NEW FOR 2008:

– New ES trim line with new 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine
– LS no longer available in front-wheel drive
– Fast Key standard on LS
– V6 badge added to LS and XLS
– Colour-keyed exterior door handles on ES and LS
– SIRIUS Satellite Radio added to Sun & Sound Package
– Exterior colours: Rally Red Metallic and Manitoba Green Metallic added

Completely redesigned in 2007, the Mitsubishi Outlander receives a new engine for 2008. Joining the 3.0-litre V6 is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the new ES trim line, which is available in front- or all-wheel drive. With the addition of the new smaller engine, all V6 models become all-wheel drive only.

The Outlander now comes as the five-passenger ES, with 2.4-litre four-cylinder and CVT; as the LS, in five- or seven-passenger seating, with 3.0-litre V6 and six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode; and as the XLS, with seven-passenger seating, 3.0-litre V6 and six-speed automatic with wheel-mounted shifter paddles.

Features on the ES include 16-inch alloy wheels, manual climate control, auto-off headlamps, heated mirrors, black roof rails, rear wiper, privacy glass, fabric seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40 split fold-and-tumble second-row seats, under-floor cargo tray, floor mats, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-theft alarm, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and wheel-mounted controls, pre-wiring switch for Bluetooth hands-free cellular phone system, power windows, and power locks with keyless entry.

The LS adds premium fabric seats, sliding second-row seats, and Fast Key keyless entry and starting system.

The XLS adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, heated leather seats with power driver’s adjustment, silver roof rails and door handles, fog lamps, six-CD stereo and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system.

The Outlander uses Mitsubishi’s GS platform, which also underpins the new Lancer and Evolution, and is used at Chrysler for the Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass. Its all-wheel system is driver-selectable and can be put into FWD, AWD (which runs primarily in front-wheel until it detects slippage and sends power to the rear) and Lock, which keeps the torque split consistent and is meant for loose surfaces.

The seven-passenger models add a pop-up third row: it’s uncomfortable and suitable only for small children, but it folds entirely into the floor, creating a flat cargo surface. The liftgate is two-piece, with a glass hatch and low liftover with plastic sliding cover for easy cargo loading.

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