2015 Mitsubishi Outlander: Leading the Compact SUV Segment into the New Model Year
Competing in a segment full of namesakes that have for a long time been leaders in the class, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander comes in ready to take the lead with great styling and a very upbeat all-wheel drive that adds control to allow the vehicle to be taken off road when desired for a little time away from the paved world. The Outlander has to be a great compact SUV to stand up to the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Toyota RAV4 that have led the way for so long in this segment.
The only real knock on this great compact SUV is the lack of power in the engine compartment, but with a starting price under $25,000 the Outlander is a fantastic compact SUV to get started with. Offering owners the ability to transport more than five passengers and head off road with ease the Outlander is a great vehicle to own. For 2015, the Outlander adds several new upgrades including a FUSE hands-free audio system with USB and iPod interfaces that is available on all trim levels, Bluetooth connectivity and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift know. The SE trim adds new leatherette and cloth upholstery and the GT adds new aluminum-alloy wheels, LED taillights and silver roof rack rails.
The driving impression of the Mitsubishi Outlander offers a highly responsive steering that reacts quickly and precisely to all driver inputs as well as a highly refined suspension system to soak up any road defects and ensure the occupants remains comfortable and stable throughout the ride. The off road manners are very bold on the Outlander by use of the S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) system that offers a level of confidence to tackle just about any terrain that can be found.
Two engines are offered to fill the power plant area of the Outlander starting with the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine for the ES, SE, and SE S-AWC models that brings in 166 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is partnered with a continuously variable transmission that offers a fuel efficiency of 25 city/31 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive and 24 city/29 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive models. This power train does offer a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds which isn’t a lot, but enough to have some great weekend fun.
The second engine offered is a 3.0-liter V6 for the GT models that offers 224 horsepower and 214 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission and offers a fuel efficiency of 20 city/28 hwy mpg and the all-wheel drive is standard fare for this power pairing. This power train can tow up to 3,500 pounds to allow for even more fun in the sun on the weekend or a good size backyard project for the weekend. The smaller engine runs on regular gasoline while the larger one requires premium, which is certainly another factor to consider when choosing which engine to put in this great compact SUV.
The interior of the Outlander is equipped with three rows of seating for up to seven occupants to enjoy the ride and look forward to the off road adventures. The rear cargo area isn’t very roomy when all three rows are occupied, but when the third row is folded down the cargo area is massive, this allows for quite a bit of versatility in cargo and passenger configurations. All controls are smartly positioned and easy to use. The entire interior is covered in comfortable and upscale materials for all to enjoy and a nice amount of faux wood trimmings are added for additional interest and luxury feel.
On the outside, the Outlander offers a strong and athletic stance that shows off with great off road capabilities especially for the larger engine and class it is in. A very high beltline is prominently displayed across each side and the front features a small horizontal grill with great LED headlights on each side. Add the roof rails and towing package for cargo carrying capabilities that make heading off road a breeze. The 8.5-inche ground clearance adds to this enjoyment as well to ensure the Outlander can handle deep snow or off road hazards.
The Outlander offers a great list of standard equipment that includes automatic climate controls, keyless entry, a 140-watt FUSE audio system, Bluetooth connectivity, and 16-inch steel wheels for the ES model. The SE and GT models offer heated front seats, a color information screen, 18-inch wheels, a touch-based audio system, dual zone climate controls and a backup camera. The GT trim also includes all-wheel drive and the V6 engine, rain sensing wipers and paddle shifters for manual shifters. All of the Outlander models come with the awesome Mitsubishi 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
The optional features available for the Outlander include the forward collision mitigation system, lane departure warning system, a navigation system, a power driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, a power tailgate, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system with nine speakers and a built in subwoofer. All of this make the Outlander a fantastic compact SUV to own and drive with plenty of off road capability and inspiring functionality. These optional features are all packaged and trim based with only a couple that are stand alone, but the packages are smartly assigned to have features that complement each other grouped together.
The 2015 Outlander starts out at the base ES model with a price that comes in just under $24,000 equipped with all the standard features mentioned. The SE model will come in around $25,000 and the V6 powered GT model starts around $29,000 which continues to keep all starting price points under $30,000 for this great compact SUV. At the top of the spectrum, with a GT model that is fully packaged the price can reach up to as much as $35,000, which still is an awesome price for the entire vehicle included to enjoy when driving or riding.