2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi announced yesterday that it will reveal its next-generation 2013 Outlander at the Geneva Auto Show next month. Although the model making its Geneva debut is the European version of the SUV, most analysts expect it to be close to what we’ll see in the U.S. next year.

First, Mitsubishi has updated the Outlander’s looks. “The overall look is friendlier and less aggressive than the Mitsubishi's current Outlander,” writes Automotive News. “Think goldfish instead of a shark.” The outgoing model has an open grille that’s inspired by the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan on which it’s based.

Specific powertrain information for the North American model hasn’t been announced yet, but Mitsubishi says that Europe’s Outlander will come with either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or a 2.2-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel powerplant. “Engine choices will likely be different when the new Outlander arrives in the U.S. market – we will probably only get larger gasoline engines,” predicts Automobile Magazine. Mitsubishi has also hinted that a plug-in hybrid version will be available at some point in 2013.

Many auto analysts are pleased that the new Outlander will also offer more features than the current model. “A significant advance beyond the vehicle it replaces, the next-gen Mitsubishi Outlander will offer a far more sophisticated user experience as well a introduce a host of new safety technologies to go along with even greater fuel efficiency,” reports Kelley Blue Book. “The cabin will feature a richer look with more soft-touch surfaces, high-resolution displays and instrumentation and multifunction steering wheel controls.” The Outlander will also be available with high-tech safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a forward collision mitigation braking system.

Though the 2013 model year is a long way off, if you’re considering buying an Outlander, you may want to wait until the new version hits U.S. dealerships in the fall. The current Mitsubishi Outlander wins praise for its sporty handling, but ranks mid-pack among affordable midsize SUVs for its disappointing interior. Since the next model’s updates promise to rectify this, it’s likely worth the wait.

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