The 2015 Outlander is a surprisingly comfortable vehicle for both first- and second-row passengers, and the added value of a third row makes it a solid replacement for families needing more than a sedan. And, this current generation of Outlander has an excellent driver seating position–something that was woefully lacking until last year's redesign.
Interior trims vary a bit between models; the ES and SE get what’s called a ‘standard accent’—a matte-metallic trim for the dash and doors—while woodgrain interior trim is optional with the Premium or Touring Packages.
The Outlander has more noise insulation in the floor, dashboard, and headliner for 2015, and combined with the somewhat more compliant suspension and improved aerodynamics amounts to a very quiet, refined cabin.
There’s an underfloor storage box that has enough space to hide a couple of laptop bags out of the way, as well as open side boxes just aft of the wheel wells—giving smaller items a place without rattling around too much.
Mitsubishi boasts that the Outlander’s third row is nearly five inches wider than before, with 2.4 inches more legroom, yet as one of the most compact models with three rows of seating on the market, the Outlander performs no spacial magic. Even getting into that third row is something only kids will try; and even pre-teens may be looking at their knees. Think of it only as a pinch-hitter third-row seat, for when you suddenly need to bring a couple more kids back from practice.
Seat-folding involves many more steps than you’d expect—including lifting and flipping forward the lower cushion, removing the second-row headrests, clicking an unlock lever, and then releasing the seatbacks to flip those forward. Yet the effort is definitely rewarded; the Outlander has a lower cargo floor than other vehicles in this class, and it’s nice and flat (and 13 inches longer than the outgoing Outlander, Mitsubishi says).