Feelings were largely neutral on the six-speed automatic linked to those shifters and the 230-horse, 3.0-liter V-6 that sends power to this gearbox. Truck Trend online editor Melissa Spiering wrote, "I have no bad things to say about the power of the V-6 or the almost smooth shifting of the six-speed auto transmission," and associate editor Scott Evans felt that while "the V-6 engine looks weak on paper, it actually feels pretty sprightly even with three adults on board." I agreed withEvans, logging that "the V-6 has plenty of grunt despite being on the low end for output by modern standards."

Somewhat surprisingly, given the history of modern Mitsubishis, gripes about the interior were limited. Perhaps it's because everyone was busy raging against the entertainment machine. One recurring complaint was the limited amount of room between the door and the seat controls. Associate online editor Carol Ngo wrote: "If you're wearing a watch or have big hands, it's nearly impossible for you to slide your hands down next to the seats to make any adjustment." Spiering agreed: "The low armrest protrudes out the door, making it almost impossible to reach the seat buttons. My arm doesn't fit."

They have a point; even my watchless, lanky hands found it a tight fit. Additionally, associate photography editor Mike Shaffer was (rightly) perplexed by the location of the seat-heater switches (they're near the seatbelt buckles). My 6-foot, 4-inch self found the Outlander wanting for a telescoping steering column, and there was a persisting issue with play in the driver's seat.

We had no mechanical problems with the Outlander during its stay, and the total cost of ownership was pleasantly low. During its 21,986-mile stint, the Outlander made two trips to the local Mitsubishi dealer for routine maintenance. Total cost of the trips amounted to $255.65, with $63.30 of that spent during the 7500-mile service, the remaining $192.35 on the more-extensive 15,000-mile visit.

Fuel economy was 19.8 mpg. Not great, but not horrendous either, and the Outlander is content to drink regular 87 octane rather than pricier premium.