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#21

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $23,195 - $28,195
Invoice: $22,422 - $27,256
MPG: 25 City / 31 Hwy
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Mitsubishi Outlander Performance

The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander gets good fuel economy among midsize SUVs and comparable fuel economy to several compact SUVs' estimates. Critics say it rides comfortably, and some report that the Outlander is fun to drive and has well-weighted steering. However, they also write that both of its available engines could use more power, and comment that the standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) is noisy under hard acceleration.

  • "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
  • "The GT, with its standard V6 power and exceptional handling, is surprisingly fun to drive." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On the downside, the Outlander's 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines are not the most powerful in the class, and Mitsubishi's limited dealer network might make servicing and warranty work difficult in more remote regions." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The one upside for the powertrain is an observed 23 mpg in mixed driving, a respectable figure for an SUV." -- Truck Trend (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The Outlander has a base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower. A 224-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 comes on the top GT-S trim. Four-cylinder models have a CVT, while the GT-S has a six-speed automatic. The base 2015 Outlander gets an EPA-estimated 25/31 mpg city/highway, which is good among midsize SUVs and comparable with what four-cylinder, compact SUVs get.

According to most auto journalists, neither of the Outlander's engines are particularly powerful. They say that acceleration is lackluster in the four-cylinder Outlander, and that the V6 model doesn't feel as robust as many rivals, which have more powerful V6s or turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Some also comment that the CVT is noisy when the Outlander is accelerating to highway speeds.

  • "Unfortunately, the Outlander's V6 isn't all that powerful, and in back-to-back runs, we didn't feel much of a difference in either passing power or acceleration between the two powerplants." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Acceleration with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder won't stir your soul. If you mainly drive in town, you'll find its performance adequate, but there's really not enough power here for pleasurable highway travel. Thanks to the nature of the Outlander's CVT, accelerating up to freeway speeds has the engine at high rpm for prolonged periods of time, and the resulting noises are less than appealing." -- Edmunds
  • "While most of us praised the V-6 in the last-gen model, some staffers felt the new Outlander would've benefited from a power bump to keep up with competitors' stronger V-6s and turbocharged four-cylinders." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "The V6 has significantly more power and torque on paper, but it doesn't come across in real-world driving; moreover, the automatic is geared for maximum fuel economy leading to lackluster acceleration. Knock 4 mpg off the city fuel economy rating and add a premium fuel recommendation, and the V6 Outlander just doesn't make sense." -- AutoWeek (2014)

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers say the 2015 Outlander rides comfortably, and some say it has composed handling and has well-weighted steering. However, others report that the Outlander lacks composure around turns, and that some rivals feel more agile. Some critics also mention that the brake pedal feels numb.

  • "Along the highway, the 2015 Outlander is definitely comfortable, but there's a bit of wind and engine noise to deal with. Handling around turns is secure, steering feels natural and offers intuitive response, but overall, the latest Outlander isn't quite as sporty as its predecessors." -- Edmunds
  • "We found the Outlander's steering nicely weighted, but its overall handling lags behind competitors such as the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The ride was never jarring and the new electric power steering should please most buyers in this segment." -- Motor Trend (2014)
  • "Although we recorded a reasonable 175-foot 70-to-0-mph braking measurement, the Outlander's stop pedal is uncommunicative." -- Car and Driver (2014)
Review Last Updated: 12/9/14

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