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#14

in 2011 Affordable Compact SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $13,395 - $17,320
Original MSRP: $21,995 - $27,795
MPG: 23 City / 28 Hwy
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2011 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 and offers an available third row. 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 standard on all models but the base ES, 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.

  • "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
  • "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
  • "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

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 audio controls, power windows/side mirrors/door locks, and an AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3 playback capability. Be aware, however, that few options are available on the base SE model.

Upgrade to the SE and get a six-disc CD player plus keyless entry and push-button starting. When you go for the XLS, you add a USB port and hands-free phone system. The GT model adds some leather accents to the dash and door.  

  • "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. On Outlanders featuring the optional third-row, there’s 14.9 cubic feet available with all seats in use and 39.5 cubic feet of available space behind the second row.  However, on two-row models, there is only 36.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row. The Outlander has 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, 37.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 73 behind the first row. The Outlander also stands out for its sturdy flap-folding tailgate. The bottom section opens down, making it easier to load cargo, while the top section opens up like a traditional tailgate.

  • "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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