Saturday, August 15, 2015


Mitsubishi is the unending underdog, scrapping and nipping at the hubcaps of the huge players like a hyperactive car corporate schnauzer. It must be that way: yearly deals in financial year 2014 were a measly 81,590, absolute dinky contrasted with  GM, Ford and the other car juggernauts. What's more, its model line is missing a large portion of the segments of its rivals: the full-measure Montero SUV is a distant memory, the Evo goes away toward the end of this current year, and it can't hit an arrangement with an accomplice to supplant the long-gone Galant and impending gone Lancer vehicles.

Along these lines Mitsubishi truly needs to take advantage of the vehicles it has cleared out. Henceforth, two years into the model cycle of the Outlander CUV, Mitsubishi has slapped more than 100 "new improvements" and "near 300" new part numbers on this 2016 Outlander. Those extent from all-new sheet metal from the A-column forward to better stable protection all through and enhancements to the four-banger's CVT transmission. 

Power still originates from your decision of a 166-hp 2.4-liter four or 224-hp 3.0-liter V6 driving the front two or every one of the four wheels. The four-banger gets a recently refined CVT transmission while the six sticks with a six-speed automatic. 

Mitsubishi hired JDPower to come up with a list of things to improve on this new model and proceeded to go through it with the proverbial fine-tooth comb. Engineers changed everything from adding 1.5 inches more clearance to the rear hatch height to adding more infotainment buttons in place of flat screen controls. The latter we liked. We drove a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander and a couple of the refreshed 2016s back-to-back just so we could tell the difference between old and new. The new model is, in fact, noticeably quieter and smoother than the old one. We didn’t measure sound with a decibel meter, but reductions in both road noise and wind noise were apparent. 

Our first drive was in a 2016 V6 model in GT trim and an S-AWC drivetrain. First thing we noticed was an odd but subtle porpoising over some pavement undulations. But that sort of went away, or maybe we got used to it. There was some body roll but you expect that in a crossover.  Then you notice how quiet it is; not a lot of wind or road noise got into the cabin and to our delicate ears. Mitsubishi spent a lot of time working on functions as miniscule as doors closing with solidity and sureness. So we opened and closed several doors several times and found ourselves content with that function. Mitsubishi was also proud of improvements to its second-row flip-fold seats. So we flipped and folded them several times – you pull three straps and voila, as they say in Japan. The seat bottom cushion does sort of flail about but the rest of the process is good and was, indeed, better than the same function on the 2015. The “emergency” third-row seat was likewise easy to fold, stow and even sit in, albeit for not very long.

Our second drive was in a 2016 with the 2.4 and the CVT. We came to the conclusion that we’d get this model if we were in a buyin’ mood. Who needs the V6’s 224 hp? We were pretty much happy with the four’s 166 and the powertrain was so unobtrusive we didn’t even notice it was a small-displacement four mated to a CVT...until we downshifted. Then the revs held at a higher speed for a little longer and we remembered. Most of the time in regular old city and suburban driving you won’t notice it. You have to really push it for its CVTness to come out. Mitsubishi calls it a CVT-8 because it is supposed to have eight fake steps in the shifting algorithm but you wouldn’t notice them unless you knew to anticipate them. For the mundane duties thrust upon most CUVs, you might as well have this CVT with its slightly improved gas mileage (27 EPA combined) and quit whining about it not being an automatic. Mitsubishi lists a 0-62 time of 10.2 seconds and points out that improvements in the trans efficiency of 26 percent account for that acceleration figure. The 2015 model got to 62 mph in 11.2 seconds.

You need to contrast the Outlander with hybrid utilities like the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, among others. Line up the standard components and choice bundles of those and the other bazillion CUVs available and you may find that the Outlander offers more stuff for the dollar. Costs begin at $23,840 for a FWD ES four-barrel in any case, Mitsu focuses out, even that model gets 18-inch combinations. In any case, costs for the RAV4, CRV and Escape all begin right around there, as well. The distinction is by they way you juggle highlights per-dollar, and that is a ton of juggling. 

Mitsu does offer that restricted 10-year powertrain guarantee, which the others don't. There are numerous elements on the value list, however, and you need to consider every one of them. You can stack you're far up to a V6-fueled AWD model for more than 34 thousand at the same time, as we found on a day's drive, we enjoyed that front-commute four-barrel best, particularly at the cost.

No comments:

Post a Comment