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The Mitsubishi Outlander is all-new for 2014 with a fresh exterior and interior, improved fuel economy, and available safety features that include lane-departure warning and automatic braking. Gone is the past Outlander's innovative 2-piece tailgate design, replaced by a traditional liftgate with optional power operation.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is in its final year of production before a major redesign so changes for 2013 are limited to feature offerings. Heated outside mirrors and front seats, Sirius/XM satellite radio, automatic climate control, the FUSE voice-operated command system and a rear-seat DVD player become available, depending on trim.
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.
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.
Big changes for the relatively new Outlander include a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with CVT automatic transmission on ES trim levels (replacing the standard V6), heated side mirrors on four-wheel-drive models and a keyless remote fob for the ES trim. LS and XLS trims receive an auxiliary audio input jack, while XLS trims receive new 18-inch wheels. The sliding second-row seat feature has been deleted from ES and LS trims.
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.