2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review
By KBB.com Editors
What's New for 2010
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 2010 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. With fresh new styling gracing the entire line, as well as the addition of a new GT model, combined with available features that include a hard drive-based navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, 710-watt audio system, voice-activated phone and iPod interface and keyless entry and start, its hard to overlook all this compact SUV has to offer. Like the 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 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander is further distinguished by a combination of energetic driving dynamics and real off-road venturing capability.
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 GT isn't one to turn its nose up at a little enthusiastic driving, it's still not as sporty as the Mazda CX-7.
For 2010, Mitsubishi restyles the Outlander with a prominent "jet fighter" front grille taken from the Lancer and Evo; also new are the hood, front fenders, mirrors, rear quarter panels, tail lamps and wheel designs. A new trim, the GT, features Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) that includes an Active Front Differential and three all-wheel-drive mode settings: Tarmac, Snow and Lock.
Driving the Outlander
While the sportiest crossovers on the market can actually encourage spirited driving, the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander tends to simply tolerate such frivolity. Still, that's enough to qualify it as livelier...
than most. The new GT trim offers the most fun-to-drive experience, with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that allows for true off-road adventuring. We experienced the Outlander's impressive off-road credentials in the sand dunes outside Palm Springs, California, where the Outlander had no problem traversing the most perilous inclines and deep sand pits. On the road, the Outlander's 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.
FUSE Voice Activated Control
Similar to Ford's SYNC system, Mitsubishi's FUSE allows voice command of Bluetooth enabled cell phones, as well as streaming audio. The system also provides for automatic phonebook transfer and iPod voice command by Genre, Artist, Album or Playlist.
S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control)
Available only on the GT, this impressive all-wheel drive system employs an Active Front Differential and an electronically controlled center differential system, which distribute power both front to rear and left to right at the front wheels. Selectable modes for "Tarmac, Snow, or Lock" provide full-time traction during any weather situation.
2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Details
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 and GT can slide and recline their way to maximum comfort. Well-bolstered front seats and a new imitation leather dash pad help soften the Outlander's interior, while a very modern instrument panel with a technical aspect to its appearance further the Outlander's more vigorous, even athletic demeanor.
The 2010 Outlander commands a much larger presence than most vehicles in this category, led off by its new "jet fighter" inspired grille. LED tail lamps and available HID headlamps (standard on GT) 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 and GT models can be identified by their chrome side sills, chrome exhaust tips and unique 18-inch alloy wheels; the GT goes a step further with a blacked-out front bumper cover.
Standard equipment included on the base Outlander ES includes air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, remote keyless entry, auto on/off headlamps, 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, steering wheel mounted audio and cruise control buttons 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 the FUSE hands-free link system with voice control of phone and iPod. The GT adds the S-AWC all-wheel drive system, xenon HID headlamps, nine-speaker 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio, Hill Start Assist and a power glass sunroof.
The Outlander's premium-like list of optional equipment is, for the most part, in packages, and includes leather seats, heated seats, a sunroof, FUSE hands-free phone and iPod interface, 40 gigabyte hard drive-based navigation with Real Time Traffic and rear backup camera, third-row seat, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, FAST Key keyless entry and start, 710-Watt Rockford Fosgate audio system, rain sensing wipers, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and an auxiliary audio input jack.
Under the Hood
The 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 and provide adequate power with modestly 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, three-mode four-wheel drive (FWD, 4WD Auto, 4WD Lock) or Super-All Wheel Control (permanent all-wheel drive with variable power distribution), all with electronic traction control. Towing capacity is rated at up to 3,500 pounds.
2.4-liter in-line four
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
161 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (PZEV)
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4100 rpm (PZEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 (2WD), 21/25 (4WD)
230 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
215 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 (2WD), 18/24 (4WD)
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