Recall Alert: Mitsubishi Outlander


Mitsubishi has issued a recall for 21,493 Mitsubishi Outlanders from the 2007 and 2008 model years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall is due to a malfunction in the LED brake lights’ lamp switch, which may cause the lights to not work while braking.

There’s a reason cops pull people over for broken taillights — they make sudden stops particularly dangerous and increase the chance a car will be rear-ended. Dealers will remedy the problem by simply replacing the faulty lamp.

For more information, owners can contact their local Mitsubishi dealer, or the national hotline at 888-MITSU2009. They can also contact the NHTSA hotline at 888-327-4236

By Stephen Markley | January 6, 2009 | Comments (1)

Four Small SUVs Get IIHS Top Safety Pick


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released its latest round of crash tests, and this time the safety group took on the small SUV segment, one of the most popular in the market. 

Four out of the eight small SUVs tested earned the IIHS’s Top Safety Pick status, meaning they received top scores in front, side and rear crash tests. All eight SUVs came with stability control standard. Who were the winners? Keep reading for more, along with the IIHS’ chart of how all eight did. 

By David Thomas | August 20, 2008 | Comments (9)

2009 Subaru Forester Tops Consumer Reports List


Consumer Reports recently reviewed a number of small SUVS, and the overall winner was none other than the all-new Subaru Forester, which we recently reviewed here. The Forester impressed CR so much it unseated the Toyota RAV4 as the magazine’s top-rated compact SUV by earning a slightly higher road-test score.

CR also tested the Nissan Rogue and Mitsubishi Outlander this time out. The company had previously tested the RAV4 and Honda CR-V, which ranked sixth among compact SUVs. While the Rogue scored well, it wasn’t “recommended” by CR. To get the recommendation, a car must either score above-average in reliability or have predicted high reliability. The Rogue is an all-new model and thus has no reliability figure.

In the case of the Mitsubishi Outlander, CR says it has shown outstanding reliability in its first year since its redesign. Because of a long history of solid reliability, the new Forester is predicted to also have above-average reliability and thus earns the “recommended” nod.

We always thought the Outlander was a sporty and affordable compact SUV, but worried about issues like reliability. Hearing such positive findings by CR definitely boosts its standing in the field. 

Subaru Forester leaps ahead (ConsumerReports)

By David Thomas | July 3, 2008 | Comments (8)

Lancer Gets More Power; Outlander Gets Less


Mitsubishi made a small announcement today: Both the regular Lancer sedan and the Outlander SUV will get Mitsubishi's latest 2.4-liter engine. Mitsubishi calls the engine its next-generation four-cylinder; power is up to 168 hp, nominally more than last year's 2.4-liter.

In the Lancer, the engine will go in the GTS trim, while other versions retain a smaller, 152-hp engine. A manual or CVT automatic is available. The Outlander gets the 2.4-liter engine with a CVT in ES and SE trims, while LS and GTS trims have a V-6.

The extra power should help the Lancer, which is engaging to drive but could use a little more oomph. The Outlander, meanwhile, gets 3 mpg better in the city (20/25 mpg city/highway with either FWD or AWD) with the four-cylinder versus the V-6, but highway mileage stays about the same.

The figures stack up about even with the four-cylinder Saturn Vue (19/26 with FWD) but fall slightly short of the Honda CR-V (20/27 and 20/26 with FWD and AWD, respectively) and four-cylinder Toyota RAV4 (21/27 or 20/25).

A Mitsubishi product manager told us the four-cylinder Outlander is a 2008 model and will go on sale early next year, while the upgraded Lancer GTS is a 2009 model and will go on sale in the spring.

More on the LA Auto Show
More Mitsubishi News

By Kelsey Mays | November 15, 2007 | Comments (0)

Weekend Athlete: 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander


Several years ago, I took the previous-generation Outlander on a racing and riding vacation and found it OK, but not outstanding. Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same; the new generation didn't blow me away, but it also didn't greatly disappoint me.

Loading things was a little tricky because the opening didn't seem that wide. I felt like I was reaching around a corner to load things, and I really had to angle my bike to fit it in. However, it was nice to have a hatch as I had to park in a parallel-parking space. The barn door on the Toyota RAV4 would have been a real pain. In fact, the hatch was easy enough to live with that I never bothered to open the bottom part of the clamshell section.

This is the first three-row SUV I've had where someone had used the third row. There were instructions on the seatbacks describing how to fold those seats, so I didn't have to track down the owner's manual. Nice touch.

By William Jackson | September 19, 2007 | Comments (9)

Friday Fleet Notes: 8.17.07


A few of us got in the last of our summer vacation this week, so the notes aren't as extensive as usual. Luckily, we got quite a few impressions on one, joyous driving in another and some awkward moments in a new convertible.

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4WD

The Outlander turned out to be an awfully fun SUV to drive, but if Mitsubishi wants to move a ton of them, it’s going to have to improve the look and feel of the interior. For as strong as the engine was (and as good as the gas mileage was, for this class), the cheap plastic feel of the dash and doors was off-putting. There's a cubbyhole on the top of the dash, which is a great place to stash stuff, but the plastic top was curling down a bit at the corners, cheapening the feel of the car.

By David Thomas | August 17, 2007 | Comments (4)

When an Auto Writer Buys a Car: Part III


After my wife delivered the crushing reality that a black Mazda CX-7 would not be our next car, it was back to full car-shopping mode. Like most people, we’re a busy couple and don’t have time to talk to dealers on the phone or go to a dealership on a weekday. We had to plan our shopping trips for the weekend, and in Illinois that means Saturday, since there are laws that don’t allow dealers to operate on Sunday.

Using online quotes and test-drive appointments was extremely helpful. I’m not just saying that because offers the service — as do most automakers — it really does change the way you schedule your shopping and is extremely efficient.

With the Mazda CX-7 now out of the running, I knew we had to test drive the Honda CR-V. My wife owned a CR-V about seven years ago, and I reviewed the new 2007 model myself for It actually garnered a pretty glowing review, plus it’s safe and will have excellent resale value.

By David Thomas | July 12, 2007 | Comments (12)

Reader Review of the Week


This week we picked a recent review of the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander. The compact SUV faced off with the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V in a recent Cars.comparison and held its own against the two major players in the segment. It looks like consumers agree, seeing as we’ve received a few emails from fans of the new model. One more fan is Margrudis of Houston. He delivers a to-the-point review below that is mostly glowing, though he also points out a few minor drawbacks.

By David Thomas | December 12, 2006 | Comments (0)

Compact SUV Faceoff Tests CR-V, RAV4, Outlander


Mike Hanley and I pitted three of the most popular new or redesigned compact SUVs on the market against each other to see which rules this competitive segment. We were both a bit surprised at the results and how one vehicle could be so good in one department but fail in the others. Check out the full faceoff, complete with video and the eventual winner. 

Cars.comparison: Compact SUVs

By David Thomas | November 17, 2006 | Comments (8)

Mitsubishi Evolander Concept


Mitsubishi has brought some really interesting concepts to SEMA. Top among them is the Evolander concept. The name not so subtly merges the high-performance Evo name, previously held by the Lancer sedan, with the Outlander SUV. We just finished testing the new Outlander — the review should be posted by the end of the week — and were impressed with its stock 220-hp V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. That more-than-adequate power plant gets a supercharged boost to 300 hp here in the Evolander.

Shift paddles and an all-wheel-drive system are supposedly what will be in the next generation of Lancer Evos. Mitsubishi says this could be what a future Outlander Ralliart will look like. If so, we say Mitsubishi should go for it, if only so we can test drive it. 

By David Thomas | October 31, 2006 | Comments (8)

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