day back. When I walked down to our garage to jump into the Outlander Sport, I hit the unlock button and the damn thing wouldn't unlock. I did that about three times before I realized I had the keys for the other white meat: the Outlander GT. At first I worried about early dimentia, but I soon realized my mistake and it reaffirmed my earlier belief that this day would be rough. It was pretty sad none the less.
Driving the Outlander GT back home again I got my wires crossed. I was thinking this thing has plenty of power and is fairly responsive throttle wise. It confused me but I thought my previous experiences were of it being wheezy and underpowered. It took a little time, but the fog cleared. No, that previous experience was in the Outlander Sport.
It's a shame the Sport isn't very, well, sporty. I really dig the Sports snub-nose scrappy looks of a boxer. It's a boxer with a glass jaw in my opinion. The Sport would be a lot sweeter to drive with the GT's 3.0 L V6 pumping out 230 hp. The Sport is getting beat by its small crossover segment adversaries in nearly every category. Having a good helping of power to go along with its tough looks would help it fight the competition. Granted, our GT is nearly $5k more than the Sport, and that's a steep "granted", but the extra cash is worth the driving experience.
The GT doesn't have a lot of personality for me. Yeah it's got power and a nice ride, but it's not very memorable otherwise. Each flavor of the Outlander we have in our LT fleet is ho-hum in my opinion, but if you made a cross-breed between the two I think you'd have an outstanding vehicle. Maybe I still have a case of brain fog from getting over the flu and I'm over thinking this. Do you agree with me, or is each model fine the way it is?
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
December 27, 2010
The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT is the big one. The Outlander Sport is the small one. That's confused more than one of us at the office, so now that we've got that out of the way, I can talk a bit about driving the GT.
Having grown up in Southern California, I never once saw the need for all wheel drive. And up until this past weekend, as hard as it may be to believe, I had never driven an all wheel drive car in the rain. Ever.
For me, the need for all wheel drive was somewhat of a fallacy. "You need it for security, you need it for better handling, you need it for traction," the brochures proclaimed. I never bought it. I've managed to make it my whole life without once desiring all wheel drive while on a paved road. Such is the life of luxury we have in Southern California.
Then I found myself driving the Outlander GT and it promptly rained for 5 days.
December 19, 2010
Combine in a remote location:
1 part rain
1 part dirt
1 part AWD
The only question is, should I wash it before I bring it back to work?
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 10,951 miles
December 14, 2010
Last month I wrote that I didn't like the plasticky feeling of the paddle shifters in our long-term 2009 Audi A4 wagon. One reader commented that you can only get metal paddles in high-end rides like the Benz SLR. Well to all of you from Missouri (the Show Me state), I present our $33K long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT, with magnesium alloy paddles. And they're standard on the GT, XLS and SE trim levels.
November 30, 2010
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.
November 29, 2010
Roughly 8 miles outside the outskirts of the middle of nowhere west of Phoenix, they are doing construction on a bridge. To do so, they have closed I-10 down to two lanes, which essentially brings the freeway to a complete halt. I drove on Tuesday and Saturday, so I can only imagine the horror show it caused Wednesday and Sunday.
On Tuesday, I sat in this traffic and it mercifully only robbed me of about 15 minutes. Coming home, though, I was in a hurry and figured there had to be another way. I scanned the navigation system and sure enough about 2 miles north of and running parallel to the 10 was something called the Tonopah Salome Hwy. Traffic was coming to a complete stop right where I needed to exit and I bailed. I followed my nav map two miles until I came upon the "hwy" and turned left. A half-mile later, I came upon a sign...
November 10, 2010
Here's the obligatory photo of our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander at 9,945 feet on the Tioga Pass, which is a glorious stretch of California Highway 120. The 230-hp 3.0-liter V6 certainly wasn't feeling its oats at this point, but most people drive (or ride their Harleys) at a walking pace to take in the scenery.
In any case, the altitude falls off quickly, and the Outlander cruised through Yosemite 40-50 mph (speed limit permitting) in relaxed fashion. There was no snow on the road on this unusually warm fall day (nearly 60 degrees at 9,945 ft), so there was no opportunity to try the all-wheel-drive system's "snow" mode. Also, unlike my last visit to the Pass, there was indeed a park ranger manning the east-side Yosemite entrance booth and she relieved me of the $20 fee just to drive through the park.
It's worth the money, though, because the views rival the Alps for sheer spectactularness, and I audibly exclaimed about how great they were even though there was no one listening to me except the Outlander. There's no cell service, so I couldn't call a real human anyway.
Make sure you fuel up before you set out, though...
November 08, 2010
After a couple days at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, I pointed our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander toward Northern California. I had a whole day to get to San Francisco, so I wasn't about to cut back to Los Angeles and cruise up Interstate 5. Nope, I was determined to reenter California by way of the Eastern Sierras, and I didn't care that I didn't have a powerful sports car for all the tight two-lane roads and elevation changes (3,000-10,000 feet) along the way.
You can see the basic route I took after the jump. It's long -- 563 miles and 9-10 hours if you're keeping a reasonable pace and stopping to take photos -- but worth the effort if you have the time. One neat thing about the route is that Nevada State Highway 266 meanders into California, and then cuts back into Nevada, and then you return to California by way of U.S. 6.
The Outlander rode well on the whole leg of the trip, particularly on smooth U.S. 95, which runs straight north out of Vegas. The ride is a good blend of compliance and control, and road noise isn't too bad over most surfaces. There's some wind noise off the side mirrors, but the mirrors are large, so no surprise there.
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
October 11, 2010
So, yes, our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander isn't "quick to shift," as Managing Editor Donna pointed out. But I do LOVE its paddle shifters. And, sure, I basically love all paddle shifters (our Insight had them, too). But after having had to drive our Terrain in rush-hour traffic and deal with its shifter with its sad "L" as my only option to "D," I truly believe that if everyone had paddle shifters and/or knew how to drive stick, it would minimize traffic congestion.
Big ifs for sure but a girl can dream, can't she? Hear me out.
Since the Terrain doesn't have any engine braking at all, I found myself going back and forth from throttle to brake more than I cared to. Doing what I hate to do which is always tap my brakes. No one knows how to drive in LA -- accelerate, stop, accelerate, stop. Blah! And everyone always overreacts to brakelights. But with the Outlander's paddle shifters, it's smooth sailing. Just hang back behind the Braker McBrakerton in front of me and I hardly have to tap the brakes at all when I can shift back and forth from 1st to 2nd. The driver behind me doesn't have to freak out and so the chain reaction goes, thereby clearing up the congestion. Ta-da!
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
September 27, 2010
I'll admit it: I like SUVs, especially the small mid-size models. They're practical and space efficient, although most have poor dynamic performance.
One exception is the Benz GLK, which is decent. Another, that I'm particularly interested in driving is the 2011 BMW X3. It's the right size for me and I'm sure the performance will be good.
But what if you can't swing the new X3's $50K price tag?
May I suggest a vehicle identical to our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT?
It's got great handling, accurate steering with good on-center feel, and a well-programmed six speed auto transmission mated to a flexible 3.0 V6. And all this for $33K. Yeah, it could use more power, but in most situations it's fine.
To top it off, the Outlander GT is fitted with paddle shifters! How many SUVs have that?
Albert Austria, Senior Engineer @ 5,500 miles
September 16, 2010