Mitsubishi's Outlander compact crossover vehicle goes into 2010 with an all-new front end, a refreshed interior, and the introduction of the top-of-the-line Outlander GT model, plus next-generation technology features.
A subtle set of design changes takes the Outlander in a more carlike direction on the outside for 2010, with fewer rugged SUV cues and the sharklike "jet fighter" snout inherited from the Evo. Along with the front-end changes, the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander gets new aero work in front, a mesh grille, a new rear fascia, redesigned hood and fenders, and on most models, chrome-accented side-sill extensions. Inside there are some much-needed soft-touch materials, including, for the top trims, soft double-stitched synthetic leather padding where elbows go and for some of the dash. The vents and dials also get new bright accents, and all but the base model gets a new multicolor LCD instrument display. Altogether, the Outlander now looks sportier on the outside and doesn’t feel nearly as cut-rate inside.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, making 168 horsepower, is standard on ES and SE models of the 2010 Outlander, but we'd probably discourage it for most buyers as it brings barely adequate performance with its continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and generates too much engine noise while accelerating. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine that's featured on XLS and GT models has a completely different personality, producing 220 horsepower delivered through a responsive, easy-shifting six-speed automatic with steering-wheel paddles. It has a lot more power to spare and gets fuel economy approaching that of the four on the highway. ES, SE, and XLS models of the Outlander remain offered with a choice of front-wheel drive or 4WD (with a center diff lock), while the new GT is the first Outlander to inherit an application of the Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system used in the Evo and Ralliart. The system includes Tarmac, Snow, and Lock modes, selected with a knob on the center console, to cater the system’s responses to specific conditions, with an Active Front Differential and electronically controlled center diff, for more seamless distribution of torque between the wheels.