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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander was new.


Performance: 6.9

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander won't impress you on the open road with its power, and it certainly can’t match the performance chops of class rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape. Both of the Outlander's engines feel weak and lethargic when accelerating from a stop. Throw in a bumpy ride and steering that makes it hard to know where the car is in turns, and you're left with a fuel-efficient ride that gets you from here to there, but that’s about it.

  • "In terms of civility and ride comfort, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander moves from far below par to about average for the crossover segment. A Honda CR-V is still more comfortable and a Mazda CX-5 is more fun to drive, but the Outlander is no longer the outlier in its class." – Automobile Magazine
  • "Interior quality and driving dynamics are now competitive in the hard-fought compact crossover class, but engine performance is still lacking, even for the V6." -- AutoTrader
  • "With this update, the Outlander is more competitive, but other SUVs provide better fuel economy, better handling and more power." – Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Outlander's engine lineup isn’t for you if you’re passionate about driving. Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine will let you down when you hit the gas pedal, so don’t pull out into traffic thinking you’ll beat an oncoming car. The new transmission – a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which works like an automatic – works well with what it's got. You’ll find that it delivers power consistently as the speedometer inches up, provides smooth gear changes, and ensures good fuel economy. According to the EPA, the base 2016 Outlander earns 25/31 mpg city/highway, which is above the class average.

The available 3.0-liter V6 engine is more powerful, but not enough to make you confident that the power will be there when you need it. It’s still slow from a stop, and you’ll find that when reaching for highway speeds you’ll need to find a larger-than-usual gap to merge into.

See a full list of specs »

  • "Both the standard four-cylinder and optional V-6 engines are unchanged in the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander, although the four-banger receives a new continuously variable transmission that has better refinement, better efficiency, and a greater overall spread between gear ratios." – Automobile Magazine
  • "Unfortunately, even with the changes, the 2.4 delivers lethargic acceleration. Mitsubishi says the 0 to 60 miles per hour time is improved by a whole second thanks to the updated transmission, but that sprint still requires 10 seconds." -- AutoTrader
  • "Outlander GT looks muscular on paper, although in reality the acceleration to highway speeds is merely adequate. And when it gets there, the Outlander GT cruises with a low, unsexy drone. At least the fixed shift paddles on the steering column allow for manual control of the transmission if you get frisky. If you're driving an Outlander, though, you probably won't." – Car and Driver

Ride, Handling, and Braking

When you drive down the road in the Outlander, you’ll want to find the smoothest pavement possible because this SUV will rattle you whenever you hit road imperfections. If you enjoy a bit of excitement when driving winding roads, other SUVs, like the Mazda CX-5, will be more to your liking. You’ll find that the steering is uncommunicative – a fancy way of saying when you turn the wheel, the Outlander may not always feel like it’s following.

  • "The Outlander does float and bounce over dips and crests more than we'd prefer, but at least the retuned electric-assist steering provides a greater sense of straight-line stability." – Automobile Magazine
  • "Handling is tidier, too. Considerable work was done to stiffen various parts of the structure, and retuned suspension components were designed to firm up the previous model's mushy suspension. There's still a dearth of feel through the steering wheel and brake pedal, but when it comes to quelling noise while facilitating some awareness of what's going on under the vehicle, Mitsubishi engineers have much to be proud of." – Car and Driver
  • "Handling has been noticeably improved for 2016 thanks to reinforcements to the platform that increase rigidity, and new retuned shocks. The downside is the ride is too firm. The Outlander uses electric power steering for 2016, and while it's still numb on- center, steering feel is somewhat improved from last year." – Kelley Blue Book

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