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#11

in 2010 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $11,824 - $17,236
Original MSRP: $20,840 - $29,250
MPG: 21 City / 27 Hwy
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2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Performance

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

The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander has a sporty drive, but its base four-cylinder engine and even the optional V6 can be a bit sluggish. That said, power isn't a problem in the new GT model, which boasts all-wheel drive and a 230-horsepower V6 engine.

To see how the Outlander fares out in real-world driving, check out our Outlander video.

  • "While the stable and confident Outlander isn't one to turn its nose up at a little enthusiastic driving, it's not as sporty as the Mazda CX-7." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Fortunately, the ride is pretty nice in the Outlander. Bumps and most craters that grace the roads in metro Detroit are smoothed out to be quite tolerable. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, though, as the Mitsubishi's front wheels err toward the jumpy side. A moderate dose of body roll also awaits you at every bend in the road." -- Left Lane News
  • "With sporty on-road all-season tires, you can feel the Lancer connection. Ground clearance is lower than you'd expect, but it will handle rough weather with gusto." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Outlander ES and SE come with a 2.4-liter 168-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine. Many test drivers find it sluggish and prefer the XLS and GT model's 3.0-liter 230-horsepower V6. Test drivers have yet to weigh in how the extra horsepower impacts acceleration.

According to the EPA, the 2WD Outlander achieves 21/27 mpg city/highway with the base engine. Six-cylinder models achieve 19/25 mpg, while 4WD models have even lower fuel economy ratings. These numbers are about average for the Outlander's class, but they're high for a seven-passenger vehicle. The Outlander achieves about the same fuel economy as the Toyota RAV4 and earns more miles per gallon than any minivan.

  • "Four-cylinder models are slow from a stop but build speed adequately above 20 mph. We timed an AWD version at 9.4 seconds 0-60 mph; a 2WD version felt slightly quicker. The CVT adjusts ratios promptly for passing, but power is limited. V6 Outlanders have more than enough verve for most driving conditions, but could use more power for ideal highway passing response." -- Consumer Guide
  • "My only driving complaint about the Outlander was the noticeable torque steer upon heavy acceleration. It's something I trust Mitsubishi's engineers will address quickly. The company is not known for dawdling over a decision to rapidly correct a problem." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "The 3.0-liter V6 is a little shy on low-end torque, but once revved up, it moves the Outlander along sufficiently and smoothly." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

The Outlander's nimble handling is one of its strengths thanks to a platform shared with the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan. The new GT model comes with all-wheel drive and boasts even sportier handling. Another sporty compact SUV is the Volkswagen Tiguan, which comes with a turbocharged engine, boasts even better handling dynamics and starts at only around $2,000 more than the Outlander.

  • "This crossover has quick and communicative steering feel with moderate body lean in turns. XLS models are slightly sharper overall thanks to standard 18-inch tires. Outlander is particularly susceptible to highway-speed crosswind wander." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Ride quality is just as important as handling in a small SUV, though, and the Outlander is indeed comfortable and well-mannered when cruising." -- Edmunds
  • "The Outlander drives like a car thanks to its new performance-engineered global platform derived from the foundation of Mitsubishi's Lancer and its next-generation Lancer Evolution." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Excellent steering and brake feel, a well-tuned suspension and supportive front seats combine to deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will accommodate a range of driving styles." -- Kelley Blue Book

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