On a recent trip across the Northeastern United States I saw a lot of SUV’s traveling on the highways. Most were of the Honda or Toyota variety, with a few Fords and Chevrolet’s in the mix. During the trip, I actively searched out other Mitsubishi Outlanders, to match the one we were driving. In three days of driving threw some highly populated areas of the United States, I saw a grand total of two Outlanders. A white one built in 2010 like ours, and an older model that looked about five years old.
There were plenty of Mitsubishi automobiles on the roads. Plenty of Galants and Eclipses were spotted. However, there were not a lot of Outlanders. By a rough vehicle count for this road trip, it seems that Mitsubishi has yet to make inroads on the American consumer for its newly designed 2010 Outlander XLS. The future is still bright for this vehicle since it has yet to be noticed on the American car scene.
This was the first road trip in our new Outlander and it performed well. Cruising between 60 and 70 mph we saw about 26 mpg with the MIVEC V6 engine. While traveling at a more mild 55 mph over flat terrain, mileage was a tad better, coming in just below 28 mph, which is slightly higher than its EPA rated 20/25 mpg.
The 6-speed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) coupled with the 230HP offered plenty of passing power on the interstate, and yet it still offered a smooth and quiet ride. The Outlander handles curves quite well. However, since the chassis is based on the Lancer, you could still feel some of the larger potholes. I would also be hesitant to take the Outlander off-road, but the AWD and 4WD all-lock wheels locked suspension should handle any East Coast snow storm on town and city street.
Loading luggage for the trip was made easier with the dual fold-down and flip-up hatchback. The Outlander is the only SUV that has this feature. The tailgate makes it much easier to load and remove luggage from the rear of the vehicle. The fold down tailgate makes for a handy place set a table and have a picnic, or two sit. The manual states that the tailgate on the Mitsubishi Outlander XLS will support up to 300 pounds.
Our Mitsubishi offers a third row seat, but do not bother trying to use it for anything other then placing an extra child there for a short trip in town. The seat is not much more than a bench, and there is very little leg room.
The Outlander lacks rear vents for air conditioning and heating. Thus, it can get quite warm in the rear of the vehicle during longer road trips. One improvement that could be brought to the Outlander is to include re-venting as most new SUVs on the market offer this feature.
The newly designed 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS stands out as an alternative vehicle purchase over a Honda CRV and Toyota RAV4, which are more commonly seen on the highways.