2016 Mitsubishi Outlander ES Touring

The Mitsubishi Outlander is bigger and better this year, I drove the Outlander ES Touring Edition, which, at $29,698, is the top-level four-cylinder Outlander. You get all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, premium audio with rear-view camera,, fog lamps, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Sirius satellite radio, silver painted roof rails, leather upholstery and (new for 2016) power folding side mirrors.

There are also heated front seats, automatic climate control, windshield wiper de-icer, automatic headlights, underfloor cargo storage, HomeLink and keyless entry.

The full exterior redesign is a positive step, giving the Outlander some visual currency when it’s out on the road. It looks good from all angles, in my opinion, although the heavy chrome cladding at the front is a bit over-the-top for me (but apparently I’m in the minority according to the local dealership, which has seen Outlander sales jump since the redesign). Furthermore, the 18-inch wheels add a sporty note to the vehicle, emphasizing and contributing to its longer, sleeker appearance.

The interior is comfortable, the controls easy to identify and operate, and visibility is very good to the front and sides. It’s also easy to get in and out of the Outlander, with wide door openings that also help when loading cargo,  It’s a “traditional” interior (read a little dated), but familiar.. Lots of room behind the rear seat, though, and a cavernous cargo area with the rear seat folded. This is a notable feature of the Outlander.

The 2016 Outlander’s big selling points, in my view, are the extremely smooth and quiet ride, roominess, and the amazing fuel economy. Mated to a new-generation continuously variable transmission (an “automatic,” you could call it), you’ll be immediately impressed by the Outlander’s magic carpet ride and cabin that insulates you from noise outside.

The “official” EnerGuide fuel consumption estimate for this vehicle is 9.7/8.1 L/100km, 9.0 L/100km combined. These are excellent numbers for a vehicle of this type, but the 2016 Outlander exceeds expectations. I averaged 7.3 L/100km on the highway at 100 km/h, which is most impressive. In the city I was seeing between 9.0 and 9.5 L/100km. This is using the Eco mode, by the way, but why not? I found its acceleration perfectly adequate in all situations in this mode.

So, I think, great value from the Outlander, but a few items to note regarding packaging and amenities. You will find the display rather small, and while the rearview camera is useful, it does draw your attention to a rather low-rent interface that does not include a navigation system. Not standard, not optional, not available (unless you buy the V6 Outlander), which seems odd.

Likewise the sunroof, while pleasant to have, is small and also seems dated. Many competitors have bigger, panorama roofs these days. While creating a brighter interior environment, it makes the vehicle feel more modern!

And no Blind Spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, lane departure warning or similar electronic safety aids available. I’d happily lose the power folding mirrors in order to get either the navigation or Blind Spot warning (but I’d also like a bigger display!).

The 2.4L Outlander will tow 1,500 pounds, which is useful and typical for small SUVs. The V6 Outlander tows 3,500 pounds, however, likely down to its use of a conventional six-speed automatic transmission.

But, as I say, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is a lot of vehicle for the money. It delivers great fuel economy using regular grade gasoline, and don’t forget, you receive a five year vehicle warranty, five year roadside assistance and a 10-year powertrain warranty on this vehicle, a warranty unmatched in Canada.

Check www.mitsubishi-motors.ca for the latest pricing, and expect a $1,450 destination/handling charge when calculating your price.

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