2010 Mitsubishi Outlander: The Alternate
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