NEW FOR 2009:

- Standard heated seats
- XLS adds optional rearview camera

For 2009, the Mitsubishi Outlander is unchanged, save for two new features: standard heated seats on all models, and an optional rearview camera available on the XLS.

The Mitsubishi Outlander comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with CVT on the ES, and a 3.0-litre V6 with six-speed automatic in the LS and XLS. The ES comes in front- or all-wheel drive, while the LS and XLS are all-wheel only, and come with three rows of seats.

Features on the ES include 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, heated mirrors, black roof rails, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, privacy glass, LED taillights, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, heated cloth seats, driver’s height adjustment, 60/40 split-folding second-row seats, cargo cover, active front head restraints, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-theft alarm, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, and driver’s auto up/down window.

The LS adds keyless start, sliding 60/40 split-folding second-row seats and third-row flat-folding seat.

The XLS adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, silver roof rails, fog lights, power sunroof, leather upholstery, power driver’s seat, six-CD Rockford Fosgate premium stereo, Sirius satellite radio, and Bluetooth connectivity.

A well-done small SUV, the Outlander uses Mitsubishi’s GS platform, which also underpins the Lancer and Evolution, as well as the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass. Its all-wheel system is driver-selectable and can be put into front-wheel or all-wheel drive – which runs primarily in front-wheel until it detects slippage and sends power to the rear – along with a lock function, which keeps the torque split consistent, and is meant for loose surfaces. The three-row seating in the V6 models is fine in the second row, but very cramped in the third; the third row folds entirely into the floor, creating a flat cargo surface.