2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC Review

Monday November 13th, 2017 at 4:1111 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

Hypes: Elevated Cabin Yields Great Sightlines
Gripes: Weak Engine, Queasy Gearbox

The most significant number about this Outlander isn’t the seats (7), doors (4) cylinders (4) or gears (0 – it’s a CVT). Rather the digit to remember is 21.7. That’s the number of pounds each horsepower is tasked with carting around in this compact SUV. The higher the number the worse the performance. Dividing the Outlander’s curb weight of 3,610 pounds by the 166hp of its 4 cylinder engine yields the aforementioned 21.7lb/hp, a figure high enough to guarantee mediocre straight line performance. That CVT transmission is no help either, since it doesn’t allow you to select ratio ranges with its floor-mounted lever. Paddles are not offered to remedy the problem either.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

But help is available if you opt for the 224hp V6, which significantly improves the power to weight ratio to 16.1 lb/hp. While the 23MPG overall fuel consumption of the V6 falls short of the four’s 26MPG rating, the tradeoff in performance is well worth the extra tab for gas. The V6 will jet the Outlander from 0-60mph in just 7.4 seconds versus 9.2 for the 166hp inline four. In both cases, however, you’re still stuck with the same non-responsive CVT transmission.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

Aside from power train considerations, the Outlander presents a tidy and appealing package for family use. At the top of the list of attributes are those 7 available seats, a surprise bounty in any compact SUV. The two tail gunner seats are admittedly difficult to access, and tightly configured. But this extra duet is perfect for occasional usage, and folds neatly out of the way when unneeded. The second row also folds flat with ease, making the interior of the Outlander good for 32.5 cubic feet of storage space. We were able to slide a full size bike into that interior shelf. Just push the button to automatically swing the rear tailgate down. Note that the comparatively narrow (71 inch) width of this SUV made loading and unloading the bike more of a chore than you would expect.

The 2018 Outlander keeps pace with recent safety upgrades if you order the SEL Touring Package, a $3,000 option. This group includes the following driver assistance features: forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beam. The Touring Package also provides a sizeable tilt/slide sunroof, a 710 watt Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio System with 9 speakers, a multi-view camera system, a heated steering wheel, plus LED headlights and fog lights.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

3 Stage heated front seats are already standard fitment on the Outlander, so the toasty steering wheel completes the heat source. The adaptive cruise control proved rather herky-jerky on extended freeway runs, constantly speeding up, then applying the brakes. The lane departure warning (LDW) proved difficult to muzzle. Although there’s a switch on the lower dash ostensibly provided to deactivate LDW, the system constantly reactivates when you restart the Outlander. If you love annoying and unnecessary alert chirps, you’ll appreciate this feature. Even if you don’t order the optional SEL Touring Package, Mitsubishi still provides your Outlander with lots of standard on board safety technology, including Blind Spot Warning (BSW) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Lane Change Assist (LCA).

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

But because of sound cabin design, most of these acronym warning systems are superfluous. The best part of the Outlander’s design is its commanding full view seating position. Even with the interior of our test vehicle upholstered in basic black, the cabin proved airy, expansive, and comforting. In particular, the new-for-2018, 7-inch display terminal on the dash is easy to decipher in all light situations, and a breeze to program for your free 3 month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. Best of all, Mitsubishi has resisted the impulse to lump all critical HVAC system settings into screen programming menus. Much to my relief, this dashboard still contains clearly marked, separate buttons for temperature settings, fan speed, and air placement.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

Handling of this Mitsubishi is predictable, with a low threshold of cornering speed. The fitted Toyo A24 tires (225/55R18) do little to generate grip. Push the Outlander hard in a turn and you quickly discover that soft springing and hard tires conspire to provide lots of initial understeer. But though it might lack sporting accolades, the mildly revised 2018 Outlander remains a viable and affordable alternative in the compact SUV field – provided you ditch the anemic 4 cylinder engine in favor of the available V6.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

  • Engine: 2.4 liter inline 4, SOHC, 16 Valves
  • Horsepower: 166hp
  • Torque: 162lb./ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 24MPG City/29 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $32,280
  • Star Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Stars

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2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door Review

Tuesday June 20th, 2017 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

By David Colman

Hypes: Easy To Park, Cheap To Buy and Run
Gripes: Shaky 3 Banger, Cosmetic Defects

Cute got a new face for 2017. Mitsubishi has grafted new front and rear fascias to their eminently affordable beginner car, the Mirage GT. Up front, new HID Bi-Xenon headlights contain a light tube for signature recognition. These slanted light pods are high enough in the fenders to mimic crinkled smiling eyes. Top them off with a dainty pucker of a grill. Then underline the happy face with a pair of broadly outlined fog lights and you’ve got the formula for the New Cute at Mitsubishi. Likewise, a new roof spoiler plus winking LED tail lights spice up the butt of the freshened 2017 Mirage.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

Even cuter is the base price of this revamped, built in Thailand, 5 passenger hatchback: $17,330 out the door. There’s little else on the market to compete with the GT’s bottom line. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a decent sports touring motorcycle for that kind of money. What exactly do you get in this starter car from Mitsubishi? Under the short front hood lies a very rare automotive item these days – a 3 cylinder inline, 1.2 liter DOHC, 12 valve engine mounted transversely. Only the Smart from Mercedes uses a similar powerplant. Mirage output has been bumped by 4hp for 2017 – to a whopping 78hp. Torque comes in at 74lb.-ft.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

These output numbers fall well short of most 500cc motorcycles on the market today. But bear in mind that the Mirage is a real lightweight in comparison to today’s normal two ton vehicles. It weighs just over one ton (2,085 lbs.), giving it a power-to-weight ratio of 26.7lbs/hp. Back in 1970, the original Porsche 914 weighed the same as this Mirage and offered only 85hp. Given that perspective, the Mirage’s hp/weight ratio looks decidedly better. If it was good enough for Porsche’s definitive sports car, it will work for you today.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

So accept that modest acceleration is the ruling order here. Around town this comparative lethargy is annoying but tolerable. On back roads, you can forget about passing slower traffic. You are the slower traffic. But once you get the GT up to cruising speed on the interstate, it acquits itself with honor. In the 60-75mph range, performance is plenty adequate, especially if you use long downhills to counteract long up-hills. Drive judiciously, and the Mirage will pay off like a loose Vegas slot: 37 MPG around town and 43 MPG on the freeway.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

For the modest money, it’s amazing how many features Mitsubishi tosses into the GT pot to sweeten the deal. New this year are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto display modes. And how many bottom line, entry level offerings come with heated seats? How about push button start and remote door lock? An intermittent rear wiper? How about a tire pressure monitoring system, and three point seat belts for all 5 positions? This little cruiser is loaded with extras, and Mitsubishi doesn’t charge extra for any of them. I am particularly gratified to see that the GT scores highly in the Government 5-Star safety Ratings category, posting 4-Star results in the Frontal Crash for both driver and passenger, as well as 4-Stars for Rollover protection. So don’t automatically dismiss the Mirage’s safety cell on the basis of its small size (149 inch length, 97 inch wheelbase).

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

If the Mirage suffers from anything, its lack of attention to details. The 3 cylinder engine tends to buzz and shake at idle. An internal balance shaft or better motor mount isolation would take care of the problem. Inside the cabin, the doors shut with a tinny snap rather than a reassuring thunk. More sound deadener inside the panels would cure the issue. Finally, the front passenger side airbag cover matches neither the color nor texture of the rest of the dashboard. Certainly, this obvious disparity could be easily cured. I wanted to Armorall the offending patch to help it match the rest of the dash’s sheen.

These offenses should not cause you to eliminate the Mirage GT from consideration as a possible purchase. For the prospective owner who hopes to own a brand new vehicle for $17,330 – complete with 5 year/60,000 mile warranty – a few rough edges shouldn’t skew the deal. Mirage’s inherent value is a rarity indeed in today’s expensive marketplace.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage GT 5-Door

  • Engine: 1.2 liter inline 3, DOHC, 12 Valves
  • Horsepower: 78hp
  • Torque: 74lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 37MPG City/43MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $17,330
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC Review

Tuesday January 3rd, 2017 at 8:11 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

By David Colman

Hypes: Great Interior Space, Strong Drivetrain
Gripes: More Tire Please

Normally, press review vehicles graduate from evaluation duties after accumulating 7,500 miles on their odometer. While such a short life span insures that these vehicles remain fresh and relatively new, we testers rarely get to experience more mature examples. This Mitsubishi proved an extreme exception to that rule when it arrived with a whopping 20,000 miles showing on its odometer. While you might expect that such intense usage would lead to an accumulation of shakes, rattles and clatter, this Outlander performed like it had just been driven off the showroom floor. Nothing squeaked, nothing failed to operate as intended. If it weren’t for a smattering of scratches and dings accumulated over the past year, this veteran Mitsubishi could pass for a brand new vehicle. Such long-term solidity bodes well for your ownership future with this brand.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

The loaded Outlander GT makes a good case for ownership. For starters, the price is right, at a base of just $30,995. Even fully loaded, with a $3,350 Navigation System that also includes Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control, the bottom line tally is a modest $35,195. In an SUV world of screaming 4 cylinder engines mated to shrieking CVT transmissions, the Outlander GT provides a welcome respite from such cheap engineering. This model houses a very healthy 3 liter V6 mounted sideways under its hood, and coupled to a real automatic transmission containing 6 actual gears instead of CVT rubber bands.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

While the powertrain combo here won’t help you set any quarter mile drag records, its 224hp and 215lb.-ft. of torque prove more than adequate for the daily drive. Mitsubishi equips GT models with enormous elephant ear shift paddles adjacent to the leather wrapped steering wheel. These enable you to tap your way right into the engine’s performance sweet spot. Just administer a thwack on the left paddle for downshifts or a swat on the right one for upshifts. This system is brilliantly designed and puts to shame similar, less effectual paddles offered on much more expensive German sporting products like Porsche and BMW. The paddle design should come as no surprise, however, since Mitsubishi has won countless world rally championships, where quick shifting is the name of the game.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

Equal ingenuity has gone into the Outlander’s interior configuration. While seating for 7 is virtually unheard of in this class of SUV, the Outlander GT manages to turn the trick with a 2/3/2 package that includes a pair of diminutive third row seats that will pack the whole hockey team on board. The 32.5 cubic feet of interior space can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate a bicycle. Just step up to the rear side doors, pull a strap on the lower seat cushions to fold them forward, then lift a latch on the back cushions to fold them into the newly created well. The entire process takes about 8 nanoseconds. The GT comes with an electrically activated tailgate which can be triggered by a button on the dash or by a pad on the keyfob remote. The remote trigger, however, worked only intermittently. Perhaps after 20,000 miles, its battery was feeling a bit under the weather.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

In North America, Mitsubishi products seem to fly under the radar. Whether this is due to a lack of advertising or a restricted number of dealerships is unclear. What is clear is that the brand has consistently turned out strong examples of compact SUVs for a long time now. We were recently impressed with the Outlander Sport, for example. Although the Outlander GT can’t match the crisp handling of the Sport, the deficit is due in part to the mediocre Toyo A24 (225/55R18) tires fitted to the GT. These Toyos offer marginal stick and since the GT is relatively softly sprung, the footprint combination produces pronounced understeer accompanied by tire squeal. Although the Outlander GT won’t get your juices flowing at the sight of a twisty road, its many other cumulative virtues make it a prime candidate for your consideration as a do-it-all 7-Up family hauler.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander 3.0 GT S-AWC

  • Engine: 3.0 liter V6, SOHC, 24 Valve
  • Horsepower: 224hp
  • Torque: 215lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 20 MPG City/27 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $35,195
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD Review

Wednesday November 9th, 2016 at 11:1111 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

By David Colman

Hypes: Loaded with Standard Features
Gripes: Front Center Armrest Feels Cheap

Good genes and an even disposition mean just as much in the car world as they do in the human realm. In the genes department, Mitsubishi long ago mastered the art of building large displacement, vibration-free, 4 cylinder motors. Back in 1983, Mitsubishi marketed a 2.4 liter straight four that utilized a counter-rotating balance shaft to cancel vibration. So successful was the design that Porsche paid Mitsubishi royalties to borrow the layout for its 944 series engines. Today, Mitsubishi still depends on this basic architecture to offer a 2.4 liter in-line 4 making excellent power (168hp) and torque (167lb.-ft.) with no harshness at any rpm range.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

In the happy disposition department, the Outlander Sport is a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) so eager to serve you that it even bids you farewell at drive’s end. When you turn it off, the LCD multi-information display flashes the chummy message “See Ya.” For $25,995 (base price), the Sport is surprisingly full of such unexpected bonuses. All models come standard with 18 inch, two-tone aluminum alloy wheels. Ours were shod with Nexen Npriz RH7 tires (225/55R18) that provided competent dry weather traction without imposing a harsh ride.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

One of the first niceties you notice when climbing aboard are the ribbed aluminum pedals for brake and accelerator. These look sharp and respond well to even the slipperiest soles. Another standard convenience provided is a knockout Rockford-Fosgate sound system putting out 710 watts through 9 speakers. A subwoofer the size of a ten gallon Stetson mounts on the right wall of the hatchback, and commands a base note that will have your ears throbbing in very short order. Again, unexpected stuff from a vehicle in the price range. Perhaps the most engaging freebie on the standard inclusion list is the enormous panoramic glass roof which stretches all the way from the windshield header to the back edge of the roof. This nifty contraption which comes with mood lighting to boot, makes you feel like you’re driving a convertible, even though the top doesn’t actually lift off or open.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

For 2016, Mitsubishi freshened the mini-CUV’s exterior surfaces with a frontal look they term the “Dynamic Shield.” A pair of stout looking frontal chrome rails define the edges of the grill and trail artfully into batwing light clusters. A redesigned suspension system for 2016 features new “dynamic” dampers front and rear plus new electronic power steering. These revisions endow the Sport with a raked stance which makes it look ready to spring on prey. There’s a freshness to the styling that is absent in many of the Outlander’s competitors. And it looks especially good in Octane Blue.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

Mitsubishi has come to terms with the CVT drivetrain better than most other manufacturers. Part of the secret sauce here is provision of two enormous shift paddles located just behind the steering wheel. These easily accessed controls actually put you in charge of altering the engine’s rpm range. This latitude to chose power output almost makes the Outlander Sport feel like it has a real gearbox rather than a series of infinitely variable drive belts. Coupled to the big displacement 4′s solid power, the Sport motors through freeway merges with unexpected ease. However, the elevated suspension ride height contributes to a tipsy feeling when pushing this CUV hard through tight turns.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

Thanks to 7 airbags, the Sport earns an overall 4 star Safety Rating from the government, with 5 stars for front and rear seat side crash protection. The model range starts out at $19,995 for the most basic ES trim level, then progresses through SE and SEL levels to the top GT version we drove. Given its many amenities, solid engineering and eager-to-please disposition, the Outlander Sport merits your close attention as an affordable do-it-all family mover.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4ST 2WD

  • Engine: 2.4 Liter MIVEC DOHC 16 Valve inline 4
  • Horsepower: 168hp
  • Torque: 167lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 23 MPG City/28 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $26,845
  • Star Rating: 9 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT

Monday October 28th, 2013 at 1:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Rally Heritage Shows in Handling, Shifting
Gripes: Would Rather Own an Evo

Although eight years have passed since Mitsubishi last contested the World Rally Championship with the Lancer, this compact sedan still retains its WRC pedigree. With 11 different Lancer combinations available, picking the right one for your needs can be problematic. The range begins with the $16,000, front-wheel-drive DE sedan and tops out with the $35,000 all-wheel-drive GSR Evolution. Our $21,445 front-wheel-drive GT, with its 2.4 liter 168hp engine, represents a good compromise between the entry level 2.0 liter, 148hp DE and the line topping, turbocharged, 291hp GSR. The GT has enough urge to accelerate you out of tight passing situations while posting excellent mileage numbers (26MPG combined). Although our sample GT was loaded with $5,150 worth of options, you can certainly get by without the pricey ($3,300) Touring Package or the $1,850 Navigation System.

Although I’ve never been a fan of CVT transmissions, the constant velocity unit in the GT is staged so precisely that you’d swear it contains gear sets rather than belts. In keeping with their WRC tradition, Mitsubishi supplies the GT with racing style, cast aluminum “Sportronic” paddle shifts which are attached to the steering column rather than the wheel. These silver elephant ears facilitate up and down changes which are easily accomplished even when the steering wheel is cranked over hard. The ride quality of the GT is stiff and well snubbed thanks to its sport tuned suspension and low profile, high performance tires and wheels (215/45R18 Dunlop SP Sport 5000). Although the GT jiggles over pavement imperfections it handles corners with great precision. The suspension architecture, which combines MacPherson strut front with multi-link rear, is independent at both ends, and uses front and rear sway bars for added stability.

Although our GT’s 3 month free subscription to SIRIUSXM radio had already expired, the Rockford Fosgate 9 speaker, 710 Watt premium stereo (included in the Touring Package) could still be used for CDs or MP3 hookups by cantilevering the head unit open. Doing so reveals a single CD slot, plus a pair of SD card slots. A 10 inch subwoofer located in the trunk keeps track of the baseline. Even when supplied with the leather seating surfaces of the Touring Package, the interior of the Lancer seems bland and somewhat dated. Neither the front nor the rear seats will elicit rave comfort reviews from occupants. Although the rear seats fold flat, the sizeable partition separating trunk from cabin interferes with storage capacity. On the positive side, the Lancer’s tall greenhouse permits excellent sight lines in all directions. Thanks to this vision enhancement and the spunky 167lb.-ft. of torque from its large displacement 4 cylinder engine, the GT is easy to maneuver in tight city spots.

The Mitsubishi Lancer remains an excellent platform for the driver concerned with car control. Its quick reflexes, exceptional shifting, and torquey motor convert this innocuous looking family sedan into a rapid transit module that shows Mitsubishi hasn’t yet forgotten the art of driving hard.

2014 Mitsubishi Lancer GT

  • Engine: DOHC 2.4 liter inline 4
  • Horsepower: 168hp
  • Torque: 167lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 23 MPG City/30 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $27,390
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

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Review: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 2WD

Thursday October 10th, 2013 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Based on Agile Lancer Chassis
Gripes: Saddled With CVT and Low HP

Now in its third year of production, the Outlander Sport gets a fresh face and rump for 2013, along with larger wheels and new color palette. The revised snout and upturned, spoiler-topped tail impart a hunting hound rake to this crossover SUV based on the Lancer chassis. In the SE model, more up market interior trimming than before belies the Sport’s modest $22,295 base price. After spending several hours in the manually adjustable driver’s seat, I had no complaints about lack of comfort or support. The steering wheel is also manually positionable for rake and reach. The leather trimmed wheel itself features useful audio volume and band controls on the left spoke and effective cruise controls on the right spoke.

An extra $2,050 Premium Package garnishes the Sport with an enormous glass roof which admits plenty of light to the interior but does not slide or open. But it does confer fantasy status on the interior at night thanks to a long row of orange LED bulbs that illuminate both sides of the roof opening. The package also includes black roof rails, rear view camera, and a knockout loud Rockford Fosgate 710 Watt, 9 speaker audio system with 5CD/MP3 dash-mounted head unit. Since Mitsubishi thoughtfully provides the Sport with standard SIRIUS radio, there’s no lack of choice in the infotainment department.

The Outlander Sport is one curvaceous beauty. Its interior design is so full of arcs and parabolas that you can’t lay anything on a flat surface. The exterior is equally sloping, so if you want to store your coffee cup while you fumble for your keys, your only choice is the ground. But the cabin’s severe tumble home has a positive effect on outward visibility. The side and rear windows are tall and informative, and the included rear view camera helps you check all the safety boxes when you back out of a parking place.

Given Mitsubishi’s years of success with Lancer on the World Rallye Championship, it should come as no surprise that the Sport’s handling is precise and informative. The new 8-spoke, 18 inch alloys plant 225/55R18 Toyo A24 tires at each corner. These all weather radials never lose their footing, even when the softly sprung Sport achieves some rather dramatic lean angles in tight corners. However, neither the refined chassis, the athletic suspension, nor the sticky tires will determine how effectively you cover ground in this Outlander. That final measure of performance is determined by the engine/transmission combo, and here the Sport is sorely lacking. The engine is an inline 4, making just 148hp and 145 lb.-ft. of torque. Given that the Sport weighs in at 3,032 pounds, the power-to-weight requires each horse to move 20.4 pounds. Further complicating the equation is the SE’s lethargic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), which is particularly hard put to find the right gear ratio when you most need passing power. Although Mitsubishi optimistically equips the Sport with large paddle shifts next to the steering wheel rim, these tools are rendered virtually useless by the engine’s lack of power and the vague speed ranges of the CVT’s stepped “gears.”

If you like the Sport for all its admirable qualities – looks, finish, utility – then forego the SE trim level and opt for the base model, $19,170 ES, which comes standard with a real 5-speed manual transmission. This transmission is not available on ES versions. In the long run, you’ll still get great mileage (25 MPG City/31 MPG Highway) without paying the performance surcharge that the CVT extracts.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE 2WD

  • Engine: 2.0 Liter Inline4, DOHC, 16 Valves
  • Horsepower: 148hp
  • Torque: 145 lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 24 MPG City/31 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $27,170
  • Star Rating: 7.5 out of 10 Stars

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Tested: 2013 Mitsubishi i-MIEV

Tuesday August 27th, 2013 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: Francois

What is it

The Miev is an electric car suitable for short trips in the city. It is small and tall and is zippy around town with its high torque electric motor. It is roomy enough with 5 doors and a high roof line.

But get it on the open road and it is not happy. It’s small wheels and high wind profile make it jittery on the freeway. And the range is no joke as 60 miles is really just a best case guideline. Get on throttle or tackle some hills and this can easily drop below 50 miles. So charging stations are your friend and like the Nissan Leaf, you will get to know them and your fellow electric car drivers well.

YouTube Preview Image Video: The Charging Point Test Drive

The Japanese domestic market (JDM) version of the i has been on sale in Japan as the i-MiEV since July 2009. Mitsubishi put the popular i on a bodybuilder program to beef it up for the U.S. market and to meet North American crash regulations and make it more suitable for freeway driving. Adding 4.3 inches through the longitudinal center of the i pushes the width to 62.4 inches. It’s still about two inches narrower than a Fiat 500, but the gains in width translate into much more elbow room than the Japanese version has. Additional front and rear crash structure adds about nine inches of overall length but no additional interior room. The North American i weighs in at a feathery 2500 pounds despite carrying 88 steel-encased lithium-ion batteries under the floor.


The North American Miev enjoys a larger beam that makes the already-tall interior genuinely comfortable for four. Stretching an interior is tough and expensive, but Mitsubishi engineers devised a clever cost-saving move that frames the dash from the skinnier left-hand drive version sold in Europe with another layer of dashboard that makes the extra width appear like it was planned from the car’s outset, which it wasn’t. Look for the telltale gap filler at the base of the A-pillars.


Understeer and squealing front tires greet drivers who push the i hard into corners. The car’s staggered tires (145/65R15 front, 175/65R15 rear) and softly sprung chassis exacerbate the plowing, a trait that sucks the driving fun from the i’s otherwise cheery countenance.
And the 60 mile range really makes it difficult on US roads. Cities may be ok, but the sprawling peninsulas often require more range and buffer than 60 miles.

YouTube Preview Image Video: Making of i-MIEV

Tech Details

If you’ve ever driven an electric golf car, you probably remember the jumpy throttle response, a characteristic of electric motors producing maximum torque at zero rpm. The Miev’s Smooth Start Control electronically regulates torque from a stop to eliminate jolting starts, making the car feel more polished than some EVs.

YouTube Preview Image Video: Kelley Blue Book Review

Driving Character

While the Miev’s electric propulsion may seem advanced, driving it is simple as a golf cart. Turning the conventional column-mounted key activates the circuitry. Putting the car in drive engages the motor. Flooring the amp pedal moves the car out smoothly with linear thrust. The lack of gear changes or a traditional powertrain noise adds refinement. The electrically assisted power steering feels light, as do the vacuum-assisted front disc and rear drum brakes. (Since there is no intake manifold vacuum to power the brakes as on the JDM gasoline-powered i, Mitsubishi uses an electric vacuum pump for boosting duties on the EVs.) The seamless transition between regenerative and mechanical braking also deserves kudos. Unfortunately, the lack of excitement is palpable, with 0-60 mph clocking in at about 15 seconds. We saw 81 mph as the governed top speed.

Other Cars to Consider

Nissan Leaf

The Bottom Line

With a price that undercuts the Nissan Leaf by more than $5000 and superior efficiency, Mitsubishi’s North American version of the Miev electric vehicle may attract a broader audience than simply urban-dwelling environmentalists who view personal transportation as a necessary evil. The EPA estimates that drivers will spend just $495 dollars to drive the i 15,000 miles—though putting 15,000 miles on this car is a formidable task, as the i’s practical range is just 62 miles. And that distance must vary quite a bit depending how you use the i: Just 15 minutes of hard driving at Mitsubishi’s Nagoya proving grounds erased four of the 16 energy bars in the i’s “fuel” gauge. Still, Mitsubishi’s management is fixated on helping the world become a greener place, and the practical changes they’ve made to the i will make the $27,990 car more palatable for American drivers and driving environs.

But in the end, this car can use a few hundred pounds more of battery weight and range. The car is a bit fidgety on the freeway and the 80 mph top speed can barely get you out of some tricky merging situations.

The range is the most difficult pill to swallow of all. 60 mile round trip commutes are out of the question without a lunch time charge. And on weekend jaunts, the 60 mile range can drop to 40 miles when going through some hills and mountains. Just like a petrol car, mileage drops significantly when climbing a hill. But if you don’t make it back to the descent because of the range, then you won’t get that lost mileage back to descend the hill.


  • Price: $27,990 – $33,230
  • Powertrain: 49 kw (66 hp) AC synchronous electric motor; 16 kwh lithium-ion battery pack; RWD
  • EPA Fuel Economy/Range: 112 mpge; 62 miles

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2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

Thursday August 1st, 2013 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: Francois



  • The “sport” aspect of this crossover stands out with a nice, tight suspension
  • The panoramic roof spans an impressive length of the roof, providing sunlight to both the front and back seats.
  • The Outlander Sport boasts a nice stance, looking like it’s prepared for virtually any conditions with aesthetic cues from the iconic Evolution line of rally bred street cars


  • Underwhelming power – rated at 143hp, but not until 6000rpm.
  • The Outlander Sport seems to be plagued by hard plastics and bland designs giving it a cheap interior feel
  • Raked rear window and tiny cargo space limits usable volume

One day. Two Crossovers. Five Guinness World Records.
I admit to being fully intrigued the first time I saw the commercial for the new Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Clearly Mitsubishi was having fun with this marketing campaign, but the underlying message that I heard was that this is going to be an exciting, sporty, compact SUV that packs enough performance to make the driving experience stimulating.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Mitsubishi |Tags:, , , , || 2 Comments »

Video Review: 2011 Nissan Rogue vs. 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Monday December 13th, 2010 at 3:1212 PM
Posted by: Derek

Mitsubishi redesigned the Outlander Sport for 2011, but can it go toe-to-toe against the more established sport ute – the Nissan Rogue? Watch the video as Ryan and Aaron take these city crossovers deep into the forest on a holiday challenge and drive over some real terrain more challenging than a urban street riddled with potholes.

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Posted in Mitsubishi, Nissan, Video Reviews |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart Review – Godzilla got back

Friday June 18th, 2010 at 12:66 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2010 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback Ralliart
By Danny Chang


  • Punchy twin-clutch electronic sport transmission
  • Gravel-mode AWD
  • Super tight steering
  • Five-door convenience


  • Tight luggage room when rear seat in use
  • Slower-than hoped for off-the-line acceleration
  • Less-than-ideal 17-25 MPG

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Mitsubishi |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »

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