Mitsubishi’s Outlander earns recognition in the crowded field of midsize SUVs for its three-row seating capacity and attractive pricing, and for being an alternative for buyers who like to wade outside the mainstream.
Outlander’s biggest news this year is the introduction of a plug-in hybrid version.
There are four trim levels of the gasoline-powered Outlander: ES, SE, SEL and GT. A four-cylinder engine powers all versions except the GT, which comes with a V6.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is updated for 2018 by the addition of interior and exterior features including: A new 7-inch touchscreen display audio unit with Bluetooth as a standard feature on the ES model; silver interior stitching on the ES; and LED headlights and foglights, a heated steering wheel and a multi-view camera included in the SE Premium Package.
My tester was the SEL model with All Wheel Control (AWC), Mitsubishi’s name for its all-wheel drive system. For 2018 the SEL trim’s new standard features include a blind spot warning system, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist and power remote tailgate operation.
The Outlander SEL’s four-cylinder engine generates 166 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Those are modest numbers for the power-hungry, but they do a good enough job of propelling the car for ordinary drivers. City/highway/combined fuel economy ratings for my SEL AWC tester with a continuously variable transmission are 24/29/26 mpg.
Some of the characteristics I liked best about my 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL tester were its smooth ride, quiet interior, firm seats with generous bolstering on the bottom and back, heating on the seatback as well as the seat bottom, impressively bright headlights, large and simple control buttons, a terrific nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system, and the touchscreen’s ease of use.
An optional Touring Package on the tester added forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam, a sunroof, the premium audio system, a multi-view camera system, LED headlights and foglights, and a heated steering wheel. It’s a $3,000 package that pushes the bottom line past the $30,000 mark (wince) but those are some pretty great features I’d find hard to pass up.
2018 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SEL AWC
Base price, including destination charge: $28,935
Price as driven: $32,060
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.