This week we’re looking at the ‘New for 2010’ Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC (AWC stands for All Wheel Control. I guess AWDrive wasn’t good enough).
Outlander is updated with a more aggressive styling that is most pronounced in the Jet Intake looking grille. It seems even more unusual without a traditional bumper. Well a bumper is an appendage anyway and if you have a front end collision the bumper affords little protection. In the old days, like 60 years ago plus, bumpers were actually used to push another car to get it started for example. And as the term implies they were for bumps not full on crashes. In fact government impact tests used to require minimal damage for low speed crashes of 5 mph but now it has been dropped to only 2 ½ mph and that only applies to passenger cars and excludes trucks and SUV’s.
No matter – bumpers will likely be totally eliminated over time. So this “Bumperless” grille work is just fine with me. Lets face it, when you exceed ‘bumper car’ speeds the damage from even low speed crashes will often ‘total’ the car and the airbag deployment will probably break your glasses if not your nose or neck.
The Outlander is offered in four trim levels with the ES and SE powered by a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder engine while the XLS and GT are powered by a 230-horsepower 3.0-liter MIVEC V6 engine. The GT features standard Super-All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) which includes an Active Front Differential (AFD) and an electronically-controlled center differential system to distribute power for optimal traction in various conditions.
Ever notice one lane will be bumper to bumper while the others are lightly populated. I think drivers tend to “nap” on their boring commutes. “Dear, I was just resting my eyes!” I’ve commented about ‘distracted’ drivers and the problems they cause and this is just one element of the problem. I can’t complain because it is better for those distracted bumper car drivers to stay put rather than make unsafe lane changes. Please stay alert and avoid collisions.
Handling & Performance:
Outlander is an all around good performer and a real enjoyable ride with good power. It also has important features like all wheel drive. That cuts into the fuel economy but the added safety is worth the cost. Disc brakes enhance sure braking and are increasingly more common each year – which brings to mind the 1970s when disc brakes really spiked in demand. I was in the brake business back then and we thought drum brakes would quickly be a thing of the past. We were wrong, of course, and more than a half century later ‘drum brakes’ still represent a significant percent of the braking systems on cars. Even though disc brakes have been an idea since 1890 it has been slow to dominate passenger car use.
There is no such thing as too extreme these days and the departure from traditional designs is a part of the ever evolving auto industry. The air scoop grille is large and in your face as a very distinguishing feature that will be easy to identify as a Mitsubishi. Bravo – be all you can be and be proud of your difference. I like it, how about you?
Fit and Finish:
Very good Japanese attention to detail.
Competitive with only the Korean brands busting the price barrier.
Conveniences and comfort:
All the comforts of home away from home.
There are 17 competitors for this Outlander so your work is cut out for you. If price is a big consideration you are safe eliminating the more expensive brands because you can rest assurd you will be impressed with the newest kid on the block – Korea’s Kia and Hyundai are very good products and are priced much less. I’m inclined toward the “Big 3” – Ford, GM and Chrysler and as people become more nationalistic you will see American brands rise in demand.
Mitsubishi Outlander $ 21-29,000, Chevrolet Equinox $23-30,000, Dodge Nitro $22-29,000, Ford Escape $21-27,000, GMC Terrain $24-31,000, Honda CR-V $22-30,000, Hyundai Tucson $19-26,000, Jeep Liberty $23-29,000, Jeep Patriot $15-25,000, Jeep Wrangler $21-32,000, Kia Sorento $20-29,000, Kia Sportage $17-23,000, Mazda Tribute $20-29,000, Nissan Rogue $20-25,000, Subaru Forester $20-28,000, Suzuki Grand Vitara $19-27,000, Toyota Highlander $26-35,000, Toyota RAV4 $22-28,000.
Aggressive design that is not excessive, comfortable ride with good power and nice sound system.
Only fair fuel economy forgivable only in the sense it is AWD.
3.0 liter 230 hp V6 engine, 6-speed auto trans, all wheel drive, hill start assist, alarm system with engine immobilizer, 710 watt audio system with 9-speakers with a 10” subwoofer, Sirius satellite radio, color multi information display, service reminder system, paddle shifters, keyless entry, 18” Alloy wheels, aluminum pedals, front air bags seat mounted side bags and side curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor, LATCH child seat system, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes and independent suspension,
$2.99/ Gal avg. July 24, 2010
for more information.
18 City and 24 Highway MPG
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