After spending a week behind the wheel of the new 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, I have trouble understanding why the Japanese automaker gets such a bad rap from this country’s auto writers. I thoroughly enjoyed driving this stylish CUV and would recommend it without hesitation.
The Outlander has beautiful new styling inside and out, a new engine with next-generation MIVEC variable valve timing, technologically advanced safety features and a lightweight, aerodynamically enhanced body. It is also one of the most fuel-efficient (31/25 mpg) standard compact seven-passenger CUVs on the market today.
Powered by either a 2.4-liter inline 4- cylinder (ES and SE models) or a 3.0-liter V- 6 (GT model) and available with either 2WD or Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (SAWC) all-wheel drive system, the Outlander is a nice family vehicle option that has beautiful styling, performance, ecology and comfort, all at an affordable price.
One nice efficiency and eco-friendly feature is a new driver-activated ECO-mode setting that is standard on all 2014 Outlander models. ECO-mode helps to further reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by slightly reducing engine power on initial acceleration as well as the airflow volume of the air conditioning.
When Outlander models equipped with Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) are driven with 4WD engaged, the driver activated ECO-mode will allow the vehicle to function as a 2WD vehicle until sensors instantaneously reactivate 4WD when necessary (poor road or weather conditions, for example).
Outlander has a modern new sheet-metal design with one of the most aerodynamically efficient designs of any crossover SUV on the market today. Much of the reason for the low-drag configuration goes to the streamlined front fascia. Another reason for the new Outlander’s excellent fuel economy is the extensive use of highly tensile steel in the car’s body; it weighs about 200 pounds less than the previous-generation.
On the inside, the Outlander’s interior received a complete makeover with premium surfaces and high-grade materials including a soft-touch instrument panel, a high-gloss piano black center console panel and (standard in the top-level GT) a rich wood-grain appearance trim. There is extensive use highgrade sound insulation material to keep the cabin quiet. All seven passenger-seating sections have been reconfigured, with the designers paying particular attention to making the second- and third-row fold-flat seats easier to operate.
Other points of refinement included at no cost to the consumer as part of the new 2014 Outlander’s standard equipment package are air conditioning with micron filter; tilt and telescopic steering wheel adjustment; electric power steering; redesigned steering wheel with easy-to-use cruise control and audio system controls; premium security alarm system with remote keyless entry and engine immobilizer; a superb six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system; intermittent rear wiper with washer; and halogen headlights.
The MSRP on the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander ranges from $22,995 to $27,795.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.