Car Review - Mitsubishi Outlander 2005
Mitsubishi Outlander 2005: The Weekly Driver Review
by James Raia
The 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander is the least expensive of
the Japanese manufacturer's three sports utility vehicles.
It's compact, nicely designed and offers more standard
features than many SUVs nearly twice the price.
But the Outlander faces a tough challenge. In a popular
category that includes best-buy choices like the Ford
Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, the Outlander
doesn't offer any outstanding qualities that could sway
My test drive for the week was the new all-wheel drive
limited edition Outlander. It joins the previous LX and
XLS models and features an impressive list of upgrades
from previous models.
All Outlanders offer a 4-cyclinder, 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter
engine. With its standard automatic transmission, the
vehicle performs adequately in city driving. But it lacks
acceleration for highway journeys, and it struggles on
long inclines, even with only two adult front-seat passengers.
Steering and handling are adequate and the automatic transmission
shifts smoothly. Mitsubishi's all-wheel drive system is
a plus and it's reminiscent of the AWD feature Subaru
first offered. The Outlander limited edition includes
17-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel independent suspension.
But such features don't ease the tough go over city street
speed bumps, even at slow speeds.
In several other basic areas front and rear-seat
room, ride noise, interior materials and instrumentation
function the Outlander is adequate. The gauges,
for example, are simply designed and easy to use. But
if average is the best Mitsubishi can do, how can the
Outlander compete with heavy-hitters in the compact SUV
For all of its less-than-spectacular features, the Outlander
rebounds in several areas.
From the driver's seat, visibility is good. The vehicle's
leather seats are comfortable and front and rear seat
access is spacious. Despite the Outlander's compact SUV
status, there's plenty of cargo space behind the rear
seat. And the rear lift gate is nicely designed and functions
The Outlander's best feature, though, is its vast array
of standard features, particularly in the limited edition.
Consider: air-conditioning, cruise control a 210-watt
Infinity AM/FM stereo (six-disc CD and MP3 features),
power doors, windows and sunroof, remote keyless entry,
leather seats, heated front seats, a 10-way adjustable
driver's seat, dual visor vanity mirrors, integrated fog
lights, a nicely designed roof rail, a 60-40 split reclining
rear seatback and daytime running lamps.
Still, the Outlander doesn't have the workmanship of other
vehicles in its class and its resale value can't match
the more well-recognized SUVs offered by Ford, Honda and
Subaru. Further, the Outlander is an SUV with an underpowered
engine. Isn't that a contradiction?
2005 Mitsubishi Outlander
Safety features -- Dual front and front side airbags,
antilock brakes, daytime running lamps.
Fuel Mileage (estimates) -- 21 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway).
Warranty -- Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain,
10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/100,000 miles;
Roadside assistance, 5 years, unlimited miles.
Base price range -- $25,179.00.
About the Author
James Raia, a journalist in Sacramento, Calif., syndicates
the column, The Weekly Driver Review
and is co-author of the e-book How To Buy A Car Without
Getting Ripped Off
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