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2007 Mitsubishi Outlander Test Drive Review

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander driving

The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander carries a decent price tag but not much else.

6.8 /10
Overall Score

The Outlander is Mitsubishi’s compact SUV. For the 2007 model year, the vehicle has been improved with a more powerful engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission, and an updated all-wheel drive (AWD) system that carries a rear-wheel drive focus, giving the new Outlander a sporty feel on the road.

The Outlander is powered by a single drivetrain for the 2007 model year. It’s a 3.0-liter 220-horsepower V6 paired with a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The vehicle is front-wheel drive (FWD) by default but can be upgraded with AWD. That upgrade to AWD also brings a 1,500-pound improvement in towing capacity, up to 3,500 pounds.

The Mitsubishi Outlander competes against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, Subaru Forester, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Hyundai Tucson, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Xterra. It’s targeted at new-car buyers that want a cost-effective vehicle with room for the family and gear.

Look and Feel

7/ 10

The Outlander is styled plainly, but that’s part of the appeal here. The sport utility is affordable and straightforward, which is an alternative to the increasingly-complex vehicles that Mitsubishi’s competitors are cranking out. Interior styling follows the same playbook, with all controls, buttons, and displays oriented to be driver-focused.

The front seats are a big improvement over previous model years. They feature deep, well-cushioned bottoms and gentle side bolsters that hold bodies in seats without being too restrictive. The second-row seat is a plain bench and the third-row seat should be reserved for children. Legroom is at least decent in most places. A folding second-row seat makes access to the last row much easier, and all seats fold down for maximum utility.

Performance

7/ 10

The new V6 engine and powertrain tuning seem to be oriented more toward maximum gas mileage than performance, which is a plus for family vehicles that might be taken on road trips. It's hard to imagine that a four-cylinder engine would do any better. The powertrain upgrades that Mitsubishi put in place for 2007 are a big leap forward for the Outlander, and have made it much more usable on a daily basis. The FWD orientation is a good one for stability, and it's arguably more important than the AWD auto-transmission setup.

Steering and handling have both benefitted from improvements to the front and rear suspension. There are upgraded shock absorbers and updated suspension that provide a comfortable ride without letting things get too soft.

Form and Function

8/ 10

The Outlander outperforms its competition in cargo space, except for the RAV4, where it’s just edged out. Mitsubishi equipped the Outlander with a clever cargo-loading solution that includes a fold-down segment that creates a small tailgate when the rear door is open to better access the cargo area.

Interior storage is otherwise solid. The glovebox is large and offers two levels of storage, all doors have large cupholders, and the front area carries a whopping four cupholders.

Tech Level

7/ 10

Standard tech in the Outlander includes air conditioning, cruise control, steering wheel-mounted controls, remote keyless entry, and an AM/FM/CD stereo. Available features include Bluetooth, a 650-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system, a navigation system, auxiliary inputs, automatic climate controls, satellite radio, a rear-seat entertainment system, a sunroof, and DVD inputs.

Many options are only available in added-cost packages that bump the Outlander’s price tag considerably. The Rockford Fosgate stereo is a worthy option, but it adds almost $2,000 to the bottom line. That's a lot of money for an upgraded sound system.

Safety

6/ 10

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2007 Outlander "good" (the highest rating) in front and side crashworthiness and "acceptable" for its roof strength. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded it five stars in all crash-testing areas except for rollover resistance, where it earned four stars.

Standard safety features include electronic brakeforce distribution, four-wheel ABS, daytime running lights, an engine immobilizer, child seat anchors, dual front side airbags, side curtain airbags, stability control, and an anti-theft alarm system.

Cost-Effectiveness

6/ 10

The Outlander is priced as a bargain offering in its segment, but don’t be fooled. The base MSRP of $21,370 buys a fairly basic vehicle that lacks many of the features that buyers expect in a small SUV. Options packages, some of which are not available for lower trim levels like the base Outlander ES, add to the price considerably and have to be stacked up to get a decent list of features. Gas mileage is at least decent. The EPA estimates fuel economy of 17/25/20 mpg city/hwy/combined with FWD and 17/23/19 mpg with AWD.

Updated

Chris is an automotive journalist covering new vehicle reveals, news, and technology. He loves digging into the details to tell entertaining and informative stories.

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