Review: The great thing about competition is that it forces
people to improve what they're doing. If the New Orleans Saints spent
all season playing dinky high-school teams, would they have been able to
win the Super Bowl? Probably not. If the Yankees only faced Little
League pitchers, would they be any good in the postseason? No way.
That's why it's so much fun to watch what's happening to mid-size
A decade ago,
crossovers barely registered a blip on the automakers' radar screen, but
today they've become the de facto family car for a generation of
Americans. Our grandparents had their sedans. Our parents had their
station wagons and minivans. Now we have our crossovers, and they're
getting better all the time.
Crossover vehicles have
become so popular that virtually every auto company makes one. Some
companies have an entire lineup of crossovers to pick from, so they're
available in every flavor imaginable, from the sporty Porsches and BMWs,
to the luxurious Lexuses and Cadillacs, to the zippy Mazdas and hefty
If a crossover wants to
stand out in this market, it has to do an amazing job.
That's why it's
encouraging to see what Mitsubishi has done with its latest Outlander
crossover vehicle. In a market flooded with cars all trying to do the
same thing, the Outlander exhibits a certain spunkiness that sets it
apart from the pack.
For starters, there's
the way it looks. It's got a front end that's almost spaceship-like with
rounded, smoothed-off corners and a gaping air intake that looks like it
wants to eat you.
Will everybody like the
styling? No. It's polarizing, but that's part of what makes it so
appealing. It's wonderfully bold, almost vulgar, and doesn't look like a
car that was designed by focus groups and committees to give it a PG-13
rating. It flaunts its full-frontal nose.
That also means it's
not even remotely truck-like. While some crossovers enjoy dressing up
like G.I. Joe, the Outlander embraces its softer, car-based roots. The
ride is whipped-cream soft, all airy and light. That doesn't mean it's
bouncy, which can be a problem on some crossovers, especially the bigger
ones, but more of a suspension that ice skates over the pavement with
precision and snap. It's a wonderfully crisp feeling car.
The feeling that makes
it fun to drive is surprising considering the Outlander is available
with a third-row seat. Most crossovers that are this fun don't come with
a third row. And most crossovers with a third row aren't nearly this
That back-row seat
isn't really a full-time, full-size type of seat, though. It's a small,
lightweight, foldaway seat that's best for those rare occasions when you
need the capacity for carrying 2 extra bottoms.
If you carry more than
five people on a regular basis, you'd be better off getting something
with more room for passengers and cargo. The middle row is spacious
enough for adults to ride in reasonable comfort, and the front seats are
generously spaced. Inside, the Outlander feels bigger than it is.
It also feels nicer
than you'd expect from something in this price class. The base price is
just $21,620, a real bargain, and you can get in a loaded V6 model for
just over $30,000.
With the right options,
such as navigation, leather and a sound-pumping Rockford Fosgate stereo
upgrade, the Outlander feels as sumptuous as an entry-level luxury car.
It seems to have some Acura DNA, which is a serious compliment.
That luxury ambiance is
helped by a good quality interior with soft materials. The interior
styling is spunky, just like the car's personality, but not so much that
it draws too much attention to itself. It's just a good, clean,
Assuming you like the
nose, the Outlander could be a good pick. It's carved out a micro-niche
for people who like their crossovers fun to drive, interesting to look
at, and just a tiny bit outlandish.
What was tested?
The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC with a base price of $29,250.
Options on the test car included the Premium navigation system and the
leather package for $3,000. The total MSRP price as tested, including
the $740 destination charge, came to $32,990.
Why avoid it?
Not everyone likes the hungry shark face.
Why buy it? If
you want a crossover SUV with aggressive styling and a light,
fun-to-drive feeling, buy a 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The bold, fun, 2010 Outlander carves a niche in the market with
Mitsubishi's spunky crossover. It has a bold front end, with a gaping
air intake that not everyone will like as it's a polarizing design, but
it helps the Outlander stand out in a crowded field. With a starting
price of only $21,620, the Outlander feels more upscale than its bargain
basement priced competitors. And it's even available with a third-row
seat, albeit a small one.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Mitsubishi Home Page
Column Name: Leaning to
Topic: The 2010
Word Count: 926
Photo Caption: The 2010
Mitsubishi Outlander Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 46
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