2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL AWD Long-Term Arrival Review

#hashtags: #Mitsubishi Outlander #SE S #AWC #Mitsubishi #Outlander

Although it didn’t wow anybody, the last Mitsubishi Outlander we had in our long-term fleet, a 2014 SE S-AWC model, showed us the nameplate and the Mitsubishi brand as a whole are making some progress. With its more refined ride and handling and improved interior quality, the Outlander showed that it had matured quite a bit since the last generation. Mitsubishi has refreshed the Outlander for 2016, and we took delivery of one to find out if the updates change the vehicle for the better.

The 2014 Outlander toned down its looks from the previous generation, which featured Mitsubishi’s aggressive, Evo-inspired front end. I was never a fan of the new model’s vanilla styling, which is why I appreciate the exterior updates made for 2016. The new grille vanquishes any similarities to the Atari logo we saw in the previous model, and the chrome accents on the bumper flow nicely with the redesigned headlights. It takes more risks than the last one, and for that I applaud Mitsubishi. The company says it also made more than 100 improvements benefiting structural rigidity, ride quality, NVH reduction, and other areas with the refresh. We’ll see if those upgrades pay off over the course of the loan.

Our test vehicle, a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC, comes with the naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter I-4, a CVT, and Mitsu’s S-AWC selectable all-wheel-drive system. The engine makes the same 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque as before, but Mitsubishi says it used additional sound-deadening material in the engine bay to cut down on noise. The SEL comes with auto-off halogen headlights, leather seating, heated front seats, 60/40 split folding and sliding second-row seats, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, hands-free keyless entry and push-button start, and a 6.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Like all Outlander CUVs, ours comes with a foldaway third row, so it can theoretically seat seven people. As we found before, however, those seats should be reserved for small children or your closest frenemies.

I dig the Outlander’sredesigned front end.Here’s hoping changesbeneath the sheetmetalare just as good.

Our car came equipped with the $5,250 SEL Touring package, which adds navigation, adaptive cruise control, a power liftgate, and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, among other things. The price tag comes to $33,095, just $375 more than our 2014 model.

If Mitsubishi’s many touted changes prove valuable, that extra $375 could be a bargain. We have a year to find out whether the crossover’s mid-cycle refresh is more than just skin deep.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC BASE PRICE $27,845 PRICE AS TESTED $33,095 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV ENGINE 2.4L/166-hp/162-lb-ft SOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION Cont. variable auto CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,651 lb (55/45%) WHEELBASE 105.1 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.8 x 71.3 x 66.1 in 0-60 MPH 9.2 sec QUARTER MILE 17.0 sec @ 83.1 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 119 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.8 sec @ 0.56 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 24/29/26 mpg ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 140/116 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.75 lb/mile