Mitsubishi was selling the Outlander on more aggressive styling and driving attributes, but it’s clearly repositioned the new 2014 model, in its new form, toward value—and offering one of the strongest sets of standard equipment for the money, among compact-to-mid-size crossovers. And if it’s three-row models you’re considering, the new 2014 Outlander is the features-for-money champ.
The 2014 Outlander is offered in ES, SE, and GT models, and we tend to think that the best value in the lineup is found in the middle SE models.
At the base ES level, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander includes heated side mirrors, steering-wheel audio controls, rear-seat heated ducts, automatic climate control, a multi-information display, remote keyless entry, cruise control, power accessories, and a six-speaker, 140-watt sound system. The only catch in the ES’s appeal is that there’s no standard Bluetooth, and it comes with steel wheels and plasticky-looking hubcaps—but that could be remedied with a visit to your favorite aftermarket shop, perhaps.
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander ES models add heated front seats, FAST-Key passive entry, dual-zone climate control, push-button start, a touch-screen audio system with rearview camera, FUSE HandsFreeLink, HD Radio, and a USB port. On these models, you can get the S-AWC 4WD system, or get a Premium Package (leather upholstery, power sunroof, satellite radio, power driver’s seat, power tailgate, and woodgrain finish) or a Touring Package (those features plus navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Mitigation, and Lane Departure Warning).
At the top of the line, the Outlander GT adds the V-6, with the six-speed automatic, steering-wheel paddle-shifters, and all-wheel drive, plus HID headlamps and rain-sensing wipers. The Premium and Touring packages are also offered here.
Audio systems start with the base 140-watt system in ES models—capable of displaying a limited number of character and information but sounding fine and having a simple layout with traditional volume and tuning knobs. The SE and GT get a new touch-display audio system with 6.1-inch color display. It relies on touching areas of the screen for pretty much everything—although a more intuitive layout and larger screen ‘buttons’ make it a step ahead of the systems offered in both Toyotas and Subarus. Above that, a navigation system with seven-inch touch screen is optional; it includes Eco Routing, 3D map views, and HD Radio traffic data, and can also pull up album art for audio through connected devices or inserted via an SD card.
Unlike some of the systems on the market (in the Subaru Forester, for example), the Outlander’s mechanism doesn’t allow for a memory setting (for low garage clearance). It’s packaged along the side of the cargo area, though, and out of the way of the hatch opening.