Susan Frissell

Every new iteration of this Mitsubish favorite is better and better. As is the case with the 2016 Outlander Sport GT, equipped with Mitsubishi’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. Interior features and quality have improved, although, somewhat dated, and the standard three-row seating fits family needs; although one has to be agile and/or small to access it. Optional advanced safety technologies are also available to make Outlander compatible with its many rivals in the SUV marketplace. It remains to be seen what happens next for Mitsubishi after a recent statement that at Mitsubishi Motors in Tokyo employees allegedly improperly manipulated fuel-economy data to inflate mileage results on at least 625,000 vehicles.

The company also said it had violated Japanese law by deploying an improper fuel-economy testing method in some vehicles in Japan since 2002. It remains unclear at this time whether this affected fuel-economy information was provided to customers. An investigation will follow.

New for 2016 is the revised exterior styling-which is handsome, and standard LED headlights for the GT trim level. A revised navigation interface and more user-friendly folding arrangement in the second-row seating. Also new this year is a SEL midgrade trim level offering.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Cons? They all have them and the Outlander is no exception. Performance is wanting, and if one wants higher level features, he/she must opt for the GT Model. We could not warm up to the Rockford-Fosgate sound system. In spite of its 710-watt premium sound system with 9 speakers, the sound was good but not so the operation of the radio choices. This writer could not get the menu right so wasn’t able to determine song titles or performers. A minor point you might think, but it drove us crazy. We also could not locate the nav system, so assumed there wasn’t one; hard to believe in a GT trim level.

However, Mitsubishi gets credit for staying in the marketplace. Many times, the threat to leave the U.S. market looms. After just two years on the market, the Outlander received an upgrade and redesign; commendable. Considering the Outlander from a distance is favorable; it’s a good looking little SUV.

Our test vehicle was the GT version, with the 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine. If under serious consideration, we would most likely opt for the 6-cylinder. According to Mitsubishi, they also made improvements to the ride and handling, both which aren’t bad, but not A-plus. We found the car wandering on highway drives and felt as though it was a lightweight. The ride is quiet and smooth, and the car easy to handle, however, there is some road noise.

A seven-passenger SUV, the Outlander is available in four different levels: ES, SE, SEL and GT. The V-6 engine is only available in the GT, as is AWD. Mitsubishi offers a lengthy warranty, standard third-row seating and many standard features. Rival crossovers include the Mazda CX-5, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester (standard AWD) and Kia Sorento. It’s hard to make headway in the Honda or Subaru market these days; both the CR-V and Forester and Outback are widely popular.

The Nissan Rogue also offers a third-row in the same price range.

The ES comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED running lights and taillights, heated mirrors, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control, tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding second-row seat that slides and reclines, 50/50-split third-row seat, Mitsubishi’s “Fuse” voice-command system (for phone and audio controls), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with CD player (becoming more rare), and USB port.

The SE adds foglights, body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals, keyless ignition and entry, a color trip computer, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a rearview camera and an upgraded audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display and HD radio.

Added to the SEL are black roof rails, gloss-black interior trim, leather upholstery and a power driver seat. Many options are also available. Power folding mirrors are also included in two different packages, and our GT test vehicle came equipped with them. This is a great feature and another peace-of-mind invention.
When opting for the SEL Touring package, one gets a 7-inch touchscreen with nav., upgraded. Pricing for the Outlander ranges from $22,95-$30,995.

The GT comes standard with most options except the touchscreen navigation system and the advanced safety technologies (adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and lane-departure warning), all of which are included in the optional GT Touring package. Exclusive standard features on the GT include LED headlights, silver roof rails, chrome exterior beltline accents, shift paddles and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is offered with two available engines. The ES, SE and SEL get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque that is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). ES models are front-wheel-drive only, while the SE and SEL can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive SEL accelerated to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, a slower time than many rivals.

Not sure why our test GT vehicle came equipped with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and not the 3.0-liter V6. As said earlier, the six would be a big improvement. Our test vehicle was the six-speed automatic with shift paddles, and standard AWD.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Interior

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Interior

Standard safety features on the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander are comparable to other vehicles in this price range and include antilock disc brakes, traction/stability control, hill-start assist, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbags-first/second row, and front-seat side airbags. Consumers can opt for electronic safety features including lane-departure warning and forward collision mitigation.

The Outlander is in general an agreeable crossover. Where there isn’t anything to really dislike about it, there isn’t anything that makes it special. But then, that goes with the territory. How can any manufacturer compete in today’s over-crowded SUV category.


MSRP: $27,395; total vehicle price $28,345; options: Wheel locks, $55; destination $895
Engine: 2.4-liter MIVEC DOHC 16-valve, 4-cylinder, 166 hp., 162 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: Six-speed automatic with O/D, AWC, Sportronic steering wheel paddle shifters
Wheelbase: 105 in.
Length: 184.8 in.
Width: 71.3 in.
Height: 66.1 in.
Fuel tank capacity: 16.6 gal.
Wheels: 18-inch two-tone alloy
Tires: 22/555R18 all-season
EPA fuel economy: 24/29 mpg.
Towing capacity: 1,500 lbs.
Warranty: 10 yr/100,000-mile powertrain; 7 yr/100,000-mile corrosive perforation; 5 yr/60,000-mile new vehicle limited; 5 yr/unlimited roadside assistance.