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Mitsubishi Outlander Performance

Reviewers are disappointed in both the standard four-cylinder and available V6 engines in the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander, which they say both deliver sluggish acceleration. However, they're pleased with its polished CVT and excellent fuel economy estimates. Test drivers agree that the Outlander feels composed through turns and are impressed with its straight-line stability. However, some reviewers find its ride to be too jarring and its steering and braking too numb.

  • "In terms of civility and ride comfort, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander moves from far below par to about average for the crossover segment. A Honda CR-V is still more comfortable and a Mazda CX-5 is more fun to drive, but the Outlander is no longer the outlier in its class." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Interior quality and driving dynamics are now competitive in the hard-fought compact crossover class, but engine performance is still lacking, even for the V6." -- AutoTrader
  • "With this update, the Outlander is more competitive, but other SUVs provide better fuel economy, better handling and more power." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "To its credit, the 2015 Outlander with its base four-cylinder engine gets above-average gas mileage for the segment, and when we tested the V6 all-wheel-drive GT model, we found it to have decent acceleration and a somewhat comfortable cabin." -- Edmunds (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower. A 224-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 is available. Four-cylinder models have a new continuously variable transmission (CVT), while a six-speed automatic transmission is available. According to the EPA, the base 2016 Outlander earns 25/31 mpg city/highway, which is better than most rivals' estimates.

Auto writers are disappointed in the base engine's lackluster power and slow acceleration. Most agree that the available V6 engine isn't much of an improvement, as they report it's unrefined with sluggish highway acceleration. Still, they're impressed with the updated CVT, which they say is more polished.  

  • "Both the standard four-cylinder and optional V-6 engines are unchanged in the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander, although the four-banger receives a new continuously variable transmission that has better refinement, better efficiency, and a greater overall spread between gear ratios." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Unfortunately, even with the changes, the 2.4 delivers lethargic acceleration. Mitsubishi says the 0 to 60 miles per hour time is improved by a whole second thanks to the updated transmission, but that sprint still requires 10 seconds." -- AutoTrader
  • "Outlander GT looks muscular on paper, although in reality the acceleration to highway speeds is merely adequate. And when it gets there, the Outlander GT cruises with a low, unsexy drone. At least the fixed shift paddles on the steering column allow for manual control of the transmission if you get frisky. If you're driving an Outlander, though, you probably won't." -- Car and Driver
  • "In general, the 224-horsepower V6 does right by the Outlander GT. To this driver, it comes off as kind of slow from a start and a little reluctant at lower rpms, but it builds to an eminently acceptable level of highway performance. Then, too, the engine doesn't sound wholly refined; it's a bit of a "moaner" when pushed. The 6-speed automatic transmission works smoothly and delivers passing kickdown without undue wait." -- Consumer Guide (2015)

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists agree that the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander's suspension improvements make for more secure handling than on outgoing models. They add that its straight-line stability is also improved. Still, some critics find its ride to be too firm and note that it doesn't do a great job of absorbing road imperfections. Several also add the both the steering and the brakes can feel a bit numb when driving. The 2016 Outlander comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "The Outlander does float and bounce over dips and crests more than we'd prefer, but at least the retuned electric-assist steering provides a greater sense of straight-line stability." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Mitsubishi has also improved the structure itself. Engineers reinforced the front crossmember and added bracing in key areas to make the vehicle more rigid and improve steering response. They also chose firmer tuning for the shocks and springs to quicken responses without giving up too much ride quality. Those changes have worked, as the 2016 Outlander exhibits competent body control through corners and delivers a comfortable ride. Steering is predictable, with good straight-line stability, but little road feel." -- AutoTrader
  • "Handling is tidier, too. Considerable work was done to stiffen various parts of the structure, and retuned suspension components were designed to firm up the previous model's mushy suspension. There's still a dearth of feel through the steering wheel and brake pedal, but when it comes to quelling noise while facilitating some awareness of what's going on under the vehicle, Mitsubishi engineers have much to be proud of." -- Car and Driver
  • "Handling has been noticeably improved for 2016 thanks to reinforcements to the platform that increase rigidity, and new retuned shocks. The downside is the ride is too firm. The Outlander uses electric power steering for 2016, and while it's still numb on-center, steering feel is somewhat improved from last year." -- Kelley Blue Book
Review Last Updated: 7/6/15

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