Seeing the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander next to the previous generation tells the story with ease. Gone is any notion of bold styling with its shark-nose front end, performance-tinged interior, and wedgelike personality–replaced with something that feels restrained in the name of practicality.
What's left here isn't necessarily sporty, but it does lean in the direction of elegance–and its interior is simple, modest, and tasteful.
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 spare, but not unattractive. 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.
Going by its silhouette, the 2015 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.
New for 2015, the front grille has been updated, and upper-trim models receive new leatherette and cloth-trimmed seats, as well as a leather-wrapped shift knob.