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#11

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $10,890 - $15,872
Original MSRP: $20,840 - $29,250
MPG: 21 City / 27 Hwy
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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The Mitsubishi Outlander boasts a spacious, well-equipped cabin with easy-to-use controls. However, the cheap-feeling materials are a major downside. The Toyota RAV4 provides a higher quality interior, offers an available third row and it only starts at about $1,000 more than the Outlander; it's definitely worth a look.

  • "The cabin has few padded surfaces and many plastic panels that feel thin and hollow to the touch. They also look on the cheap side. One test Outlander suffered from a number of interior creaks and groans." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The build quality of the Outlander's interior is solid, and the design is attractive, although a few of the plastics and controls feel a bit low-grade." -- Edmunds
  • "For a car that's getting close to 30 grand, the quality of the material used is simply shocking. For a $15,000 Honda Fit, yes, it would be fine. For this Outlander, are you kidding me? In short, the gray and silver plastic feels very cheap and looks even worse with its poor texturing." -- Left Lane News

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Seating

The Outlander's front- and second-row seats are comfortable enough. Reviewers say the third row, which is optional on SE models and standard on XLS and GT models, is uncomfortable even for children -- but that's a typical complaint for a compact SUV. The Toyota RAV4, a similarly priced three-row option in the class, receives similar reviews for its third row. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are only available on the high-end XLS model as part of the $1,650 Luxury Package.

To see more about the Outlander's seats, check out our Outlander video.

  • "Our tester featured the third-row seat option. The good news is that it stows away into the floor, which makes for a perfectly flat cargo area. The bad news: Reasonably shaped humans would never choose to occupy it. It is so tight that it makes the jump seat a flight attendant sits on look comfy." -- Left Lane News
  • "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." -- About.com
  • "Curiously, Mitsubishi has discontinued the fore/aft sliding feature of the ES and LS models' 2nd-row seat. It's still standard on the XLS, however. Regardless, legroom on all Outlanders is more than sufficient for most adults." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Outlander XLS comes with a third-row seat, but the seat's effectiveness is debatable. There's room for children only (and small ones at that), but considering the seat's flimsy construction we'd think twice about putting them back there. A thick piece of mesh fabric substitutes for a traditional padded seat bottom, and the seatback is very close to the rear tailgate." -- Edmunds
  • "By several measurements, the Outlander's available third-row seating area is the smallest in the category." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

The Outlander is well equipped for such an affordable vehicle. Standard on all trims are air conditioning, cruise control with steering wheel-mounted controls, power windows/side mirrors/door locks, and an AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 playback capability. Be aware, however, that few hi-tech options are available on the base SE model.

Upgrade to the SE or XLS (a $3,000-plus premium over the base model), and you can get the well-reviewed 650-watt Rockford Fosgate six-CD/MP3 player with nine speakers (part of the $1,610 Sun and Sound Package). You can also opt for a navigation system, which is part of a $1,950 package that also includes a rearview camera and digital music server. For families, an available accessory on all trims is the Rear Seat DVD Entertainment Display, a $1,587 option.

For more details about the Outlander's interior features, check out our Outlander video.

  • "The analog speedometer and tachometer are easy to read, but the smallish digital display in the center of the gauge cluster can wash out at times. The climate controls are mounted too low for easy access while driving. The navigation system has a touch screen, but it absorbs too many audio functions and is complicated to use." -- Consumer Guide
  • "We are fond of the available hard drive-based navigation and music server system. Its interface is a bit non-intuitive, but overall it's one of the most comprehensive and useful systems on the market for a vehicle in this price range." -- Edmunds
  • "I love the instrument panel. Its two large outer gauges housed by stylistic rims bracket a digital readout of various engine and driving information." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Standard on the SE we tested is the 650-watt, Rockford Fosgate sound system. Nine speakers throughout the cabin and the aforementioned 10 inch enclosed subwoofer all the way in the back make up the blood and guts of this sound system. I expected the Outlander to be several things, but a ghetto blaster was not one of them. Once you figure out the needlessly complicated audio controls on the touch screen and boost the bass even a little, this car booms. Mirrors shake, interior trim pieces rattle, people wonder, 'Is that noise seriously coming from that car?' Yes, this soccer mom's grocery getter can bump." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

The Outlander's cargo space is ample by compact SUV standards. The Outlander offers 14.9 cubic feet behind the optional third-row seat, 39 cubic feet behind the second row and 72.6 cubic feet when the second and third rows are folded. By contrast, the RAV4 offers 12.3 cubic feet behind its optional third row and 36.4 cubic feet behind the second row. The Outlander also stands out for its sturdy flap-folding tailgate, which extends to cover the gap between the bumper and cargo area.

To see how the Outlander handles cargo, be sure to watch our Outlander video.

  • "Space is surprisingly good behind the 3rd-row seat in the XLS. Both 2nd- and 3rd-row seats fold easily. The 2nd row is split 60/40, and it folds to create a flat load floor. Outlander's liftgate is comprised of a clamshell design that creates a handy drop-down tailgate section that can hold up to 400 lb." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The third row folds flat into the floor, but a confusing muddle of pull-straps makes the procedure more complicated than necessary." -- Edmunds
  • "Loading bicycles or large packages is made easier by the segment's first and only flap-fold tailgate. When lowered, the tailgate can also serve as a seat for outdoor activities with a capacity of 440 pounds." -- Chicago Sun-Times

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