Just two years after it was redesigned, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander receives freshened styling, an upgraded interior, increased sound insulation, structural improvements and more features. Now bolder and more imposing, the Outlander’s new face features a larger two-bar chrome grille and thick chrome strips on either side of the front of the bumper that wrap under the headlights, over the front fascia and down under the fog lights. The effect is to draw the eye forwards making the nose appear longer and pointier. I’m not totally convinced that this ribbon of chrome is a big improvement over last year’s model, but it’s certainly more distinctive.

At the rear, the new look is a little more successful: wider tail light lenses with LED lighting have extended into the liftgate area while reversing lamps have been integrated into the lower bumper.

The changes you can’t see are more significant: suspension revisions, increased body rigidity and adjustments to the electric power steering have helped improve the Outlander’s ride, drivability and steering feel, while extensive noise-reduction techniques such as better window insulation, added sound insulation in the engine compartment and increased use of acoustic foam in the body structure have significantly reduced interior noise, particularly in the four-cylinder model.

The 2016 Outlander’s conservatively styled but user-friendly interior has gone pleasantly upscale with a redesigned steering wheel with piano-black trim, higher quality seat materials, soft-touch dash surfaces, new trim for the dash and doors, enhanced dash display and navigation systems, and redesigned folding second-row seatbacks that are easier to operate.

As well, additional features are now available, such as LED daytime running lights, windshield wiper de-icer, and auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink garage door opener; availability may depend on the model and trim level.

Unlike most compact SUVs these days, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander is available with a choice of four or six-cylinder engines. Other automakers have dumped their V6 powerplants in favour of more fuel efficient turbocharged fours, but Mitsubishi kept their V6 – and they’re probably glad they did: the vast majority of Outlander’s sold in Canada have V6 engines. Having driven the redesigned Outlander V6 when it was introduced in 2014, I can understand why: Mitsubishi’s 3.0L V6 and six-speed automatic transmission is a smooth, quiet and powerful powertrain, and has a greater towing capacity than smaller four-cylinder engines. Here’s a full review of the V6-powered 2016 Outlander GT S-AWC.

Still, after having driven the refreshed 2016 Outlander ES AWC with the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmission for a week, I’d like to suggest that most people would be happier with the four. Not only is the four-cylinder engine more economical than the V6, but improvements to the 2016 Outlander have made it quieter with fewer vibrations felt in the cabin. And though the Outlander’s 166-hp 2.4L four is less powerful than the available 224-hp 3.0L V6, it offers sufficient power for all typical commuting needs – and it uses cheaper Regular gas rather than Premium grade.

Lastly, a nicely-equipped four-cylinder 2016 Outlander will cost you considerably less than a similarly-equipped six-cylinder Outlander.

See also: Comparison Test: Compact Crossover SUVs

The 2016 Outlander ES with front-wheel drive and standard four-cylinder engine starts at $25,998 while the all-wheel drive Outlander ES AWC four-cylinder has an MSRP of $27,998. Optional Touring Edition and Premium Packages can boost those MSRPs by $1,700 and $4,000 respectively.

V6 2016 Outlanders with all-wheel drive (AWC) start at $31,198 for the SE AWC, and $36,498 for the GT S-AWC. Optional navigation can boost this price to $38,498.

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