Mitsubishi Motors is attempting to enhance their reputation in the U. S. automobile market with cars such as the one I tested last week, a Mercury Gray Outlander 2.4 SE all-wheel drive compact crossover. The Tokyo-based manufacturer has existed since 1917 and is the sixteenth largest in the world. It has weaved in and out of ownership arrangements with several suitors such as Daimler, Volvo, Chrysler and several Chinese firms. But U.S. sales peaked about ten years ago, and Mitsubishi is relying on acceptance of vehicles such as the Outlander SE to maintain a substantial presence in this country.
I actually liked the car pretty well, and was not too shocked to step into it after just concluding a test of a $68,000 luxury sedan. Its M.S.R.P. was $29,645.00, including freight ($850.00), and a premium package ($2,600.00). Positives included the styling, nimble handling, and comfortable leather black seats. The premium items were a glass power moon roof, roof rails, backup camera, woodgrain interior trim, and 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate 9-speaker stereo with a ten inch subwoofer located in the rear. Of course it had power locks/windows/mirrors, heated seats, power remote tailgate, satellite radio, tilt/telescope steering column, cruise, and auto climate control. It had seating for five and 21.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the back seat. A proximity key arrangement, pushbutton start, and console-mounted emergency brake were items that pleased me, as usual.
Powering the Outlander is a 4 cylinder, 2.4 liter, 166 horsepower DOHC engine rated at 24 mpg-city and 29 mpg-highway (15.8 gallon tank). Behind it is a continuously variable gearless transmission. The car has suitable power, and four-wheel drive is selected on the fly with a console-mounted button.
I mentioned the styling, which was enhanced with 18” bright alloy, eight-spoke wheels, a bold dual grill arrangement, a spoiler, and deep-tint rear windows. At the rear was a chrome exhaust finisher and dual fog lights were attractively arranged on the front of the car.
Mitsubishi has managed to put together a vehicle worthy of respect with their Outlander SE. The car didn’t disappoint in any way, I would consider owning one, and had a pleasurable week driving it around.