Just about every single design cue on the Outlander says "go faster," from the big tailgate spoiler to the side-panel lines, to the snarling doglike nose with bulging corner extensions. It all says, "Get out of my way -- Motor Trend design director (yours truly) coming through." But don't be fooled by the aggressive styling of this beast. It's far from sporty. The engine does try really hard, bless its heart, when squeezing every ounce out of the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder. It does feel a bit sportier using the paddle shifters going up and down through the virtual gears; however, to get any decent acceleration, you have to rev to 4000 rpm and beyond, and at that point the car is screaming at you to upshift. Luckily, the amazing 710-watt, nine-speaker stereo, complete with a massive subwoofer back in the cargo area, drowns out all but the highest engine rev notes.

Our Car
Months/miles in service 2/3522
Avg econ/CO2 28.9 mpg/0.673 lb/mi
Energy cons 117 kW-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $0
Normal-wear cost $0