The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander CUV is a more refined, smoother looking version than the model it replaces. Gone is the distinctive shark nose I rather like and in comes a more conventional looking exterior. However, the smooth look is not all show as the aerodynamics are improved with a seven-percent reduction in the coefficient of drag at 0.33 that helps improve fuel economy. Interiors remain neat, tasteful modest affairs – and can seat seven passengers. Mitsubishi also offers the 2015 Outlander in both two wheel and four wheel drive with two engine choices – 2.4-litre four-cylinder (166 horsepower) and 3.0-litre V-6 (227 hp) hooked up to continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). V6 engined versions gain a six- speed autobox and paddle shifters. The GT model we tested comes fully loaded with pretty much everything you need. Inside, the Outlander is well designed with quality materials fit and finish. The cabin sits high with plenty of glass, allowing for a good driving position and good headroom and legroom for adults in the second row. The second row also slides fore and aft to adjust legroom, which is a very cool feature. The Outlander can accommodate up to seven people in its three rows, although the third row is as always in this class tight. The rear seats also fold flat for a large load area.
On the engineering front, Mitsubishi has also gone to an electric power steering system, redesigned the rear-suspension geometry, and dialled in softer springs for a more comfortable and quieter ride. The S-AWC model as tested adds an electronically controlled center coupling, combined with an open rear diff and a separate active front diff for better torque split for different road conditions. I would really recommend the V6 for the extra power. Note, that the GT models takes premium fuel, but has paddle-shifters and six-speed automatic transmission to spice up the driving experience. Also note, the V6 version has double the towing capacity of 1,500 pounds to an impressive 3000 pounds. Handy if you have to tow a boat, trailer or a camper. On the road, the Mitsubishi Outlander performs very well with excellent road manners, steering and braking. It is an easy to drive, pleasant and has no major vices. Fuel economy ratings for the V6 are (litres/100 km): 11.5 city/8.4 highway using premium fuel.
The Outlander is also high on safety with Adaptive Cruise Control (with three distance settings), Lane Departure Warning, and a Forward Collision Mitigation that will, at lower speeds, alert on an obstacle or other vehicle ahead and then brake the vehicle fully to a stop if need be. In US Federal test the Outlander is one of the top-rated vehicles in its class for safety, having achieved both a five-star federal rating (with all-wheel drive) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating. Add Mitsubishi’s excellent 10 year warranty and the Outlander is a must test, must consider bargain.
2015 Mitsubishi Outlander V6 Base price: $36,198; as tested, $40,378.