Among 4-cylinder models, the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander is offered with two different engines: a 166-horsepower, 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, or a 224-hp, 3.0L V6. Four-cylinder models include a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while shifting in V6 models is handled by a conventional 6-speed automatic. If buyers want the V6, they need to get the top GT model.
The layout underneath the Outlander is like that of most crossovers in this class, with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link rear suspension. A new electric power steering system helps provide good weighting and responsiveness and also reduces fuel consumption. EPA gas mileage ratings for the 4-cylinder models ranges up to 25 mpg city, 31 highway.
The Outlander isn't a serious off-roader, although it has enough toughness (and ground clearance) to get through areas that are somewhat loose and rocky. S-AWC models (with all-wheel drive) include an electronically controlled center coupling, with an open rear differential; the system is supplemented by an active front differential that helps get the torque split correct between front wheels--especially of help in low-traction situations like ice, snow and mud.
In all models, the second row can fit up to three, and it's 60/40 split, with the seatbacks folding forward for more cargo capability or reclining--and there are adjustments for sliding fore and aft as well. The third row can fit two, and it's 50/50 split, with a fold-flat mechanism. With both rows folded, the Outlander has up to 128.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough to swallow pieces of furniture, or several large parcels.
Equipment included even on base ES models of the 2015 Outlander includes automatic climate control, rear-seat heater ducts, remote keyless entry, heated side mirrors, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and a 6-speaker sound system with 140 watts. Step up to the SE and it comes with dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a passive-entry system and touch-screen audio with a USB port, Bluetooth and HD Radio. Top of the line Outlander GT models come with HID headlamps, special side beltline trim and other items, while they can be optioned with a GT Premium Package that adds leather upholstery, a power sunroof, a remote tailgate, a power driver's seat and the top 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system. That upgraded audio system includes a 7-inch touch panel with voice commands, while the audio system in the base model includes a 6.1-inch touch screen.
On SE and GT models several active-safety technologies are included, such as Adaptive Cruise control, which will keep a set following distance behind the vehicle ahead; Forward Collision Mitigation, which will warn of vehicles or obstructions ahead and then automatically brake to help cut the severity of a collision; and Lane Departure Warning, which finds lane markings and warns the driver if he or she is veering out of the lane.