Mitsubishi Outlander — A quiet crossover alternative

By David Finkelstein

“Silence is golden!” I frequently heard this expression as a youngster. The meaning can be interrupted in various forms, but when it comes to the auto industry, I define it as one of the many drive characteristics we're looking to consider while test driving any new car or truck. In the simplest terms, I just find it unacceptable to drive a new automobile with a noisy interior cabin.

Unwanted sounds such as road or tire noise plus annoying wind noise and even engine or mechanical driveline system noises really diminish the buying experience.

To that thought, I was pleasantly surprised overall to have had recent “seat time” with the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander crossover. Getting behind the wheel was as quiet as a melting popsicle! OK, I realize that I'm slightly exaggerating,  but quite honestly, the drive was on par with any of the high end luxury imports I've tested.

The vehicle's fit and finish is world-class and the steering dynamics are quite remarkable. It may not have handled as a two-seater sports car traveling down the winding Pacific Coast Highway, but the drive overall wasn't cumbersome nor was it demanding. It maneuvered over uneven road surfaces as if the pavement was just refinished.

The takeaway message here is that I really enjoyed driving this 7-passenger, three row vehicle.

It's covered by an extensive new vehicle warranty through Mitsubishi's 360, U.S. dealership coast-to-coast network with a fully transferable 5-year/60,000 mile limited warranty, coupled with a10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty and a 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion coverage. Also included is courtesy/nationwide, 5-year/unlimited miles roadside assistance support. 

Outlander's outer body design looks modern and has a “boarder line” eye candy appeal about it. The body's stampings are fairly smooth overall with it's rounded corners. This helps to set the stage for this crossover in having a fairly low wind resistance rating. I was checking out the paint quality closely and have to conclude, it appears to be just about flawless.

As we focus further on the Outlander's exterior (depending on the trim level) some of the more notable features include: auto on/off LED headlights plus LED positioning lights and LED fog lights, a shark fin style roof antenna, available power operated folding side-view mirrors, remote power rear liftgate assembly, windshield wiper de-icer system, rain sensing and speed-sensitive variable intermittent front windshield wipers plus overhead roof rails designed for an optional roof rack that could accommodate lots of activity items. 

Also offered are chrome beltline moldings, gloss black-line interior accent panels and rear window privacy glass.

The Outlander for 2017 is manufactured with exterior color choices of Diamond White, Cool Silver, Mercury Gray, Labrador Black, Cosmic Blue, Rally Red, and Quartz Brown.

Under the definition of interior features — again, depending on the factory trim —are a high-contrast meter gauge cluster, dual-zone automatic climate control, an ECO drive mode system, front courtesy floor lamps, a 6.1-inch touch panel, 140-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with Digital HD Radio plus a smart phone link with enhanced SiriusXM satellite radio and a 3-month trial subscription. Apple CarPlay support and Android Auto is also offered.

Additionally, Mitsubishi offers a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with hands-free Bluetooth technology with steering controls. Heated front seats are offered as well as an electric parking brake system (which I might add is completely silent when activated), leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rear view mirror with Homelink, multi-view rear camera system and a 3rd row, flat fold-down seating configuration.

Two engine choices are offered. The standard 2.4L DOHC 16-valve Inline 4-cylinder or a 3.0L DOHC 24-valve V6. The smaller engine is rated at 166-horsepower while their larger 3.0-liter V-6 has 224-horsepower.

The EPA fuel consumption figures are 25-city/30-mpg highway with the 2.4 liter set up and front wheel drive. The V-6 and four wheel drive numbers reflect 20-mpg city and 27-highway. Both engines operate on regular grade fuel.

They include a CVT automatic transmission with the exception of a six speed automatic gearbox with the 3.0-liter powerplant and AWD.

Outlander's brakes have a very positive feel which help's raise the bar when it comes to driving confidently.

With quite a number of trim levels to choose from, the factory also includes a lengthy list of safety enhancements. The abbreviated list includes an advanced seven air bag SRS system including driver's side knee air bag, dual-stage front air bags (with occupant seat position sensors), front seat mounted side-impact air bags and front and rear curtain side air bags.

Depending on your trim options, items are available such as blind spot warning with lane change departure assist, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam headlights, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake-force distribution, hill start assist and active stability control with traction control logic technology.

The base pricing for the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is $23,495.