I am somehow charmed by the big and ... startlingly ... styled Mitsubishi Outlander. I’m not alone. Sales of pretty much just this one SUV are keeping Mitsubishi profitable at the moment.
I need not spend too much time discussing the state of Mitsubishi. After all, we have all collectively understood that the company lost its edge once it stopped producing the 1980s festival of box flares, the Starion. Oh, right, the Evo. And the Pajero Evo. And the Eclipse as a desirable sport compact. Nevermind! I said I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time dredging up old history. OK, I also miss the Colt. I’m sorry! I’m done now.
History of Mitsubishi aside, people do seem to be taken by the Outlander. What is it about it? This particular car makes all of 181 horsepower from its 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder. It weighs 3,800 pounds, per Mitsubishi, and seems to offer no great off-road prowess, no extraordinary fuel economy. (It’s 26 combined, down to 24 city and maxing out at 30 highway.) It’s just ... some car! And one with that face.
And yet here I am, still charmed. I will be driving this one out to some mountain roads, filling every seat with people and every cubic foot of cargo space with stuff. I want to see what this big crossover is like, if there’s some spark that exists in it that draws people in. Or maybe it’s just that third row of seats.
What do you want to know about it? Have you been in the market for a Mitsubishi Outlander yourself? Have you talked to anyone who has owned one and loved it? Do you still just spend so much time mourning Mitsubishi selling a Dakar-ready homologation special that you can’t bear to even look at the thing?