2016 Mitsubishi Outlander - Could you get more for less?

by Melanie Davis
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Mitsubishi-Outlander_2016_5By Roger Rivero
The Mitsubishi Outlander is an important vehicle, at least for the Japanese manufacturer. Looking at the sales figures, I would say it is essential. The Outlander carries on its shoulders more than half of sales in the U.S. Mitsubishi has taken note, and the 2016 version has been completely redesigned. More than 100 changes and improvements are in the new vehicle, turned into the most advanced crossover that Mitsubishi has ever manufactured. After trying it for a week, we can say that 2016 Outlander looks, drives and feels like a new car. The manufacturer’s effort is appreciated, amid the tremendous pressure that it’s receiving from others better off. Mitsubishi has been left with little money in the coffers, without a partner to navigate together in the shark-infested waters (Honda, Toyota, Mazda, etc.) Just when partnerships, alliances and mergers are more relevant than ever — ask Mr. Marchionne — Mitsubishi has remained like Robinson, alone on an island. Mitsubishi-Outlander_3Hence the importance of the renewal in the Outlander. Numerous families — like many of our Hispanic families — are the primary target of this model, which can fit 7 people with reasonable comfort. While the third row of seats is only accessible by minors or short adults —as in models of the competition— the second row of seats does not feel as hard and flat as other crossovers. One of the improvements that I most appreciated is in the cab. While there are new materials and better finish, 31 tweaks have been introduced to achieve a quieter Outlander, and the result is substantial. Driving is now not only quieter but also better balanced and somewhat lighter due to the improvement in the suspension and the new continuous transmission (CVT). Most models in the Outlander “line up†have a single engine option, a 2.4, 4-cylinder that generates 166 horsepower, nothing substantial for a car that weighs 3,500 pounds that could suddenly increase with the 7 seats occupied. Mitsubishi has positioned the Outlander to attract buyers by offering value for money. It’s a surprise that an SE brings all the improvements of the 2016 model in addition to more standard features for about $200 less than the similar 2015 model. In fact in the $23,845, this is the second cheapest vehicle to accommodate 7 people, behind the Dodge Grand Caravan. The Outlander is offered in ES, SE, SEL and GT models. A SEL can be obtained with all elements of active safety for a total price of around $27,000. We think the best value in the lineup is right in the middle, on the SE. A base 2016 ES model includes features such as automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, cruise control, audio controls on the steering wheel, power accessories, Bluetooth, rear view mirrors with LED lights and heater for something less $23,000. With an excellent warranty, outstanding results in safety tests by the government and the Institute for Highway Safety, and fuel consumption equal to or greater than any of its competitors (24 city and 29 highway) Outlander is presented as a tentative option for family transportation. I appreciate the efforts made by Mitsubishi to improve this model. Hopefully, the turbulent times stay overleaf so they can continue to deliver quality products to customers who have been loyal to them for many years. Montero* ... are you listening? * Rumors continue in the trade press about the possible reintroduction of the Mitsubishi Montero in the United States soon. More about cars: youtube.com/AutomotrizTV