Tuesday, April 7, 2015

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander has fresh design and a bump in refinement

Yep... It's Pretty Much All New

Although the Mitsubishi Outlander was revised for the 2014 model year, the Japanese automaker is giving its midsize three-row crossover a major update for the 2016 model year. In addition to introducing the new corporate face, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander will get a refined interior with updated infotainment and safety tech, and an improved chassis and drivetrain.

The crossover gets a more aggressive front fascia with Mitsubishi's new "Dynamic Shield" design language, inherited from the beloved Montero SUV with its lower side cladding. The standard halogen headlights have been redesigned and feature LED park lights, and round foglights set at the lower edge of the front bumper frame a large center. Other exterior changes include redesigned front fenders, lower door sections, new LED taillights, and a new rear fascia. New wheel arch moldings house restyled 18-inch alloy wheels. Top-spec Outlander GT models feature power-folding side mirrors, windshield de-icer, and LED headlights.


The Outlander gets more soft-touch materials inside, including a redesigned steering wheel, new accent trim on the doors and dashboard, and upgraded seating and headliner material. The folding rear seat has been revamped for easier operation. New interior tech includes the latest Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) navigation audio system, and the GT model gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink.

The 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander comes with lots of standard equipment, including automatic climate control; an ECO mode; a tilting and telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls; a leather-wrapped shift knob; a six-speaker, 140-watt audio system with Fuse Hands-Free Link System with a USB port; power windows, door locks, and mirrors; and 60/40 split second-row seats and 50/50 split third-row seats.


Standard safety features include seven airbags, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, hill start assist, active stability control with Traction Control Logic (TCL), and a tire-pressure monitoring system. SEL and GT trims are available with advanced safety tech, including forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.

Mitsubishi says it improved the body's structural rigidity and revised the suspension. The electric power steering has also been retuned. NVH has been reduced with a noise-isolating windshield and thicker rear-hatch glass, more sound-deadening material, improved weather stripping, and engine compartment trim. New dynamic dampers on the front and rear suspensions and rear differential also reduce NVH. Although no powertrain details were revealed, Mitsubishis says a new CVT gives the 2016 Outlander improved acceleration, performance, shift feel, and torque delivery. We expect the current model's powertrain options to carry over. The base engine in the current model is a 2.4-liter I-4 with 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque mated to a CVT and available in front- or all-wheel drive. The top-spec GT model features a 224-hp, 215-lb-ft, 3.0-liter V-6 mated to six-speed automatic and standard all-wheel drive.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mitsubishi really disappointed lots of people at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show when it initially teased "The Return of a Legend." That over-hyped unveiling was really just the North American debut of the GC-PHEV, first shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. The Japanese automaker is getting a second chance to impress with its hook to "Come See the New Face of Mitsubishi Motors" at the New York Auto Show on April 2. Maybe the company can do a little bit better this time, even if the surprise is already spoiled.

Mitsubishi announced that it would unveil the refreshed 2016 Outlander in the Big Apple a month ago in Chicago. It's almost certainly the vehicle on display on the brand's invitation, above. While the single shot shows off a design very reminiscent of the current model, earlier spy shots indicate changes are in store for both the front fascia and much of the rear end. A look in the vein of the Outlander PHEV Concept-S from the 2014 Paris Motor Show seems likely.

The restyling is also rumored to be timed with the plug-in hybrid version's US debut. However, after that vehicle's multiple delays, it might be best to wait and see.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV II on display at the Geneva Motor Show isn't really a completely new vehicle but more of thorough reworking of the earlier XR-PHEV from the2013 Tokyo Motor Show. For the latest interpretation, the Japanese brand is getting the design ready for an eventual debut for the road.

While the two concepts look practically identical at first glance, the XR-PHEV II is far more possible for production than its predecessor. The grille and hood now feature openings to let the vehicle cool its plug-in hybrid system, and the rear design offers enough glass to actually let the driver see out of the back. The interior for the latest version also looks mostly functional this time and is clad in eye-catching orange upholstery.

The XR-PHEV II's powertrain is a bit more mysterious, though. It's a front-wheel drive PHEV that's powered by a 12-kWh battery and offers a total output of 160 horsepower. However, Mitsubishi isn't taking about the internal combustion engine's displacement or the model's transmission.

Still, the company is clear that this look is a glimpse at its future crossovers, and that would be a welcome change. XR-PHEV II's more angular design would certainly liven up Mitsubishi's somewhat staid lineup.