The Bottom Line
Mitsubishi often gets overlooked, and Outlander lurks in the shadows of Mitsubishi’s big star, the high-performance Lancer Evolution. Which is a shame, because the Outlander is a solid, fun-to-drive mid-sized crossover with unique style and value. Mitsubishi Outlander competes with: Toyota RAV4; Chevrolet Equinox; Honda CR-V.
- Lancer-inspired performance.
- Long warranty.
- Stands out in the crowd.
- Plasticy interior.
- Will Mitsubishi still be here when you need warranty repairs?
- Thrashy four-banger.
- Base price $25,120/$26,395 as tested SE 4WD
- Engine: 2.4 liter DOHC MIVEC I4
- Horsepower: 168 @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: 167 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
- Curb Weight: 3,538 lbs
- Fuel Economy: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined
- Wheelbase: 105.1” Vehicle Length: 182.7” Width: 70.9” Height: 66.1” Ground Clearance: 7”
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles basic; 10 years/100,000 miles powertrain/5 years/unlimited miles roadside assistance
- Cargo: 72.6 cubic feet
- Transmission: Sportronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) with steering wheel paddle shifters
Guide Review - 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander
The Mitsubishi Outlander hit the United States as a 2003 model, and underwent a substantial transformation for the 2007 model year. The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander arrives with few changes from 2008 and 2007. Outlander is available in three trim levels: ES (base price $20,320); SE (base price $23,720) and XLS (base price $24,320).
Each trim level is available with front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive (add $1,400 - $2,400). ES and SE models get a 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque, hooked up to a continuously variable transmission. XLS models get a 3.0 liter V6 that cranks out 220 hp and 204 lb-ft of torque, hooked up to a six-speed automatic. I drove an SE 4WD example with a base price of 25,180 ($26,395 as tested).
Some Lancer Evolution technology has trickled down to Outlander, as the two vehicles share a platform and lots of mechanical components. That means that this crossover leans more toward the car end of the performance scale, with crisp handling and spirited acceleration (even with the CVT and I4). My test vehicle had paddle shifters, which allowed me to emulate the stepped performance of a traditional geared transmission with the CVT. I gave up on that in a hurry, and just let the CVT do its thing, keeping the thrashy I4 in the powerband. A little more sound deadening insulation would be a good thing, as the I4 is not singing a tune that I can hum along to for long.
A perfunctory third row seat is available for $500, and it will do for kids in a pinch, but not for long. The second row of seating is reasonable, though the flat bench seat is not very comfortable for long rides. Luckily, the driver’s seat is super-comfortable and supportive, so as long as you’re driving and listening to that thrashy engine, you can tune out passenger complaints.