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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander is a sporty driver, but its base four-cylinder engine and even the V6 can be a bit sluggish.

  • "Driving the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is more fun than you might expect, as its well-tuned chassis gives it sporty reflexes around corners and transmits considerable feedback to the driver." -- Edmunds
  • "Unlike most of its peers, it was also fun to drive, especially on roads usually considered more suited to it cousin the Lancer Evo." -- The Auto Channel
  • "While the stable and confident Outlander isn't one to turn its nose up at a little enthusiastic driving, it's not as sporty as the Mazda CX-7." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Based on the same platform (Mitsubishi Motors' global "C" architecture) as the compact and sporty Lancer sedan and tuner-friendly Lancer Evolution, Outlander has always been nimble and fun to drive." -- Drive Chicago
  • "Fortunately, the ride is pretty nice in the Outlander. Bumps and most craters that grace the roads in metro Detroit are smoothed out to be quite tolerable. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, though, as the Mitsubishi's front wheels err toward the jumpy side. A moderate dose of body roll also awaits you at every bend in the road." -- Left Lane News

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Outlander ES and SE come with a 2.4-liter 168-horsepower four-cylinder engine. However, many test drivers find it sluggish and prefer the LS and XLS models' 3.0-liter 220-horsepower V6. According to the EPA, the 2WD Outlander achieves 20/25 mpg city/highway with the four-cylinder engine and 17/24 with the V6.

  • "ES models are slow from a stop but build speed adequately above 20 mph. We timed an AWD version at 9.4 seconds 0-60 mph; a 2WD version felt slightly quicker. The CVT adjusts ratios promptly for passing, but power is limited. V6 Outlanders have more than enough verve for most driving conditions, but could use more power for ideal highway passing response." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 3.0-liter V6 is a little shy on low-end torque, but once revved up, it moves the Outlander along sufficiently and smoothly." -- Edmunds
  • "It isn't the most powerful V6 in the category, but by generating 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,000 rpm the Outlander is responsive around town." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

The Outlander's fun, nimble handling is one of its strengths thanks to a platform shared with the Mitsubishi Lancer sedan.

  • "This crossover has quick and communicative steering feel with moderate body lean in turns. XLS models are slightly sharper overall thanks to standard 18-inch tires. Outlander is particularly susceptible to highway-speed crosswind wander." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Ride quality is just as important as handling in a small SUV, though, and the Outlander is indeed comfortable and well-mannered when cruising." -- Edmunds
  • "The Outlander drives like a car thanks to its new performance-engineered global platform derived from the foundation of Mitsubishi's Lancer and its next-generation Lancer Evolution." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "Excellent steering and brake feel, a well-tuned suspension and supportive front seats combine to deliver a balance of comfort and confidence that will accommodate a range of driving styles." -- Kelley Blue Book

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