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.