I'm really racking up the miles now on the Outlander. Since my last update, I've covered about a thousand miles visiting many of California's most scenic locations. Highlights include Yosemite National Park, Hearst Castle, El Mirage Dry Lake bed, and San Diego.

I've learned a lot about the vehicle's handling and performance, especially on busy two-way roads. On a recent trip to Hearst Castle, my passenger and I made our way north from Los Angeles on the 101 and then Highway 1 towards San Simeon. We soon caught up with slow-moving traffic, and I know from past experience that the Outlander's passing ability is limited because of its gutless engine. When passing on a two-lane road, it's very unnerving experience putting the pedal to the floor and seeing oncoming traffic getting closer and closer, thinking, am I going to make this? To have any confidence, you have to pass on a long straight that isn't uphill.

And it's frustrating waiting for the ideal road and traffic conditions that will allow you to pass that slow-moving tourist. That situation happened so many times that I acquired the patience of a saint. If Mitsubishi had opted for the V-6 instead of the four-cylinder engine, I could zip past without fearing for my life. Of course I understand that a four-cylinder engine can get better gas mileage than a V-6, and with gas prices going skyward I can see the logic.

My road trip to Yosemite was spectacular. I'd never been before, and the dramatic scenery literally took my breath away. The Outlander's extended panoramic glass roof was perfect for looking up at the high mountains. When climbing the twisty roads to get close to the famous falls, I activated the four-wheel drive and made sure the Active Stability Control was on. The road conditions deteriorated the higher I climbed, and although there wasn't any snow on the road, it was piled up at either side. A graphic flashed on the dash along with a tone warning me of icy roads, and I was amazed how accurate it was. The Outlander felt surefooted and I was reassured that the sensors were monitoring my progress.

The current mileage is now past 17,000 miles. A routine 15,000 mile service cost $182.95, and there were no problems to report. The only wear and tear I've noticed is on the radio volume control on the steering wheel.


Our Car
Service life 11 months/18,506 mi
Average fuel economy 23.3 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.83 lb/mi
Energy consumption 145 kW-hr/100mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $245.32 (2 x oil change, inspection; 1 x tire rotation, air filter)
Normal-wear cost $0