By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 5.9
The compact SUV segment is a tough place to earn a paycheck, especially with long-established players such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 roaming freely. But, if you're not one to go with the flow, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV is an alluring prospect. Subtle styling, an impressive list of available features, and a tenacious all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that includes varying modes for differing off-road conditions help elevate the Outlander above more basic compact SUVS, as does a sub-$25,000 starting price. On the downside, the Outlander's 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines are not the most powerful in the class, and Mitsubishi's limited dealer network might make servicing and warranty work difficult in more remote regions.
If you're looking for a compact SUV with the ability to transport more than five passengers, venture off-road and offer a long list of cutting-edge audio and safety technology options, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander is worth considering. Mitsubishi's 10-year/100,000-mile warranty should help seal the deal.
If power, refinement and resale value are among your top priorities, you'll be better off in a Subaru Outback, Nissan Rogue or Kia Sorento. A limited dealer network may also be a drawback, especially in more rural areas.
Mitsubishi's Outlander for 2015 gets a number of upgrades. All trims now include FUSE hands-free linked audio with USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth phone connectivity, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. SE trims get new leatherette and cloth seating, while the GT gains new aluminum-alloy wheels, LED taillights and silver roof rails.
Driving Impressions The 2015 Outlander offers a choice between a 166-horsepower 4-cylinder or 224-horsepower V6. Unfortunately, the Outlander's V6 isn't all that powerful, and in back-to-back runs, we didn't feel much of...... a difference in either passing power or acceleration between the two powerplants. We think it speaks more to the superiority of 4-cylinder's CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) than any weakness in the V6/6-speed-automatic combo. However, for those regularly carrying passengers or towing more than 1,500 pounds, the V6 is the clear choice. We found the Outlander's steering nicely weighted, but its overall handling lags behind competitors such as the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape. A comfortable cruiser, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander feels especially at home on the highway, bolstering driver confidence with its available lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control. Off road, the S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) system allows for confident adventuring over a variety of terrains.
ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES
While you can find SUVs with features like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance, they are usually luxury brands. The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander breaks that mold, with systems that work seamlessly to keep you safe.
IMPRESSIVE AUDIO SYSTEM
Great road trips demand great road tunes, and what better way to listen to them than through an available 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system with a bass inducing 10-inch subwoofer. The unit includes Dolby Volume, a system that analyzes incoming music and evens out sound levels across devices.
All 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs have seating for seven across three rows, although the flat-folding 3rd-row seat is rather small. With the rear seat in place, there isn't much room for cargo. However, folding all rear seats creates over 63 cubic feet of room, less than the Nissan Rogue's 70 cubic feet, but still respectable. Up front, the dash and controls are clean and simple, but rather plain. The "soft-touch" dash materials are just barely that. Base ES models are even drabber, with dead spots taking the place of buttons reserved for higher trims. The available fake wood trim works, but the faux carbon-fiber accents don't.Exterior
The 2015 Outlander compact crossover SUV departs from Mitsubishi's aggressive styling in favor of a theme defined by curves, not angles. We find it somewhat vanilla, but likely less polarizing. Traditionalists will miss the original model's split-opening liftgate, replaced last year with a more traditional but less useful one-piece unit. The tradeoff offers ease in its own right with optional power opening and closing. Most trims include roof rails for added cargo-carrying capacity, and the 8.5-inches of ground clearance to ensure that the Outlander can tackle deep snow or off-road obstacles with ease.
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in three trims: ES, SE and GT. Base ES models come with automatic climate control, keyless entry, a 140-watt AM/FM/CD FUSE audio system, Bluetooth, and 16-inch steel wheels. SE and GT models come much better equipped with heated front seats, a color information screen, 18-inch wheels, a touch-based audio system and dual-zone climate control. Those two higher trims also receive a standard backup camera. GT models come with all-wheel drive and a V6 engine in place of the 4-cylinder, rain-sensing wipers, and paddles for manual shifting. All 2015 Outlanders carry Mitsubishi's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Among the more impressive options available in the 2015 Outlander are its forward-collision mitigation system and lane-departure warning, two advanced safety features that can help prevent an accident. Thankfully, you don't have to buy a pricier top-end GT model to obtain these features – they are available in the mid-level SE trim, bundled in the Touring Package. The package also includes navigation, a power driver's seat, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, and a power tailgate. Music lovers will enjoy the punch of the available 710-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system with nine speakers and a built-in subwoofer.
Outlander ES and SE models use a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and powers either the front wheels or all four. The fuel-efficient engine runs on regular unleaded and has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The Outlander GT uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 224 horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive. That more powerful engine uses premium gasoline and has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. All Outlanders are equipped with automatic transmissions, either a CVT in 4-cylinder versions or a 6-speed automatic when equipped with the V6.
2.4-liter inline-4 (ES, SE, SE S-AWC)
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 25/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 24/29 mpg (all-wheel drive)
3.0-liter V6 (GT)
224 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
214 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 20/28 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a base 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander ES starts just under $24,000. Better-equipped SE models start around $25,000, and V6-powered GT trims start closer to $29,000. A top-of-the-line Outlander GT with the Touring package that includes safety features like automatic braking can reach $35,000. Compared with the Outlander's closest competitor, the Kia Sorento, the Mitsubishi's starting price is more than $1,000 less. The larger Dodge Journey, meanwhile, starts around $21,000. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander. In terms of resale value, the Outlander has traditionally held up well with residuals on par with or even better than the Sorento, better than the Dodge Journey, but below 5-passenger crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
By Storm on Sunday, August 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, quality, warranty, space, engineering"
Cons: "Need to keeps RPM up to get a lot of power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had a prior relationship with the dealer from when they sold SAAB cars so I wanted to check out their new line. Very glad I did, traded my 9-7X SUV for a Outlander GT 4 x 4 and really like the car a lot. It does everything you need and continues to surprise me with it's engineering quality. I am averaging 24 MPG without using ECO mode and I don't drive to save fuel so I bet 26-28 is possible. The room is better than expected, lots of headroom, sunroof is nice, and leg room is great. At first it makes you feel like it's not powerful enough to make it fun to drive but I have learned it's actually very fast if the RPM's are kept up a little. Kind of like riding a sport bike vs. a v-twin, just a different type of motor. Initial quality has been great, no issues to report after a month and 3000 miles. It's hard to beat the vehicle, warranty, and price paid. If anyone is looking for a small to midsize SUV/crossover they should take a look that the Outlander before they buy another brand."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By mitsuninja on Monday, August 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Untrendy design - Great Gas Mileage - Quality"
Cons: "Nav & Stereo limited when driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned a Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Scion and a couple of Kias - this is my favorite car to date. I was originally looking at the Forester, but I just couldn't get past the fact that it looks and feels less like an SUV than a car - and I wanted something "trucky". I hadn't thought of Mitsubishi and before going to the Subaru dealer, checked out their website and saw the Outlander. Love the design - it's sleek and sporty and compared to most of the competition these days, with designs that are nice but trendy, this vehicle's looks will still look good 5-10 years from now. I have the SE, AWD with every feature. The 4 cylinder and CVT are actually awesome - it's not some 700hp monster, but I've never had any problem going as fast as I want to. Handling is great, gas mileage is great (avg 27mpg). Third row is small, but I wanted something where I could drive a couple of extra people to the movies now and then -nothing more - and it works. Adults wouldn't want to spend more than a couple of hours back there, but that's typical for the compact class with third rows. The 710 watt Rockford Fosgate stereo is literally amazing. Turning up the bass turns the seats into massage chairs! (no charge feature people!) Literally my only complaint is that you can't use all of the features of the electronics system when you are driving. In my opinion, if they can tell that someone is sitting in the passenger's seat to determine whether or not to activate the airbag - they should be able to allow the passenger to use those features, even when the car is in motion. I know this isn't Mitsu's fault, but the over-protective lawyers who have to prevent us citizens from lodging extraneous court cases when we wreck our cars while distracted by the stereo.... That's it - love it. Definitely recommend this car - and this will likely not be the only Mitsubishi I buy."
12 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Maymee00 on Friday, August 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, seating for 7 and good MPG"
Cons: "Does not have fast acceleration"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was in need of a new vehicle. I researched for about 2 years before finally making a choice. When I originally began looking I really wanted the Mazda Cx-5. However, in the meantime had a child. I tend to keep my vehicles for a longtime and thought having the ability to seat 7 could be very convenient for me. So therefore, I started at looking at SUV's that seat 7. Gas mileage and price were major factors for me. I looked at the Dodge Journey but was concerned about the increased price (3rd row is optional) and lower gas mileage. I have owned several Mitsubishi's over the years and they have always been my favorite vehicles. It did not take me long after seeing the 2014 Outlander in person to decide to purchase it. My only regrets are not getting Sirius and Navigation. I initially wanted to go cheap and get a base model but was offered a wonderful deal on my car and it was cheaper than the base model blue I originally wanted. Some of the features that I would not have anticipated liking or relying on so much are the push start and back-up camera. The car does not have fast acceleration ability, especially with eco mode on but I have drove vehicles with much worse. It is able to get out in traffic when needed. Additionally, when the 3rd row is up there is no room in the cargo area. I would consider getting the luggage rack option if you plan on using the 3rd row frequently and will need to also carry stuff."
11 people out of 18 found this review helpful