2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: A Little Evo Goes a Long Way
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.
What I encountered while at the wheel of the GT was a feeling of security and performance I'd never imagined I'd notice.
The security is easy to imagine. What with four wheels driving the GT, and some trick hardware delivering the power, the Outlander was never at a loss, even on LA's notoriously treacherous wet freeways. The performance, though, was an eye-opening experience.
Even a Mazda CX-7, the sports car of crossovers, feels like a big, front-wheel drive wagon but the Outlander GT feels different. The GT exhibited understeer, to be sure, but not excessively. Instead, I was constantly apprised as to what the back wheels were doing, even on a dry road. The steering offered good feedback, and even though the ride was a little stiffer than I wanted on some sections of the freeway, it was never annoying. Dare I say it, there's more than a little Evolution in the Outlander.
No place was this more evident than when I hooned it through the dirt, in the way only a wantonly unprofessional amateur, like myself, can. While a quick handful of e-brake could easily bring the tail out, I found the throttle just as useful in manipulating the tail, enabling me to hold however long of a muddy powerslide I wanted. Try that in a Crosstour/X3/Terrain/Rav-4/CR-V/CX-7.
Here's to hoping Mitsubishi ditches the indifferent interior and injects a little more power into the Outlander the next time around.
Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 11,081 miles