2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

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2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

By KBB.com Editors

KBB Expert Rating: 5.9

As one of the larger vehicles in its segment, the 2013 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 (if snug) seating for seven. Its mechanicals allow the Outlander to fulfill the promise of its bold exterior design: a sport-tuned suspension system, lightweight aluminum roof and available all-wheel drive (AWD) with three driver-selectable modes help deliver a sporting, dynamic driving experience unusual among small SUVs.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are looking for a compact SUV with one of the most spacious cargo areas in the category, an optional third-row seat and arguably the best AWD system this side of the luxury segment, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander may be the one.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Outlander returns adequate fuel-economy figures, the Hyundai Tucson, Chevrolet Equinox and the Mazda CX-5 do better. Furthermore, the Outlander's taut suspension may be unsettling for drivers expecting a more relaxed, accommodating ride.

What's New for 2013

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.

Driving the Outlander
Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander's excellent steering and brake feel, sport-tuned suspension and supportive front seats deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will suit many driving...

... styles. And though many of its competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape can absorb road imperfections with greater poise, the Outlander's lively handling characteristics are worth the small trade-off in ride quality. While the standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is right-sized for basic daily driving tasks, most buyers will prefer the available 230-horsepower V6 for heavy loads and spirited driving. 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.

Similar to Ford's voice-activated Sync system, Mitsubishi's FUSE allows voice control of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones for hands-free calling capability as well as streaming audio. The system also manages voice commands for iPods, including Genre, Artist, Album or Playlist.

An SUV with good cargo space and fold-flat seating is great for accommodating cumbersome objects, but a protruding rear bumper can complicate the loading. Every 2013 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.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Details

Inside the Mitsubishi Outlander is a clean layout with clear, functional controls and plentiful storage space. With the rear seats folded, the Outlander provides nearly 73 cubic feet of cargo space. The versatile interior offers a variety of configurations for occupants and their gear, thanks to a 60/40 split/fold-flat rear seat that slides fore and aft and (on SE and GT trims) a small yet handy stowable third-row seat. The Outlander's principal shortcoming is the stark, hard-plastic surfaces in the ES and SE models. They could charitably be called Spartan or functional but they just look low-budget.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander photo

The 2013 Outlander looks bigger than it is, with a stronger presence than most vehicles in this category. Credit 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 step up the Outlander's athletic demeanor with a pair of chrome exhaust tips and a black-out front-bumper insert that makes the big grille look bigger still. The wheel lineup ranges from the ES's 16-inch steel wheels to the 18-inch 7-spoke alloys found on SE and GT models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 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 folding 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 and automatic climate control. Safety features include six airbags and active front head restraints.

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 a technically sophisticated AWD system, a rearview 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

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander offers the choice of a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with variable valve timing (ES and SE trims), or a more powerful 230-horsepower V6 (GT). 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. The base ES trim comes in 2-wheel drive (2WD) only while both SE and GT trims can be had with either 2WD or AWD. Regardless of powertrain, the Outlander runs well and has a spirited, sporty feel, though fuel efficiency is only about average for the category. The 3.0 V6 in the Outlander GT has a Neutral Idle Control feature, which automatically shifts into neutral at stops to conserve a little fuel.

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 (2WD), 22/27 mpg (AWD)

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 (2WD), 19/25 mpg (AWD)

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