Mitsubishi Outlander Performance
Most reviewers find driving the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander to be a good experience, if not a class-beating one. Edmunds says, "Our time on the proving grounds suggests it has enough power to satisfy most shoppers and its delivery is smooth."
The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander's new 3.0-liter V6 engine, still smaller than some competitors, might not win races, but this seems to be just fine with most reviewers. Autobytel says, "Compared to the much less powerful 2007 Honda CR-V and more powerful Mazda CX-7, the Outlander feels downright quick and more responsive." Of the drive itself, MSN speaks for most reviewers, saying, "It had quick, nicely weighted steering, stable handling, good brake pedal action and an all-independent suspension that delivered a firm-but-compliant ride."
Acceleration and Power
The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander has been upgraded with a new V6 engine with 220 horsepower, which is needed because the Outlander now weighs between 3,527 and 3,791 pounds, depending on drivetrain. Performance, most reviewers find, won't beat the powerful Toyota RAV4's, but the and others are satisfied: "The 204 lb.-ft. of torque, though seemingly a bit low, was plenty to tug it forward when pulling out to pass, kicking in appreciably at about 2,000 rpms."
The Outlander comes in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive in the mid-range and high-end XLS versions, but not in the ES version. The transmission on cheaper LS and ES versions didn't merit much comment, though Cars.com says "the automatic transmission is almost as smooth as the new CR-V's." On the other hand, the XLS offers magnesium paddle-shifters for the steering wheel, a feature reviewers note is usually reserved for race cars and luxury vehicles. Unlike most of its competitors, the Outlander XLS also offers a six-speed Sportronic transmission, while most compact SUVs only offer five-speeds. BusinessWeek is one of the few who actively criticizes the transmission, saying, "As an automatic the engine was working too hard as it tried to deliver acceleration, and in the alternative manual mode it wasn't much better."
While the new Mitsubishi engine might have improved acceleration, gas mileage is not quite as attractive. The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander loses out to its closest competitor, the RAV4, in overall Environmental Protection Agency-estimated mileage -- 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Handling and Braking
Handling is pretty good, by all accounts. A few reviewers note that there is a bit of torque steer when accelerating, but not as much as others in the Outlander's class. Edmunds says, "The Outlander doesn't exhibit the Toyota's (RAV4) torque steer." New Car Test Drive says, "In sportiness, it may not be in the same league as the '07 Mazda CX-7, but it's easily competitive with the class, and even a slot or two above a couple." Road and Track agrees that the Mitsubishi is now highly competitive with other offerings, saying, "Through tight turns, our AWD Outlander exhibited excellent balance and stability, with crisp turn-in response and, surprisingly, minimal body roll."
Reviewers find the ride itself to be smooth enough, thanks to a multilink suspension system with McPherson struts, which Mitsubishi says is "sport-tuned." Kelley Blue Book agrees it works well, saying its "well-tuned suspension and supportive front seats combine to deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will accommodate a range of driving styles." MSN agrees, saying it "delivered a firm-but-compliant ride."
Braking seems to meet with reviewer approval as well. All trims now include anti-lock disc brakes, skid control and an Electronic Brakeforce Distribution system. Cars.com says, "Around town, I quickly became a fan of the steady braking as well."