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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.0

As one of the larger vehicles in its segment, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander strikes a satisfying balance between compact and mid-size SUVs. The Outlander differentiates itself from the competition with an array of optional tech features along with aggressive styling, generous cargo space and available seating for seven. While its bold exterior design can certainly talk the talk, the Mitsubishi Outlander also walks the walk thanks to a sport-tuned suspension system, lightweight aluminum roof and available all-wheel drive (AWD) with three driver-selectable modes.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a small SUV with one of the most spacious cargo areas in the category, an optional third-row seat and arguably the best all-wheel-drive system available for a non-luxury vehicle, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is worth your consideration.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Outlander returns adequate fuel economy figures, the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox and the all-new Mazda CX-5 deliver greater fuel efficiency. Furthermore, the Outlander’s taut suspension may be unsettling for drivers looking for a more relaxed, forgiving ride.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Mitsubishi Outlander adds a new ECO indicator light that illuminates when the vehicle is being driven at peak efficiency and shows you when your right foot is getting the upper hand. Additionally, Premium and Touring packages now integrates the backup camera display into the rearview mirror.

Driving the Outlander
Driving Impressions

On the road, the Mitsubishi Outlander's excellent steering and brake feel, sport-tuned suspension and supportive front seats deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will accommodate a range of...

... driving styles. And though many of its competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape can tackle road imperfections with greater poise, we found the Outlander’s lively handling characteristics to be worth the insignificant drop in ride quality. While the standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is right-sized for basic daily driving tasks, most will find the available 230-horsepower V6 is more accommodating to heavy loads and spirited driving. On the fuel economy front, 2012 Outlander GT models offer a unique piece of fuel-saving technology called Idle Neutral Logic that automatically shifts the transmission into neutral when the vehicle arrives at a complete stop.

Fuse Voice Recognition
Similar to Ford's voice-activated Sync system, Mitsubishi's Fuse allows voice control of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones for hands-free phone capability as well as streaming audio. The system also provides advanced voice recognition commands for iPods, including Genre, Artist, Album or Playlist.

Flap-Fold Liftgate
An SUV with an abundance of cargo space and fold-flat seating is great for large cumbersome objects, but a protruding rear bumper can make loading such cargo an aggravating experience. Every 2012 Outlander features a unique tailgate-style rear bumper that folds level with the cargo floor, making it easier to slide bulky objects in and out.

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Details
Interior

Inside the Mitsubishi Outlander is a clean layout with distinguishable controls and plentiful storage space. With the rear seats folded, the Outlander can accommodate nearly 73 cubic feet of cargo – comparable to the class-leading Toyota RAV4. The Outlander’s versatile interior offers a variety of configurations for occupants and their gear, including a 60/40 split/fold-flat rear seat with a sliding function for enhanced passenger comfort and a small, yet handy, stowable third-row seat for SE and GT trims. The Outlander’s principal shortcoming would be the ES and SE model’s abundance of hard plastics and flat surfaces that emit a budget feel when compared to competitors like the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and the new Ford Escape.

Exterior

The 2012 Outlander commands a much larger presence than most vehicles in this category, led by its "jet fighter"-inspired trapezoidal grille and bulging fender arches. LED taillights and available xenon headlights (standard on GT trims) help communicate a level of refinement while GT models enhance the Outlander’s athletic demeanor with a pair of chrome exhaust tips and a black-out front bumper insert. The wheel lineup ranges from the ES grade’s 16-inch steel wheels to the 18-inch 7-spoke alloys found on SE and GT models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is offered in three trims: ES, SE and GT. Standard across the board is rear privacy glass, LED taillights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 60/40 split/fold-flat second-row seat and auto-off headlights. SE models add magnesium paddle shifters, 18-inch alloy wheels, a Fast Key entry and starting system – the key fob never needs to leave your pocket or bag – and a fold-flat third-row seat. The range-topping GT models add a 230-horsepower V6 engine, xenon headlights that are up to three times brighter than conventional halogen bulbs, and automatic climate control. Safety features include six airbags, active front head restraints and a reinforced body structure for enhanced collision protection.

Optional Equipment

All Outlander trims offer an available 40GB hard drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones, and Mitsubishi’s Fuse voice recognition system. SE and GT models offer all-wheel drive, a rear backup camera, a power tilt/slide moonroof, and a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with a 10-inch subwoofer. The GT’s exclusive Touring Package includes leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Under the Hood

Mitsubishi provides a choice of a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing, or a more powerful 230-horsepower V6. Despite the Outlander GT’s fuel-saving Neutral Idle Control feature, ES and SE models and their 4-cylinder powerplants deliver an observable increase in fuel economy over the V6. The 4-cylinder engine drives through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) while the V6 is fitted to a manually selectable 6-speed automatic accompanied by steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Outlander ES and SE
2.4-liter inline-4
168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
167 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/27 mpg (AWD)

Outlander GT
3.0-liter V6
230 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
215 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (front-wheel drive), 19/25 mpg (AWD)

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2012 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."

3 people out of 3 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."

22 people out of 34 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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