2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Long Term Road Test - Interior

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Long Term Road Test

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Maplight Burnout

May 25, 2011


We took our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT in for service last week. At the time we asked the dealer to look at the driver side maplight. It didn't want to illuminate every time we called upon it. So when our advisor told us they couldn't repeat the problem we weren't really surprised.

Guess what? The problem remains. We will add it to the list for our next visit.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 17,701 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Smuggling Baby Chicks

May 13, 2011

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[Revised: Sorry, the entry was originally mistitled -- This is the Outlander GT, not the Sport.]

On the way to school this morning, my 7-year old daughter said, "Daddy, why does it sound like there are baby chicks in the car? They're saying 'chirp-chirp...'"

I told her that was a very good question, but only after returning did I bust out the camera and find them.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Real Utes Have Tailgates

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

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Is This Thing On?

May 05, 2011


This past weekend I decided to stop giving my friends the finger and actually help them get from one place to another. On this lovely warm spring day however, it was the Outlander GT that gave my friends the finger.

After being parked in direct sunlight, the inside of the Outlander was understandably a little warm. But after piling back into the GT, we were greeted by the most indifferent air conditioning I've seen since the 80's.

After a few minutes, the comments came fast and fierce.

"Hey! How about some a/c back here *******?!"

"Hey ******, the a/c button is in the middle."

"I hate you."

The comment that summed it up best, likened the a/c to "a cool, humid fart"

I was confused. On the way to pick up these charity cases - driving on the freeway - the a/c worked fine. But in the city, and under load, it just couldn't keep up. Of course after I dropped off these meatheads - and got back on the freeway - the a/c almost froze itself solid.

Maybe the GT just didn't like my friends.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 16,702 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Worse Than Economy Flight Seats?

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

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Back Seat

February 16, 2011

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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

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Out the Window

January 18, 2011


We've had a few warm days in a row to remind us that we live in sunny California. But look at the pollution in the air. Normally, the weekly build-up clears out after the weekend. That's why I live in the South Bay. It's a natural air cleansing machine. I can usually breathe better than when I lived further inland. But it seems this weekend Mother Nature could not keep up.

Beautiful shining ocean, lovely blue sky, seagulls on the sand and a big brown band of smog. Cough cough.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 11,940 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: I Want INT

January 12, 2011


LOL. WTF. BBQ. Any of those would do just fine in describing what the Outlander GT's windshield wipers do when you drop them down a notch into AUTO mode. AUTO, however, would not be one of them. At first, they appear to be speed sensitive, or even rain sensitive, but those theories get tossed the second the wipers go momentarily insane while you're stopped at a traffic light and it's barely raining.

On my list, windshield wipers are one step above headlights as something that if you don't know when to use them, like when it's raining or when it gets dark, you need to sell your car and take the bus. But if they work, fine. At least they work. Imagine if your automatic headlights turned themselves on an off randomly during the night, occasionally fluttering their high beams - that's what the GT's wipers are like in this AUTO mode.

What was wrong with INT? It doesn't even have to be adjustable, just as long as the wipers work consistently and don't distract me. For the rest of the time in the GT, I alternated between LOW and HIGH, just like I have for the past 20 years of driving, and I did just fine.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 11,823 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander vs Mom's Honda CR-V

November 30, 2010

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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.

Well, she liked the way it looks, though disagrees that her CR-V is anything other than charming. She thought the Mitsu's engine sounded gutless, though agreed that it was indeed quicker than her car after I floored the Mitsu. She agreed with me that the Mitsu's seats were better -- both in terms of comfort and adjustability. However, she ultimately didn't like how much higher and bulky the dashboard is. My mother doesn't like feeling enclosed in a car and enjoys a nice airy cabin, and the CR-V not only has a brighter greenhouse, but its dash is designed in a way the reduces visual bulk. I don't know, it's weird, but I think it stems from her 1990 Integra days.

How do I think they compare? Well, I know that the CR-V's engine is gutless by comparison. There's just so little low-end power -- the car just makes (admittedly smooth) noises and nothing much happens. Then there's the staggering road noise even on smooth roads at meager speed. I would never want to take a road trip in the CR-V, because listening to the tires roar for hours on end would get old quickly. The Outlander generates a lot of wind noise around its bigger mirrors, but in comparison to the CR-V, it's a tomb -- well, if the tomb had a snake in its dash and a horribly squeaking third-row "seat." Of course, the CR-V's interior is vastly more sophisticated, refined and of a higher quality.

My mom wasn't about to trade in her CR-V, but I'd personally take the Mitsu's engine, seats and its quieter (well, sorta) cabin.

Which would you take?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor (and his mom) @ 9,855 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander: Average Road-Trip Seats

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.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander: Back Road Out of Vegas

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.


Eventually, I made peace with the six-speed automatic transmission, too. Apart from its indecisiveness on steady uphill grades, it does OK. It shifts smoothly under full throttle, and I like having the full manual mode, especially on back roads.

I'm really a fan of the 3.0-liter V6, too. More so than just about any other engine in the compact crossover SUV segment, its size, power and torque characteristics really suit this type of vehicle. There's enough torque for just about any situation, and the engine is smooth and sporty-sounding at high rpm. (I can't say that about any of the four-cylinders in this segment, save for maybe the small handful of turbo motors, and I've always felt like the big 3.5-liter V6 in the Toyota RAV4 overwhelms its chassis.)

Of course, the naturally-aspirated V6 began to feel strained by about 7,000 feet. Said lethargy made for more work on the easternmost stretch of California Highway 120 (which heads west from U.S. 6), as I didn't have much to work with as I accelerated out of tight turns. And the turns really are quite tight, so even a relatively sporty crossover like the Outlander isn't a great deal of fun here. A lighter car with a lower ride height, less body roll and quicker turn-in would be a better choice for this route. But you already knew that.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Sightlines

October 25, 2010


A few weeks back, I noted that I thought the Outlander's seats were too tall for my tastes. Compounding that issue is the feeling that the dash is too low. This weekend, I felt like I had to look down entirely too far to check the gauges or adjust the climate control. This morning, I decided to fix it in Photoshop (I doubt my superiors would appreciate me breaking out the sawzall and bondo). Click through to see the results.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Crazy Wipers

October 20, 2010


Our 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander is equipped with rain-sensing automatic wipers. Push up on the stalk to sweep the window once. One notch down puts on the auto wipers and you can supposedly adjust the frequency by turning a dial on the stalk. Push one more notch to turn them on regular, one more and you get double time.

The weird thing is, when you put them on auto, nothing happens. You'd think they would at least sweep once to let you know they are on duty. As I was driving the window was getting pretty wet and yet nothing from the wipers. I tried adjusting the frequency, nothing. I had to clear the window myself. But then later when the rain stopped, the wipers started going double time. This happened over and over. They do whatever they want whenever they want.

When they do work, the blades are still fresh and clean the window well. The arms give you good coverage. The rear wiper cleans well, too. But the automatic feature, not so good.

Does anyone else have an Outlander? Do your wipers work the same way?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2010 Mitsu Outlander: Snakes in the Vent, Mice in the Trunk

October 19, 2010

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There's something going on with our Outlander's climate control. It sounds like there's a snake living in the left-center air vent, hissing at sporadic moments. Sometimes it happens at idle, sometime it happens when accelerating, sometimes it happens when lifting off the throttle, sometimes it happens when turning up the air flow or turning down the air flow. It rarely happens when I play The Greatest Hits of the Pungi. In other words, there's no set cause/effect.

In the off chance there is in fact a serpent living behind the dash, perhaps he gets riled because there seems to be a bunch of mice in the trunk. Perhaps its the third-row seat jiggling about in all its useless glory, but be it mice or men-unfriendly seating, it squeeks ALL THE TIME.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Adjustable Second Row

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.

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: The Scent of Sport

September 30, 2010

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It seems to be a little hard to get people to believe that the Mitsubishi Outlander's interior has that sport coupe thing, despite the chrome accents, shift paddles on the steering wheel and nicely bolstered seats. Ours is all black, so maybe it's hard to see. Maybe if we had tan seats like this Outlander, we'd be more open-minded.

I still think there's a big difference between the Outlander GT and its competition in this segment of compact SUVs. Most of the other choices, as soon as you open the door you're overwhelmed by the scent of dirty diapers. None of that family values deal in the Outlander GT, though.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 5,694 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Keeping It Clean

September 14, 2010

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I kinda dig the clean look of the Outlander's center stack. Everything's laid out in a very intuitive way, and there isn't even a hint of clutter.

As you can see, though, a couple of things were sacrificed to achieve this result: tuning and volume control knobs. I favor knobs over buttons for those functions -- I find 'em more user-friendly.

What about you? Buttons or knobs? In this age in which many cars offer drivers the chance to preset up to a zillion of their favorite stations, maybe a tuning knob isn't so necessary after all.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 4,771 miles

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Third Row is Rickety

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

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander: Sunvisor Pet Peeve

September 10, 2010


This is just a nitpick, but sunvisors that don't telescope or have extenders when positioned to the side window bug me. (The Outlander's don't.) Without this feature, a low sun often ends up in a position that the visor doesn't cover, thereby meaning that I have a distracting sun blazing away at my head.

For an automaker, I can't believe that a sliding visor is prohibitively expensive -- seriously, like $5 or $10 more? Given the payoff, I think it's well worth it.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander: The Interior Makeover

September 03, 2010


In my last Outlander post I noted how the vehicle's sales numbers were well off the pace of other crossover SUVs like the CR-V and RAV4. Of course, there are a lot of factors behind this. From the product side, though, I think the Outlander is at its weakest when it comes to interior design. To help Mitsu out, I've put my automotive product planner hat on and come up with three interior makeover items that would be of the most benefit to the Outlander.

1) A telescoping steering wheel; this would improve the driver positioning and make it more comfortable for more people. 2) A more intuitive navigational head unit; enough already with the cryptic menus and lack of a volume knob. 3) A third-row seat that's solidly built and easy to raise; right now the Outlander's seat seems as if it was the spawn of a cantankerous sleeper sofa and a hammock.

It must be tough for Mitsubishi, who no doubt is way behind in development and marketing budgets compared to the heavies like Honda, Hyundai and Toyota. Even little things like I listed above are enough of a reason for somebody to skip over the Outlander. It's sort of a case where being good still isn't good enough. Then again, the items I listed should hopefully be pretty easy to fix, too.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT: Heated Seat Report

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

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Past Long-Term Road Tests