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2005 Mitsubishi Outlander

2005 Mitsubishi OutlanderThe 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander is the least expensive of the Japanese manufacturer’s three sports utility vehicles. It’s compact, nicely designed and offers more standard features than many SUVs nearly twice the price.

But the Outlander faces a tough challenge. In a popular category that includes best-buy choices like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, the Outlander doesn’t offer any outstanding qualities that could sway potential buyers.

My test drive for the week was the new all-wheel drive limited edition Outlander. It joins the previous LX and XLS models and features an impressive list of upgrades from previous models.

All Outlanders offer a 4-cyclinder, 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine. With its standard automatic transmission, the vehicle performs adequately in city driving. But it lacks acceleration for highway journeys, and it struggles on long inclines, even with only two adult front-seat passengers.

Steering and handling are adequate and the automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Mitsubishi’s all-wheel drive system is a plus and it’s reminiscent of the AWD feature Subaru first offered. The Outlander limited edition includes 17-inch alloy wheels and four-wheel independent suspension. But such features don’t ease the tough go over city street speed bumps, even at slow speeds.

In several other basic areas – front and rear-seat room, ride noise, interior materials and instrumentation function – the Outlander is adequate. The gauges, for example, are simply designed and easy to use. But if average is the best Mitsubishi can do, how can the Outlander compete with heavy-hitters in the compact SUV market segment?

For all of its less-than-spectacular features, the Outlander rebounds in several areas.

From the driver’s seat, visibility is good. The vehicle’s leather seats are comfortable and front and rear seat access is spacious. Despite the Outlander’s compact SUV status, there’s plenty of cargo space behind the rear seat. And the rear lift gate is nicely designed and functions with ease.

The Outlander’s best feature, though, is its vast array of standard features, particularly in the limited edition. Consider: air-conditioning, cruise control a 210-watt Infinity AM/FM stereo (six-disc CD and MP3 features), power doors, windows and sunroof, remote keyless entry, leather seats, heated front seats, a 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, dual visor vanity mirrors, integrated fog lights, a nicely designed roof rail, a 60-40 split reclining rear seatback and daytime running lamps.

Still, the Outlander doesn’t have the workmanship of other vehicles in its class and its resale value can’t match the more well-recognized SUVs offered by Ford, Honda and Subaru. Further, the Outlander is an SUV with an underpowered engine. Isn’t that a contradiction?

2005 Mitsubishi Outlander

Safety features — Dual front and front side airbags, antilock brakes, daytime running lamps
Fuel Mileage (estimates) — 21 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway).
Warranty — Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/100,000 miles; Roadside assistance, 5 years, unlimited miles
Base price range — $25,179.00


James Raia, a journalist in Sacramento, Calif., syndicates the automotive column, The Weekly Driver Review, and is co-author of the e-book “How To Buy A Car Without Getting Ripped Off.”

2005 Mitsubishi Outlander Features & Specs

EXTERIOR

LS

XLS

LIMITED

Auto-off halogen headlights

S

S

S

Integrated fog lamps

S

S

Color keyed front grill

S

S

S

Folding roof antenna

S

S

S

Variable intermittent wipers + washers

S

S

S

Black folding power side view mirrors

S

Color keyed folding power side view mirrors

S

S

Heated mirrors

 -

S

Color-keyed door handles

S

S

S

Fender flares (2-Tone)

S

Fender flares (Mono-tone)

S

Side air dams (2-Tone)

S

Side air dams (Mono-tone)

S

Roof rails

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

S

Side turn lamps

S

S

S

One touch power sunroof + sunshade

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

Clear tailight lenses

S

Rear spoiler with clear CHMSL

S

S

S

Tinted glass

S

S

S

Electric rear window defroster with timer

S

S

S

Rear privacy glass

S

S

WHEELS & TIRES

LS

XLS

LIMITED

16” steel wheels

S

17″ 5-spoke alloy

S

S

P225/60 R16 All-season tires

S

P215/55 r17 All-season tires

S

S

Temporary T135/90D16BSW spare tire

S

S

S

INTERIOR

LS

XLS

LIMTED

Manual heater & air conditioning

S

S

S

Urethane steering wheel

S

Leather steering wheel

S

S

Height adjustable steering wheel

S

S

S

Steering column mounted cruise control

S (N/A/ for M/T)

S

S

Illuminated ignition key cylinder

S

S

S

Floor mats

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

S

Assist grips x 3 (1-front, 2-rear)

S

S

 

Quartz analog clock

S

S

S

Map lights

S

S

S

Cup holders x 4 (2-front, 2-rear)

S

S

S

Driver & passenger vanity mirror + Cover

S

S

S

Power windows with auto down driver’s window

S

S

S

Power door locks including liftgate

S

S

S

Remote fuel door opener

S

S

S

Two 12-volt accessory outlets (front -1, rear-1)

S

S

S

Deluxe fabric seating (Sand Blast & Charcoal)

S

 

 

INTERIOR (CONT.)

LS

XLS

LIMITED

Premium cloth fabric seat material (Sand Blast & Charcoal)

S

Leather seating surfaces (Charcoal)

P

S

8 way adjustable driver’s seat

S

10 way adjustable driver’s seat

 -

S

S

6 way adjustable passenger seat

S

S

S

Heated front seating surfaces

S

Center console armrest

S

S

S

Driver seat back pocket

S

S

S

Rear coat hook

S

S

S

60/40 split fold-down rear seatback with armrest and dual cupholders

S

S

S

Cargo bay light

S

S

S

Cargo floor storage compartments

S

S

S

Cargo cover

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

S

SAFETY & SECURITY

LS

XLS

LIMTED

Advanced dual front air bags supplemental restraint system (SRS) – dual action inflator with seat position passenger occupant sensors

S

S

S

Front seat-mounted side impact air bags

S

3-point seatbelts for all occupants

S

S

S

Height adjustable front shoulder belts

S

S

S

Child safety locks

S

S

S

LATCH system (Lower Anchor and Tethers for Children)

S

S

S

Unibody construction

S

S

S

Front and rear crumple zones

S

S

S

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) with EBD (AWD)

O

S

Side-guard door beams

S

S

S

Day time running lamps

S

S

S

Engine immobilizer

S

S

S

Keyless Entry

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

S

RISE (Refined Impact Safety Evolution) chassis

S

S

S

INSTRUMENTS & CONTROLS

LS

XLS

LIMTED

140-watt AM/FM/CD player with 4-speakers

S

140-watt AM/FM/CD player with 6-speakers

S

210-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity® Premium AM/FM/ 6-disc CD player with 6 speakers + MP3 playback

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

S

High contrast I/P gauges

S

S

S

Black gauges

S

 -

White-faced gauges

S

S

Digital odometer and tripmeter

S

S

S

Tachometer

S

S

S

 

PACKAGES & STAND ALONE OPTIONS

LS

XLS

LIMITED

 

CONVENIENCE PACKAGE:                                                                    Cargo cover, roof rails, keyless entry, and floor mats

P (2WD) / S (AWD)

 -

OPTIONS & PACKAGES (CONT.)

LS

XLS

LIMITED

SUN AND SOUND PACKAGE:
210-watt Mitsubishi/Infinity® Premium AM/FM 6 CD changer with 6 speakers and power sunroof

P (2WD) / S (AWD

S

 

S = Standard   O = Optional    P = Package    – = Not available   A = Accessory
 
Vehicle features and options subject to change without notice. Last updated 9/23/04.
 

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