2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Preview

FAST FACTS
  • Debuts new "Dynamic Shield" design theme
  • Over 100 design and engineering improvements
  • Upgraded structure, ride quality, and handling
  • Updated interior with new materials and details
  • Next-generation CVT with 4-cylinder engine
  • New SEL trim level combines upscale features with 4-cylinder engine
  • GT adds LED headlights, wiper de-icer, power-folding mirrors
  • Quartz Brown exterior paint color replaces Copper

Introduction

Calling its 7-passenger crossover SUV "an unmatched value," Mitsubishi introduced a substantially refreshed 2016 Outlander at the 2015 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). Mitsubishi says it has made over 100 design and engineering changes to the Outlander, which introduces the automaker's new "Dynamic Shield" design theme.

"The new Outlander literally looks, drives, and feels like an entirely new vehicle, making it an even more compelling value than before," said Don Swearingen, executive vice president of Mitsubishi Motors North America.

Beneath the styling changes, the Outlander's structure is strengthened in order to achieve additional goals related to improving the SUV's driving dynamics and reducing noise, vibration, and harshness levels.

The 2016 Outlander arrives this fall in ES, SE, SEL, and GT trim levels. The Outlander SEL is new, pairing the SUV's standard 4-cylinder engine with the leather seats and other amenities available for the 6-cylinder Outlander GT.

Exterior Features

According to Mitsubishi, the automaker looked to its Montero SUV, which is no longer sold in the United States, for design inspiration and developed its new Dynamic Shield styling cues around certain protective elements associated with that vehicle. The resulting changes include new front styling forward of the windshield, except for the hood. In back, the Outlander gets new taillights, a revised tailgate garnish, and a new bumper. Now included as standard equipment, the 18-in. aluminum wheels are redesigned, and new lower door trim is added along the sides of the SUV. The Outlander GT also receives LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, and a wiper de-icer system. Also, Quartz Brown is a new paint color choice.

Interior Features

In addition to beefing up the Outlander's underlying structure, Mitsubishi has installed noise-isolating glass and additional sound insulation to quiet the SUV's interior.

Cabin improvements also include new materials, revised seat surfaces, and redesigned accent trim. Drivers face a new steering wheel, and all versions of the new Outlander gain a display audio system as standard equipment. An auto-dimming rearview mirror with a programmable garage door opener is now standard for the Outlander GT.

The Outlander is a compact crossover SUV, though it is one of two models in its class that offer a third-row seat for occasional use. Mitsubishi has redesigned this seat to make it easier to deploy and fold down.

Optional Features

Each version of the 2016 Outlander can be fitted with a variety of port-installed and dealer-installed accessories, including a Mitsubishi Multi-Communication System (MMCS). The MMCS equips the Outlander with a 7-in. high-definition touch-screen display, voice-command technology, navigation system, and real-time traffic reporting.

Factory options for this Mitsubishi are grouped into option packages for the SEL and GT trim levels. The SEL is offered with a Premium package and a Safety package, or an all-inclusive Touring package. A GT Touring package installs the MMCS plus several safety systems.

Under the Hood

The 2016 Outlander continues to offer a choice between a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder engine, and between front-wheel and all-wheel drive (AWD).

Standard in ES, SE, and SEL trim levels, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 166 horsepower and is paired with a new, next-generation continuously variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive is optional for the SE and SEL. The Outlander GT is equipped with a 224-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine, 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and standard AWD.

With the new Outlander, Mitsubishi wanted to improve the ride and handling. The stronger structure helps, and the automaker also reworked the suspension components and retuned the electric steering. The result, according to Mitsubishi, is "a superbly composed ride."

Safety

Mitsubishi continues to offer forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning systems for the Outlander, but only for the SEL and GT trim levels.

Technology

In conjunction with the safety features described in the previous section, an adaptive cruise control system is available for the Outlander SEL and GT. A new 6.1-in. display audio system with Bluetooth connectivity is standard for 2016, and Mitsubishi also offers a 710-watt premium sound system for the Outlander.