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 Audhep79 on Sunday, February 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 740overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent handling in the snow/ice!"
Cons: "Premium Gas "Recommended""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Like some of the other reviewers, I must have test driven all the crossover SUV's on the market. My main must-have was that it performed great in the snowy Colorado winters. The Honda CRV had all the bells and whistles, but handled poorly in the snow. Mazda CX-5 was too basic for the expensive price tag. Jeep Cherokee's were great, but read the terrible consumer reviews on transmission issues...etc. Looked into consumer reviews for the Mitsubishi Outlander, test drove it, and fell in love! I didn't like the lack of power in the 4cyl models, so I went for the Outlander GT V6 model. For the fantastic price, I got the upgraded sound system, power lift gate, and sunroof. Here are the Pro's and what little Con's I could find: Pro's: It handled EXCELLENT in icy/snowy conditions! I put the car in "Snow" mode and didn't even slip once (whereas I watched others slide off the road). I love the heated seats, the lack of road noise, the sound system, the smooth drive, the appearance, the uniqueness (I have yet to see another one on the road), the steering wheel controls, and the mpg that I'm getting with a V6. I could go on! Con's: For a V6, it doesn't feel like it has a ton of power still. It is economical on gas though! Also, Premium gas is recommended for max performance. I just hope gas prices don't go back up! All in all, for the price I paid, it has all the bells and whistles I wanted, and it handles excellent on the road and in bad conditions! Test it out and see for yourself"
12 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Frankly on Thursday, February 12, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "All the necessary equipment and very dependable"
Cons: "no roof rails on ES model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased 9/11/14. Drove in all sorts of weather and conditions. Compared to my 2014 wife's Rav 4 and previous Forester, is equal to them in general performance and quality. The price was at least $6000 less and it does the job without excess toys. Seven air bags, good gas mileage (28-30) convenient controls, 4 wheel drive, starts easily in 10-20 below zero, and room for 5, is all I need. Glad I purchased this vehicle even though it receives lousy rating by reviewers."
10 people out of 18 found this review helpful
By JS on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, versatility, MPG"
Cons: "Not a sports car, but that is okay"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 2015 Outlander SE AWD with no packages. Didn't want a mini-van, but wanted 7-seats (need only in a pinch to go 5 miles to movies/eat out/etc.) and good fuel economy. Looked at Dodge Journey, Nissan Rogue and Pathfinder and this. Hate the Journey's looks and handling. The Pathfinder was too big and bad on gas. The Rogue was about the same as the Outlander as far as handling, but the 3rd row was an add-on and had even less room than the Outlander. I didn't like the dash/interior of the Rogue. The 2015 Outlander is more classic and simple looking. The Rogue and the Outlander had the same driving dynamics to me (ie, 4-cyl, CVT, etc). So no really difference there. Like it lot. I like the style in and out -- better looking than Rogue, CRV, Rav4, any Subaru IMHO. Just don't expect a sports car from this or the Rogue. I have Mazda3 with a 2.5 liter and that is what I drive if I want some fun. The Outlander is for the family and works great there."
20 people out of 29 found this review helpful