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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander

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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

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It seems fairly obvious that if you build a vehicle with the right looks, the right equipment and the right price, success is sure to follow. That's the case with the Mitsubishi Outlander, a phenomenal crossover SUV with an impressive list of standard and available equipment unmatched by anything in its class. Sharing its platform with the Lancer sedan (and the hot-performing Evo sport variant) the sporty Outlander sets new standards in refinement and performance. Combined with available features that include a hard drive-based navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 650-watt audio system, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface and keyless entry and start, it wouldn't have been surprising if Mitsubishi had also given its compact crossover a new name. Like the latest Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe, the Outlander also offers a small, "just in case" third-row seat.

You'll Like This Car If...

Arguably the most tech-savvy vehicle in the category, the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander is further distinguished by a combination of energetic driving dynamics and an available third-row seat.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you'll be using a third-row seat with any regularity, you'll definitely want something bigger. While the stable and confident Outlander isn't one to turn its nose up at a little enthusiastic driving, it's not as sporty as the Mazda CX-7, for instance.

What's New for 2009

A third-row seat is now offered on the four-cylinder SE trim, while a backup camera is added to the XLS' available navigation system. Rain sensing wipers and auto on/off headlamps are added to the available Luxury Package.

Driving the Outlander
Driving Impressions

While the sportiest crossovers on the market can actually encourage spirited driving, the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander tends to simply tolerate such frivolity. Still, that's enough to qualify it as livelier...

... than most. Excellent steering and brake feel, a well-tuned suspension and supportive front seats combine to deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will accommodate a range of driving styles. Even when we had to use all the available horsepower to do so, the Outlander never had trouble merging or passing. Not surprisingly, we had the most fun in the most expensive model – a four-wheel-drive XLS – which seems to handle corners more responsively than front-wheel-drive models and includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

40-Gigabyte Hard Drive
The Outlander's hard drive-based navigation system is refreshingly quicker and more responsive than more common DVD-based units. It also allows you to store up to six gigabytes of digital music.

Keyless Entry and Start
The available FAST Key system lets you unlock and start the Outlander without even touching the key/transmitter.

2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Details
2009 Mitsubishi Outlander photo Interior

By several measurements, the Outlander's available third-row seating area is the smallest in the category. For a group trip that includes one or two kids, however, that extra capacity is enough to turn a two-car convoy into a single-vehicle jaunt. By collapsing flat into the cargo floor when not in use, it's basically a "why not?" feature. For their parts, second-row passengers in the XLS can slide and recline their way to maximum comfort. Well-bolstered front seats and a very modern instrument panel with a technical aspect to its appearance further the new Outlander's more vigorous, even athletic demeanor.

Exterior

The second-generation Outlander commands a much larger presence than most vehicles in this category. LED taillamps and available HID headlamps help communicate the new level of refinement, while an innovative "flap-fold" two-piece tailgate – with a bottom section that folds level with an already low load floor – provides for easy cargo loading and unloading. It also functions well as a bench or table for outdoor activities. The wheel lineup ranges from 16-inch steel wheels to 18-inch alloys, and top-line XLS models can be identified by chrome-plated door handles, side sills and grille bar, plus dual exhaust outlets.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment included on the base Outlander ES includes air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, engine immobilizer and an AM/FM/CD/CD-MP3 audio system. Standard safety equipment includes Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), anti-lock brakes (ABS) and front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags. The SE trim adds fog lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio and the FAST Key entry system, while the top-line XLS trim tosses in a the 3.0-liter V6 engine, Sportronic shift paddles, automatic climate control, six-disc CD changer and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Optional Equipment

The Outlander's premium-like list of optional equipment is, for the most part, in packages, and includes leather seats, heated seats, a sunroof, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, 40 gigabyte hard drive-based navigation with rear backup camera, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, FAST Key keyless entry and start, 650-Watt Rockford Fosgate audio system, auto on/off headlamps, rain sensing wipers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and an auxiliary audio input.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander's 3.0-liter V6 isn't the most powerful in the category, but, by generating 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,000 rpm, it's responsive around town. The base 2.4-liter engine and CVT transmission help reduce the price, but seem to sacrifice a good deal of power for not much better fuel economy. Power is routed to the wheels via a manually selectable six-speed automatic transmission with available steering column-mounted paddle shifters. The Outlander is available in front-wheel drive or three-mode four-wheel drive (FWD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Lock), both with electronic traction control. Towing capacity is rated at up to 3,500 pounds.

2.4-liter in-line four
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 (2WD), 20/25 (4WD)

3.0-liter V6
220 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
204 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (2WD), 17/23 (4WD)

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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 239 Ratings for the 2007 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great Value for a Crossover

By on Thursday, June 9, 2016

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great bang for your buck, reliable"

Cons: "Noisy cabin, interior has too much plastic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"My parents bought a 2009 Outlander new. They got the base model since my dad is not a fan of paying more for extra features; "More things to go wrong" he always says. It's now mid-2016 and they still have the Outlander. It has been great and only routine maintenance has been done to it. I ended up driving it for a year while in college and my friends all thought it was a solid car. I would get about 23mpg which is great for a crossover. The biggest issue we have with the car is that it is a little too noisy in the cabin when you're on the highway. The interior also feels a bit too plastic. It has over 70,000 miles on it now and it feels like it could easily go another 70,000. I recommend the Outlander to anyone looking for a crossover or SUV that is light on the wallet and very reliable."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A great used-car value

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Fun to drive for a CUV, and extremely reliable."

Cons: "Somewhat noisy cabin, subpar gas mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought my 4WD XLS (the fully loaded version with navigation and premium sound) used in 2010. Mitsubishis tend to depreciate faster than most vehicles, so I've found it to be a great value. Picked it up with 30,000 miles and thousands off the new price and have had barely any issues with it after another 90,000 or so miles. In 4WD, it handles great in snow (provided you put decent tires on it), it's reliable and is relatively rare, so you're not like every other RAV4 and CRV driver on the road. The third-row seat is much criticized, but it does the trick for younger kids when you need room for that 6th and 7th passenger (mine actually like riding back there). The handling is tight, and there is good feedback from the steering. I like the way it drives for what it is -- a CUV. My only issues with it in six years of ownership: It had an oil pan gasket leak, which was replaced under warranty; a fender liner in the front cracked and destroyed itself (there's a service bulletin out about this issue); and the gas mileage with the V6 is pretty crummy. I can barely muster 22 mpg on the highway not exceeding speed limits, and it's worse in city driving. That said, I do have a Yakima roof rack on it, so that's probably not helping. Also, it's not the quietest cabin as far as road noise is concerned. It could definitely use some more soundproofing. The carpet, in fact, could barely be called carpet. It's more like cardboard with some fiber glued to it. Underneath that is literally white styrofoam panels. That said, I have no plans to retire this car in the near future. I expect to get 150,000 or more miles from it before trading. The only things I've spent money on for this car are routine -- transmission fluid and oil changes; tires; brakes; and timing belt at 105k."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

One of the best but not so popular SUV: 2008XLS

By on Sunday, March 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Stylish, fuel efficiency, powerful, not pricy"

Cons: "I wish ground clearance was higher"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the best but not so popular SUV: I’m super happy with my 2008 Outlander XLS. Stylish, fuel efficient, powerful enough for most common driving conditions, fairly low maintenance cost"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Excellent value for the money.

By on Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Roomy, economical, good looking, affordable."

Cons: "Third row seat of limited use."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car has met or exceeded expectations. Hard to believe it is the same overall size as the CR-V. Feels much larger. V6 provides plenty of punch. Would prefer less torque in the steering, especially when passing, but the engine and transmission are generally well mated. Third row seat is oversold; useful only for small people. Tailgate helps in loading heavy items. Overall, love it."

21 people out of 33 found this review helpful

great ride

By on Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Milege, comfort,"

Cons: "Needs a little better insulation from road noise."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"When I changed from the original tires to a bit fatter, the ride improved from truck to car (sound and ride). Seems to be underrated by the pro reviewers. Get a true 22.5 mpg in city and 28 on the hwy. Third seat is sort of a joke - for small kids only. Tows trailer with ease. Might shift down a little too much during hill climbing. Interior is only OK. Absolutely no mechanical problems so far. Sound system good, handling good, driving easy. Too expensive to update GPS"

6 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Reliable, nimble, all arounder

By on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reliable, value, power, utility"

Cons: "road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned my outlander for 5 years now and I am so happy I purchased it years ago. It's only in the shop for routine maintenance, it has a fabulous engine that MOOVES and the drop down tail-gate has come in handy for countless grocery runs, camping trips, and neighborhood chats. It is not the most soundless cabin and the interior is definitely has economy finishes but if you are looking for an incredibly reliable, hardworking car with moderate comfort and the pickup and go you need to navigate crowded highways, then the mitsubishi outlander is the right car for you."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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