May 13, 2011
Every real sport-utility should have a tailgate. Otherwise all you have is a crossover, a shopping basket with really big wheels, and probably about as much fun to drive.
It's all a matter of footwear, really.
If you've got a four-wheel-drive sport-ute, chances are you're headed for some place where the traction is a lot different than the big parking lot in front of the Meijer's. It might be that dirt, mud, sand or snow will be involved. And in the same way that your four-wheel-drive sport-ute has all-terrain tires to minimize the slipping and sliding when the traction is bad, so too you'll be changing your own footwear. You know, aqua socks, bicycle shoes, hiking boots, motocross boots, running shoes or ski boots.
And basically it's a better deal to sit on a tailgate and change gear than squat on the doorsill. It's pretty much as simple as that.
There are plenty of other reasons to have a tailgate, of course, and they involve things like loading up the cargo area or having a semi-level workspace to re-jet your dirt bike's carburetor when you're on a fire road in the middle of the big trees near Twain Harte (which I've done). But I think it mostly comes down to footwear.
The Mitsubishi Outlander GT has a kind of clever, half-height tailgate, so you don't even notice it's there until you deploy it all the way. Maybe this tailgate is just a kind of evolutionary leftover that reminds you where sport-utilities came from, but it tells me that the Outlander GT aspires to be more than just a snappy shopping cart.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 16,802 miles
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.
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 14, 2011
So even though our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT was a decent road trip car with its seat heaters, satellite radio, iPhone charger etc. the seats themselves weren't all that comfortable. I (5'5") was sitting in the front-passenger seat while my friend who is equally short at (5'3") was in the seat behind me. When we were about two hours away from home at the end of our trip I asked her if she thought the Outlander was comfortable. She said, "Eh, it's OK. I have enough room for my legs but the seat bottom makes my butt sore."
While I agree that the seats weren't comfortable, I have to disagree with what she said about having enough legroom. In trying to make sure she had adequate space -- not a ton, mind you, but enough -- I barely had room to stretch out. I usually like to stretch my legs stick straight every now and then over the course of a 5 1/2-hour trip but I guess that is asking too much with a backseat passenger.
In any case, whenever we stopped for gas, I had to jump out of the car. At least in an economy flight I can stretch out my legs all the way without a bend in the knee. Here? Not so much.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,512 miles
March 09, 2011
In getting ready for this weekend trip to Mammoth I had to confirm who our second-row passengers in our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander were going to be. See, I made the mistake of inviting three of my friends to ride along with us (front passenger seat was already claimed). Forgot I had invited someone when we started planning the trip, and then invited these two peeps later. Anyhoo, the extra person was going to be SOL. SOL because our passengers don't have to pay for gas; all others in the other cars of our caravan do.
So for a second -- OK, 120 -- I considered squeezing all three people back there. I even asked editor John DiPietro who wrote a post about the backseat whether he thought three people might be able to fit. There is a seatbelt for the middle spot, after all. "Only if they're all really thin," he replied. And it would be mean to squeeze all three back there for a 5 1/2-hour road trip. As for the little-used third row, forget it. "Only if they're kids, and small ones," said another editor.
February 16, 2011
Last night I had two passengers in the Outlander GT so the back seat got an informal eval. My dad (visiting me here in SoCal and escaping New England's brutal winter) gave the Outlander GT's back seat a solid thumbs up. When I asked him what he liked about it he pointed out the high, supportive seat cushion, the reclining seatback and the flip-down center armrest, all of which made riding back there comfortable. I showed him the seat's sliding feature, which allows one to either maximize rear seat legroom or cargo space behind that seat. He dug that too.
Though it's not the only compact crossover to have all those clever features for the second row seats, I still give props to Mitsubishi for including them.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 12,312 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
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 11, 2010
The seats in our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT look comfortable, and they are comfortable up to a point.
But by the time I reached this rare instance of autumn foliage in California -- along Highway 266 -- the driver seat was starting to get uncomfortable.
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.
October 18, 2010
Last week you witnessed Caroline's post on the Outlander's gets-the-heck-out-of-the-way second-row seats. Although it's difficult to see in the video, those seats also slide fore/aft a fair amount to make room for the poor schleps sitting in Outlander's penalty box third row. But I discovered this weekend that moving them forward is also helpful when more cargo room is needed behind the second row.
October 12, 2010
Check out this neat-o spring-loaded action of our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander! I like how it just gets out of the way right quick. After this video, you can bet that I did this two more times. Heh, that was fun.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
October 08, 2010
As I settled in for a 180-mile road trip the other day, I quickly found one of my first complaints regarding our Mitsubishi Outlander - the seats. Sure, they look nice, but appearances don't tell the whole story.
My first problem presented itself when I was adjusting the seat for my oh-so-average 5' 10" frame. The lack of range in some adjustments had be compromising on total comfort. I felt the seat was too tall for my tastes, even at its lowest setting. I was also a bit irked that the seat cushion angle wouldn't tilt further back. The end result: I felt the driving position was too upright.
My next complaint came after about 50 miles into the road trip. I thought the leather seats, while attractive, were a bit stifling - as if they were made from vinyl. As well-equipped as our Outlander GT is, ventilated or cooled seats would've been a nice addition. As it turns out, that feature isn't offered on the 2010 or 2011 models.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 5,860 miles
September 28, 2010
Are the seat heaters on? In our long-term Mitsubishi Outlander GT the seat heater switches (located on the inboard side of the seat) are always illuminated. That's great for finding them at night.
But when you give them a casual glance you may think they're actually on when they're not. I wanted to make sure they weren't turned on yesterday, as it was 113F in Downtown LA.
This reminded me of my experience on a June test trip in Arizona with my Technician a few years ago. We left rental car pick-up in a new 370Z, driving to the hotel in 110F ambient.
My Tech (and buddy), sweat pouring off of him, kept complaining about the Z's poor air-conditioning --
"It sucks," he said.
After about 25 minutes, I told him that his seat heater, which I had activated as we left the airport, may have contributed to his discomfort.
Following 5 minutes of cursing and laughing, he threatened 3AM wake-up calls for me for the duration of our business trip.
But they never materialized.
September 24, 2010
Okay, I readily admit that this photo isn't the best, but that's sorta the point. Touchscreens must be quite exposed to be touchable, and this means that they're much more susceptible to picking up sunlight than the alternative of deeply-hooded remote-controlled displays.
So touchscreens wash out in direct light. They also reflect said light into your eyes. Rather, my eyes, as I shielded them from what you see above for a good chunk of my commute this morning. They're not as obnoxious as this, however.
Other reasons touchscreeens suck:
- They look all ganky with fingerprints. Sure, buttons would be just as ganky, but at least I don't have to have a constant visual reminder of their gankiness.
September 17, 2010
While Mr. Oldham detailed how rickety the Outlander's third-row seat is, I realize we've never shown the irritating process involved with raising or lowering this rather imperfect place to seat your children.
September 13, 2010
On Friday afternoon I grabbed the key for our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT for two reasons. 1) I like driving it. 2) My folks were visiting this past weekend so I thought I'd get an opportunity to use the Outlander's third row.
And I did, I just chose not to. On Sunday morning I was about the throw the kids back there for a run to our favorite breakfast joint when I noticed how rickety the Mitsu's third row is (watch the video). No thanks. We took two cars.
By the way, I still like driving it.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 4,744 miles
August 25, 2010
Let's see, it's Southern California, summer, and there's a heat wave going on -- yep, it must be fire season! I was driving our Mitsubishi Outlander yesterday along the I-5 at the Tejon pass (the Grapevine) when I encountered this respectably prodigious brush fire near Frazier Park.
The freeway wasn't closed, so I kept on driving. I then thought of the 1991 Steve Martin movie L.A. Story (it's still a prescient movie on living here, by the way) and the scene where the movie's characters continue to eat at a restaurant nonchalantly while an earthquake goes on. Forest fire? Yeah, we see those all the time down here...
OK, maybe not. Incidentally, it was quite hot -- the Outlander's exterior temperature gauge was showing 110 degrees at one point. The Outlander's air-conditioning, if you care to know, is still gimpy -- I've noticed that it only blows cold air out of the left two instrument panel air vents; the air coming out of the right two vents is ambient temperature.
August 23, 2010
This drives me crazy. We'll get it fixed at the Mitsu's first scheduled service.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 3,701 miles
August 16, 2010
I drove our long-term 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT to San Diego over the weekend. In a futile attempt to avoid I-5 gridlock, I ended up going past MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station Miramar). Yes sports fans, that's the same Miramar (formerly Naval Air Station Miramar) featured in the blockbuster movie "Top Gun."
I found our Outlander to be a bit underappreciated, with good steering and ride quality, and quick transitional handling. However, the 3.0L SOHC V6 rated at 230 hp @ 6250 rpm and 215 lb-ft @ 3750 rpm has absolutely no bottom end and gets buzzy under heavy load. Additionally, there is some rattling coming from the folded 3rd-row seat.
I got 20.9 mpg on recommended (but not required) 91 Premium in 320 miles of a 50/50 mix of Fast Highway and "why-didn't-I-leave-earlier" stopped traffic.
August 02, 2010
We've already complained plenty about the Mitsubishi Outlander's air conditioning. First because it died before the Mitsu broke 1,000 miles, and second, because even after the AC compressor was replaced, it still seems unable to keep the cabin anything more than moderately cool.
Now let me add just one more complaint, this time about the fan noise.
Remember the sound a record player (they were before CDs, kiddos) makes when the needle bumps up against the paper label, alerting party-goers to flip to the B-side? The bump, followed by a slight scratch? Bump, scraaatch. Bump, scraaatch. Bump, scraaatch.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 2,410 miles
July 23, 2010
Have you heard enough about the air conditioning in our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander yet? Let me answer that one for you. Nope, not yet.
I drove the Outlander, with freshly installed A/C, earlier this week. Temperatures were in the 90s, so I had the dial cranked. It wasn't enough. Imagine standing in front of your freezer with the door wide open. Now back up 6 feet. That's about all you get. Not quite enough to unstick your shirt from the seatback. The climate control seemed to handle exterior temps in the 80s just fine, but it lost effectiveness shortly thereafter.
Now, on that same day under the same conditions, I also drove our A4 Avant. It handled the heat just fine. I learned my lesson. I shouldn't have traded cars.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager
July 14, 2010
My last post this morning was written from the comfort of the local Starbucks as I settled in to wait the three or so hours for our Mitsubishi Outlander's air conditioner to be fixed.
Approximately 30 minutes into my wait, I was forwarded the following email from test-car manager, Mike Schmidt:
"Dealer left me a vmail. Somebody was injured so they're backed up. Our car won't be ready today. Maybe mid tomorrow."
Never mind the fact that I had just left the service writer my name and cell phone number, asking him to call me when it was ready. Seeing how there were only two guys in the office, seemed strange that my request had already been overlooked.
I called in the calvary and caught a ride to the office. No Outlander today, let's hope for tomorrow.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ Still 1,111 miles
July 14, 2010
Our air compressor arrived at the Mitsubishi dealer, and not a moment too soon. Weather report says it's supposed to hit 90 degrees this weekend.
I dropped the Outlander off at 9:30 a.m. this morning. Service writer says warranty hours for the fix lists at 1.8, which he says usually needs to be doubled.
"About three hours," he said.
I'm now cooling my heels at a local Starbucks, eating oatmeal and waiting for the call.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 1,111 miles
July 06, 2010
You wouldn't think I'd need to use the heated seats in the middle of summer while driving a vehicle without air conditioning (or as we like to say: naturally aspirated).
And, yes, it does get somewhat toasty in the Outlander when the sun is shining. The fan works and the windows go down, but no artificially cooled air pumps in. It wasn't so bad while I was moving on the freeway. It was the stop-and-go driving with the sun beating on my legs that got really bothersome.
Then it rained. Overnight, my little beach town got chilly. It gave me the opportunity to try out the heated seats while driving into the office this morning. It has just two levels: high and low. I've found that all I really need is an on and off button. Heat on or off. Just make it hot.
"HI" was pleasant but definitely not the hottest seat I've ever used. I would say it was more in the range of medium. The HI-LO button is on the inside of the seat near the seat belt fastener. Seems like a logical enough place to put it. But it makes it easy to forget to turn it off when you exit the car.
A few of you have asked me to put together a chart comparing all of the heated seats in the fleet. I've started to compile the info but it may take me a while to get through all of the cars. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, keep warm, or cool, whatever you prefer.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 856 miles
July 05, 2010
My ride for the holiday weekend was the Mitsubishi Outlander. I was staying local so I chose the only car in the fleet that is without air conditioning (temporarily).
The night of July 3rd had a strangely dramatic sky. The Pacific Ocean was very placid and the heavy marine layer was reflected in the water. Beautiful colors.