By Nitish S. Rele
Mitsubishi had promised more than a mid-cycle refresh of its 2016 Outlander. And it appears the Japanese carmaker has followed through on its pledge with a revamped crossover utility vehicle that touts over 100 engineering and design improvements.
Unfortunately, there is no change in the 2.4-liter, inline-4 cylinder power train, which once again develops 166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 162 lbs.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm. Getting power to the ground is a fresh but still boisterous Continuous Variable Transmission.
The front fender fascia, halogen headlights, rear fascia, tailgate garnish and LED tail lamps have been refreshed. Step into the cabin to find a redesigned steering wheel, seating surfaces, accent trim and an all-new 6.1-inch navigation and display audio interface. The leatherette/fabric front and rear 60/40 fold-down seats offer sufficient head and leg room. An Eco indicator on the instrument panel can be a convenient fuel saver. The black instrument panel with silver accents conveys elegance found in high-end SUVs. Several amenities are offered such as dual auto climate control, tilt/telescopic leather steering column and shifter knob, HD radio, driver information center, under floor cargo hold, and a rear seat armrest with two cup holders.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, active stability and traction control, hill start assist, four-wheel antilock brakes, anti-theft alarm, front-pedestrian impact crumple zones, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
No doubt, the tweaked Outlander manages just an adequate performance in a composed ride that carries seven safely to their destination. However, a cramped third-row seat and cranky transmission could be a turnoff for some potential buyers.
Test-drive the Outlander at Mitsubishi Brandon, located at 9915 Adamo Dr. in Tampa. Call 628-4444 or visit www.brandonmitsubishi.com for more information.