2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

2015 Mitsubishi Outlander - This Mitsubishi SUV is definitely in the game.


Price: $28,195

Tired of the domestic and foreign SUVs you continually see coming and going? Then take a look at the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC ("Super All-Wheel Control"--same as all-wheel drive) SUV.

The roomy, handsome Outlander 3.0 GT has a strong V-6, good roadability, decent fuel economy (20 city, 28 highway),  AWD, advanced technical features and a third-row seat--although that seat is best left to kids and is difficult for even limber adults to reach.

However, the first- and second-row seat areas are roomy.There is little cargo room with the third-row seat in its normal position. However, you can fold down that row, and the second-row seatbacks fold down with a 60/40 split. The result of all that is a generous cargo area.

There are a variety of Outlander models, starting with a front-drive  2-liter four-cylinder 166-horsepower version at $23,195.

The strong 230-horsepower V-6 is standard for the GT and works with a responsive 6-speed automatic transmission, which can be manually shifted via easily reached paddles behind the steering wheel.

It takes extra effort to enter the Outlander, with its high step-in, and rear door openings are rather narrow. However, occupants get a good view of surroundings once inside the quiet interior.

Front cupholders are placed a bit low, but windshield sun visors are lit. The engine has a convenient pushbutton start, but the front seats should provide more side support. The large fold-down rear armrest contains twin cupholders.

Gauges can be quickly read, and controls are well-placed and easy to work. There are a decent number of storage areas, including a deep console bin.

 My test 3.0 GT S-AWC version had a desirable, but costly, $6,100 GT Touring package.

That alluring package contains a power glass sunroof with tilt/slide function, forward collision mitigation, leather-seating surfaces,  navigation system with a high-definition touchscreen, killer 710-watt sound system, power driver's seat and power tailgate. Safety items include lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control.

Some may feel that package isn't really needed. Standard for the Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC are heated front seats, rearview camera, color-keyed bumpers and door handles for a sportier look, 18-inch alloy wheels, tilt/telescopic wheel and a 6.1-inch touch panel display audio system with 6 speakers.

Other standard items are steering wheel audio controls, cruise control, power windows and power locks and large folding power sideview mirrors.

Safety items include active stability control, traction control logic, driver's knee airbag and side curtain airbags.

The 2014 Outlander was made to look larger and more substantial, but weighed some 200 pounds less for better performance and fuel economy.The  formerly plain interior with its marginal plastics got soft-touch materials throughout, and the instrument panel was improved. The 2015 Outlander GT has a softer-touch upper instrument panel and door trim.

The improvements helped the 2014 Outlander in the crowded SUV field, although Mitsubishi lacked the promotional  firepower to really put it on the map. The 2015 Outlander gets a minor face lift, interior refinements and a freshened chassis.

While the current model's ride is firm, it's supple, and the electric power steering is precise and has a good feel. The anti-lock brakes have electronic brakeforce distribution and a brake assist system for surer stops.

The competitively priced Outlander doesn't get the credit it deserves, if only because it's largely buried under promotional material from other automakers. But that shouldn't stop savvy SUV buyers from checking it out.

Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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