Fresh from its entry in our annual SUV of the Year competition, Mitsubishi sent us a 2014 Silver Metallic Outlander to join our long-term fleet. Mitsubishi promises the Outlander has been redone inside and out, including some significant safety and design work.

On the outside, a more traditional front replaces the large snub-nosed rectangular grille with a less severe horizontal intake and a cool futuristic logo reminiscent of the Atari logo. Overall, the designers have gone with a more rounded aesthetic, eliminating the Outlander's formerly angular look. An editor at our SUV of the Year competition called its design Land Rover-esque, which can easily be seen in the vehicle's profile.

Our AWD, seven-passenger Outlander comes to us with a base price tag of $26,620. We added the $6100 SE Touring package, which includes options to enhance comfort, entertainment, and safety, including a touch-screen navigation system with real-time traffic, power sunroof, heated leather seats, and a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system that's Bluetooth audio compatible and offers a Sirius Radio subscription.

Not exactly sure of the wisdom of calling your vehicle an Outlander. Kinda like calling it Stranger.

Combined with the already standard anti-lock braking system, active stability control, side, front, and knee airbags, the SE Touring package bolsters the Outlander's safety bona fides by adding Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Forward Collision Mitigation systems. Safety is a prime selling point for the new Outlander, and during the coming year, we'll let you know how safe these features make us feel.

Our Outlander's 2.4-liter I-4 puts out 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque for a leisurely 9.1-second 0-60 time and a 17.0-second quarter mile at 82.6 mph. At a curb weight of 3538 pounds, the Outlander was able to stop from 60 mph in a relatively curt 116 feet. Obviously, it's not a powerful engine, but we hope it's sufficient to make our year with the Japanese SUV a pleasant and convenient, if not thrilling, experience.


2014 Mitsubishi Outlander S-AWC
BASE PRICE $26,620
PRICE AS TESTED $32,720
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 7-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.4L/166-hp/162-lb-ft SOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION Cont. variable auto
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3538 lb (55/45%)
WHEELBASE 105.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 183.3 x 70.9 x 66.1 in
0-60 MPH 9.1 sec
QUARTER MILE 17.0 sec @ 82.6 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 116 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.80 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.0 sec @ 0.61 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY FUEL ECON 25/31 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 135/109 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.71 lb/mile
TOTAL MILEAGE 2918 mi
AVERAGE FUEL ECON 25.3 mpg