Author Topic: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012  (Read 2885 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« on: March 15, 2012, 05:04:37 am »


A generally robust vehicle, the Mitsubishi Outlander is rated a 'good bet' by Consumer Reports.

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Offline nlm

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 08:56:53 am »
This has been a great vehicle for my family. I have a 2009 XLS.

I like the ability to switch from 2wd to awd to awd+ for the different seasons and traction levels and the tail gate is handy for getting cargo in and out while also offering a make-shift bench. Since I bike a lot its great for me to get my gear on/off at the trail head and have a few pops after a ride with a buddy or two.

Some nit-picks:
- I wish the cargo could be about 6" longer as it would provide the stow-away 3rd row much needed leg room. Even shorter people have it tough with leg room back there.
- 40/20/40 2nd row split seating, although the 2nd row is different being a tumble forward type. At least a ski pass through.
- 10 more litres in the gas tank; I suspect the stow-away third row eats into the space that might otherwise have been used for a larger gas tank. I get about 500km a tank depending on the season.
- hard plastics up-front are easy to scratch but are also easy to wipe dirt off
- no heated rear wiper: why they didn't mould the heat strips onto where the wiper rests ala Subaru is beyond me.
- cargo ties on the walls would make securing awkward items like strollers easier.
- power lift gate would be handy for the wife or parents

With the exception of being 6" too short for 3rd row passengers it is the perfect sized vehicle for us; not too big for the wife to drive comfortably (even minivans drive "big" and bus like for her), not too short so that I am banging my head on the frame getting kids and babies in out of car seats, and not too small that it can't handle anything we've tried to throw into it from a snowblower to 2 full sized bikes + weekend gear *with* an infant in the 2nd row.

I just wish Mitsu offered S-AWC a year earlier.

Offline alexdc

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 09:45:20 am »
My father has a 2008. I drove a 2012 Santa Fe last week. I would definately pick an Outlander over the Santa Fe. It looks better and it drives better.

Offline 5 Wheel Drive

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 09:51:50 am »
If it wasn't for wanting a manual, I would have bought one of these instead of the Forester.  I really liked it when I test drove it.

Mitsubishi must really want sales.  A friend of mine bought one just before x-mas.  It was a brand new '11 LS V6.  They went in to look at the less expensive ES 4cyl.  In the end they got the awd v6 for the price of the 4 banger, an ipad, and a $1000 Visa gift card.
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Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 12:03:44 pm »
My father has a 2008. I drove a 2012 Santa Fe last week. I would definately pick an Outlander over the Santa Fe. It looks better and it drives better.
Really?  Me and the wife test drove a 2010 V6 model and found that the engine in it was very smooth but lacking in power.  The Santa Fe offered more space, more power, and more fuel efficiency.  I do like the Mitsu's warranty though.

Offline nlm

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 12:17:35 pm »
The Santa Fe offered more space.... 

Really? The Outlander has more cargo room. But I could see the interior in the Santa Fe feeling roomier in the 2nd row seats though.

Offline JohnnyMac

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2012, 12:45:55 pm »
The Santa Fe offered more space.... 

Really? The Outlander has more cargo room. But I could see the interior in the Santa Fe feeling roomier in the 2nd row seats though.
That's what I meant, not more cargo area but more space for passangers.  That being said I've never had any complaints about the Santa Fe's cargo capacity.

Offline carcrazy

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 01:54:16 pm »
I'm a veteran 2007 Outlander LS 4WD owner. I bough mine the second month after it went on sale (March 2007) after following the news about the car for about 6 months (it was launched first in Japan in 2006 and in Nov 2006 in the US; it arrived in Canada in Feb 2007).

5 years and 100K km later, I still like it. I plan to keep it for another 5 years if reliability stays the same. It's been very reliable so far with no notable warranty issues. One issue that hasn't been mentioned in the article but happened to some people (including me) is the inability to open the fuel door. This is due to a lose bolt that holds the release handle inside the car.

I've never heard about the 1-2 hard shift mentioned (I do frequently monitor the Outlander forums and I've been an active member on the most active for the first few years), but it may be about what was referred to as "acceleration hesitation" (few seconds lag when accelerating from a rolling stop - hence rough 1/2 shift). For sure the 1-2 gear changes are not rough on my car and never been.
That issue was applicable to the Outlanders sold before summer 2007. I got the TSB applied on mine in September 2007 (software update).

The front end clunk when making sharp turns (front wheel bearings replaced under TSB) was only applicable to the units manufactured before Jan 2007.  Very few units (only the first shipment) in Canada were affected by this issue. Mine did not have this issue (bought in March and built in January 2007), but I did experience it during my first test drive the next day the dealer got them in (Feb 2007 with build date of Dec-06). I was aware of the issue from my fellow forum members in the US) and I knew the fix is already out. Mitsu was very quick to address it.

Another historic issue not mentioned in the article is the “whistling/wind noise” that affected the early models; fixed at the factory in February with a strip of noise insulation on a small plastic lid at the bottom of the side mirror housing. I fixed that myself.  This issue caused a lot of chatter on the forums at the time, in the first reviews (complains about wind noise) and even deductions from CR scores LOL.

Another big issue for 2007-2008 models (not mentioned) was the self-infected paint chipping on the rear doors. Lots of grief for the owners and again, CR gave the Outlander low score for body integrity.
Caught early (know beforehand from the forums again), it was an easy fix with about $60 worth of 3M clear film. Some owners had their rear door re-painted due to severe sand blasting effect. In 2009, Mitsu put massive plastic side skirts on them to deflect the road debris (something they should’ve done from day one). 

Cargo space is very good, with most of it up to the window level. For 2007 models and some of the later ones (I lost count which trims and which years but from 2008 this feature was discontinued on some trim levels), the rear seats slide so you can adjust the passenger/cargo space. Another versatility related nice thing is that the rear seats are raised so you don’t bend your knees and you can easily slide your feet underneath the front seats. Lots of rear passenger room.

The engine is strong enough for the car and the transmission is very smooth and reasonably quick (better calibrated than many 6-speed A/T these days).Remember that Mitsu was one of the first if not the first to introduce a 6A/T in this class. Oh…and Bluetooth too. The 4WD is solid too. On snow, without the help from a good set of winter tires, the car moves seamlessly. I tried to get it stuck many times without success even in the deepest snow we’ve had in GTA over the past 5 years; still trying. Next year I’ll have new dedicated winter tires on it and I’ll take it on the same forest road where I got stuck in a Subaru with new Blizzaks few weeks ago (mind you it was an Impreza and the ground clearance played a big role). That road, in winter will be the ultimate test for its snow capabilities (or any car for that matter).

Someone mentioned that SantaFe V6 has more power. In 2007 when SnataFe was new as well, it still had the 3.3L with 242hp and more weight. The net result was a bit slower and less fuel efficient. The current SantaFe (post facelift) is a different story.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 02:21:17 pm by carcrazy »

Offline life in the slow lane

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 06:57:57 pm »
I have to say the front in styling didn't do much for me at first, but the more I looked at it, it kind of grew on me.  I also like the selectable AWD system, however it was the interior that turned me off.

The third seat, for me at least, is not needed, and becasue of its tiny size, alomost useless IMHO, asked the sales person if it could be deleted on factory ordere, but not dice. Would rather have either a larger fuel tank, or under floor storage. Dual air is not offered, which was the other negative. The Mrs and I have very different ideas what the ideal interior temperature is no matter the season. To bad about the two negatives, because for me it pretty well hit the mark.
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Offline alexdc

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2012, 10:16:34 pm »
My father has a 2008. I drove a 2012 Santa Fe last week. I would definately pick an Outlander over the Santa Fe. It looks better and it drives better.
Really?  Me and the wife test drove a 2010 V6 model and found that the engine in it was very smooth but lacking in power.  The Santa Fe offered more space, more power, and more fuel efficiency.  I do like the Mitsu's warranty though.

You're probably right about everything you mentionned but I didn't push any of these vehicules enough to feel like any of them were in need of more power. My friends who let me drive is Santa Fe told me he also liked the space for camping and such things. When I drove the Santa Fe I thought the steering was too heavy (Outlander is light and so is my Mazda3 so it's probably why I'm used to it) and the seats have no lateral support and you can't lower them enough. The driver seat also has a weird shape on the higher end of the back so It makes you drive in a weird position.. I don't know if it would be comfortable on long trips.

I felt like the Outlander power is good. I had no problem with it. It's not meant to be a sports car but that's only my opinion. I don't know much about the fuel economy but If I can remember my father's average was high-10s L/100km (dont take my word on this I'm not sure).

If my father sells its outlander one day i would consider buying it.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2012, 10:33:48 pm by alexdc »

Offline alexdc

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2012, 10:25:02 pm »

The third seat, for me at least, is not needed, and becasue of its tiny size, alomost useless IMHO,

I would not say it's useless but it's not well designed and executed at all.
I sat twice in the third row and it's definately uncomfortable, tiny and just plain stupid.
Do it right or just dont do it.

Offline life in the slow lane

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2012, 10:42:58 pm »

The third seat, for me at least, is not needed, and becasue of its tiny size, alomost useless IMHO,

I would not say it's useless but it's not well designed and executed at all.
I sat twice in the third row and it's definately uncomfortable, tiny and just plain stupid.
Do it right or just dont do it.

I think you hit the problem with the back seat on the head.  I did use the word almost(mispelled of course), what I should have said was what you said in your last sentence. 

Offline alexdc

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2012, 10:45:28 pm »

The third seat, for me at least, is not needed, and becasue of its tiny size, alomost useless IMHO,

I would not say it's useless but it's not well designed and executed at all.
I sat twice in the third row and it's definately uncomfortable, tiny and just plain stupid.
Do it right or just dont do it.

I think you hit the problem with the back seat on the head.  I did use the word almost(mispelled of course), what I should have said was what you said in your last sentence.

:-P but it's a nice little 'truck' even if the interior is hard plastics.

Offline nlm

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Re: Used Vehicle Review: Mitsubishi Outlander, 2007-2012
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 08:56:36 am »
Re: the third row seats, they are small but actually useful in a pinch. I've used them about 4 times over 3 years. Three of those times had adults in the third row on a 45 min drive. It was a squeeze but they were handier than taking 2 cars to a hockey game or a trip downtown. Still had enough room for a stroller (not a compact one either), a backpack and 4 large cloth shopping bags behind the 3rd row.

@life in the slow lane: rather than a factory delete the 3rd row seats can be taken out by yourself. It will then give you the extra underfloor storage and save about 100lbs of weight over the rear axle. Too bad the dealer didn't suggest that but I don't generally find dealers knowledgable about their own products  ::)

I've had the hard 1-2 shift occur only in the same spot; accelerating from a left hand turn on an overpass. It doesn't happen during the turn but just after. And it's only when I have to give it some extra gas. If I am easy on the throttle no problem. Of all the driving I do perhaps this spot offers the perfect storm of that incline on the overpass and the amount of acceleration to get that hard shift to occur.