9.15.2013

Why The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT Deserves A Test Drive

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT
Can the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT save an entire car company?


New car buyers, you have a new address to remember.

Your local Mitsubishi dealer.

Yes, it's been a long time, if ever, since you considered the triple-diamond brand for anything with four wheels.  Long enough that the very survival of Mitsubishi as an automotive manufacturer in this country has been in question the past few years.

But this...the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT...shows the company is still capable of making very good vehicles.  And ones targeted at the American driver, at that.


2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT offers room, refinement and value.

It's a three-row crossover with plenty of everything, including power and fuel economy, at a starting price below $30,000.

Following the seven-year run of the last-generation Outlander (2007-2013, inclusive), anything would seem like a breath of fresh air.  But Mitsubishi, knowing what's at stake, steps up to the plate.

What do you need to know?   First, get the GT.  Yes, you can get the base Outlander, the ES, for only $22,995, but there's only one way to get the 3-liter V6, and that's with the GT.

You don't give up much by making that move.  The fuel economy penalty is minimal.  The four-cylinder with a continuously variable transmission is EPA estimated at 25 city/31 highway (27 combined).  With the V6 and a 6-speed automatic, it's 20 city./28 highway (23 combined)....and we saw 24 in 400 miles of mixed city street and urban freeway driving over the course of a week.

The base price is more ($27,795), but that covers the Super All-Wheel Control 4 wheel drive system  (that's about $2,000 of the $4,800 difference right there), the six-speed automatic instead of the CVT, the more powerful (224 horsepower) engine and a long list of standard features that make the Outlander GT a very nice piece indeed. Click here for the full list of standard equipment.

This time around, the Outlander GT is lighter, yet smoother and more refined.  And the weight savings translate into more-than-adequate performance from the 3-liter V6.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT interior
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT's interior, with the GT Touring Package, looks like it costs much more than $34,720.

The press fleet folks added one option package to our tester...the GT Touring Package.  That adds navigation with a 7-inch high definition touch-screen, real-time traffic, 3D mapping, lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, a power glass sunroof, leather seating surfaces.  a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with 9 speakers, a 10-inch subwoofer, DTS neural surround sound and Dolby, a power driver's seat and power remote tailgate.  The package is a $6,100 option, but I'd grab it in a heartbeat.  It makes the Outlander GT seem for all the world like a $40,000 crossover...and the final price (with $825 for destination and handling) is only $34,720.

The only complaint I have is that the touchscreen likes to think about what you tell it to do.  For four full seconds.  It will do exactly what you want, but it's press the button and onemississippitwomississippithreemississippifourmississippi before it actually happens.  Annoying, especially in traffic.  But the sound from the Rockford Fosgate audio system....that goes a long way toward making up for it.

OEM audio systems have come a long way in the 17 years I've been reviewing cars and even in the 5 years since I launched TireKicker...and we've had some awesome ones, including the $6,000 Bang & Olufsen system in the Audi A8 and the Bowers & Wilkins system in the Jaguar.  And more recently, the Krell audio package in the 2014 Acura RLX.   The Rockford Fosgate may not be as subtle or refined and I'm sure audiophiles would quibble over fractions of percentages of total harmonic distortion and the like...but it packs a punch and sounds great.

Bottom line, check that box and the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT gets you a three-row crossover for loaded small SUV money.  That's a value proposition.   And that's a sweet spot Mitsubishi can now pursue with a quality product.

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