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STYLING | 7 out of 10
exterior looks that are merely frumpy
Big and bland
Though nearly the same size as the last-generation version, the new Outlander is defined by curves, not angles.
Kelley Blue Book
The outgoing Mitsubishi Outlander, with its blunt, shark-nose front end, wedgelike silhouette, and performance-tinged interior, channeled some of the spirit of the Evolution sport sedan in appearance. Now Mitsubishi may aspire to reach more value-minded families with the 2014 Outlander, but the design heads off entirely in that direction—one that we tend to think is a little bland.
Yet to its credit, Mitsubishi hasn’t at all followed the pack, and instead ended up with a product that looks different than anything else on the market.
Going by its silhouette, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is pleasantly proportioned, if ordinary. Mitsubishi says that the new flowing front-end appearance—with the grille down below the bumper and merely an insert above—is as it is for aerodynamics, and to set a new, efficiency-minded look. However we think the softly contoured, smoothed-over look doesn’t seem nearly as exciting or commanding. The side profile is especially clean though, with a single, distinct crease running just below the beltline. In back, we think that the rounded corners and clear taillamp lenses look a little retro-1990s—and we’re not sure if that’s intentional or not.
On the plus side, Mitsubishi’s aerodynamics improvements have yielded a seven-percent reduction in the coefficient of drag (now a low 0.33) and things like roof grooves and a top rear spoiler help smooth airflow at highway speeds.
Inside, ‘simple’ is the word to describe the rather low-set instrument panel, which some may see as too plain or others mind find refreshingly straightforward. There aren’t a lot of buttons, and the layout and trims are modest but tasteful. At a time when almost every model tries to emulate luxury models, the Outlander cabin isn’t going above and beyond in design or materials, but it does feel warm and accommodating.
You might see the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander as too bland; but if simplicity is your thing, it could strike the right chord.