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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

Overview
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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

By

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 229 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

Overall-very satisfied.

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "love panoramic roof window, back-up camera, gas mi"

Cons: "Fuel door freezes up, gas cap hard to turn."

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

"Gas mileage is great since I run it in 2WD most of the year. Only problem has been the fuel door freezes up in winter. Have to pound on it to release and finally the door fell off. Didn't take more than a new spring to fix it. Will see this coming winter if it freezes up again. Also, I have trouble unscrewing the gas cap inside door. Takes all my strength to get it to turn. Usually have to have someone nearby turn it for me."

Needs more power small 4 cylinder engine.

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Warranty 60.000 miles"

Cons: "more horse power."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"You can hear the engine and the wind on long drives, needs more power. Otherwise it is reliable great on the snow here in PA, no mechanical issue great warranty, good for a small family and fun when you use the paddle shifters. Overall great car"

owner bought new/

By on Tuesday, May 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great gas mileage."

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

"Has blue tooth steering wheel phone. Equipped with lo-Jack. Aqua color exterior with grey interior. Roof rack, fold out rear load, can add 3rd seating. One Senior owner.seats fold flat for long loading. Windows cut glare."

Please Look Elsewhere

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I don't own this car

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Leather, Sound System, Sunroof"

Cons: "Very Weak Powertrain, Road Noise, Engine Noise"

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

"Test drove an 09 Outlander twice. The 4 cylinder whines like it is looking for a pacifier. The wind noise is horrible on highway. Seriously though, this engine and transmission combo is not refined at all. Its very slow, very loud, and it just does not shift very well. Gas mileage is also awful. 20-25mpg on a 4cyl? My dash said I was getting about 17mpg. That is horrendous. The only thing to like in this vehicle is the sound system, sunroof, and leather seats. The rest of the car is a Chevy Cavalier in disguise. Very primitive powertrain. Look elsewhere"

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Extremely pleased

By on Friday, March 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, very reliable, I enjoy driving it"

Cons: "Bluetooth is for phone only, not music."

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

"I bought this Outlander used 4 years ago. Did lots of research before deciding on the Outlander. I based my decision on customer reviews and price. Was surprised that the Outlander was far cheaper and had much better reviews than the likes of Murano's. I can honestly say this is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned, especially after putting 100,000 of my own miles on it. Only repairs have been the key fob (warranty covered it), a tie rod end and the blower motor resistor. Ride for me is very comfortable, especially considering the 18" low profile tires. The Rockford Fosgate sound system is amazing, and the 4 wheel drive is excellent. The past two winters here in West Michigan have brought loads of snow and I have easily drove 40 mph through 12 inches of snow with no pulling when hitting a deep pocket. Very good on the ice too. I have the 2.4l 4 cylinder, and I can't complain about acceleration for passing or take off. I am amazed at how well the 4 cylinder does in a larger vehicle, and I am a lead foot. Cargo space has been sufficient for me, moved a lot of stuff in this. Plan on driving this into the junkyard and pretty sure that will be several years from now, love it."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

a Great Value - tons of cargo, excellent MPG

By on Thursday, January 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "versatility, cargo space, MPG"

Cons: "comfortable but lackluster interior"

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

"The outlander has performed admirably on my long road trips (granted, its not the chushiest of interiors) as well as my excursions up and down mountain roads. It's not meant as an off-road vehicle, but its got just enough extra clearance to get me to my dirt-road camping spots. The little 4cyl does just fine on big hills and gives me 32 mpg highway / 28 mpg total average. I don't think there's another vehicle with that MPG that has space for my gear (camping / biking / dogs / backpacking / trips to Home Depot, Etc.). The price was right, but you can feel some of the lackluster materials inside. Overall - I'd buy it again in a heartbeat."

14 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?