What is it? Redesigned Mitsubishi Outlander presents new styling, inside and out, with attention paid to improving fuel economy through aerodynamics, weight savings (200 lbs.), and powertrain improvements.
The base Outlander is motivated by an updated 166-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), with the uplevel GT model featuring a 224-hp, 3.0-liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Available equipment includes a navigation system, 710-watt stereo, power liftgate, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision mitigation.
What’s new or notable? In early 2014, the Outlander range will be expanded with a plug-in hybrid. The Outlander PHEV will use electric motors, front and rear, to provide all-wheel drive. Adding versatility, the PHEV will be able to be switched by the driver to run in pure electric, parallel hybrid, and series hybrid modes, dependent on speed and battery charge.
CR’s take: The addition of the plug-in hybrid gives the Outlander a distinct offering in a popular segment. The current model has performed well in our tests, with fuel economy, ride quality, interior finish, and road noise being weak areas. Hopefully these areas have been improved, as the small SUV field has several redesigned competitors.
When will it be available? Fall 2013.