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September 24, 2010

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT - The High End of the Midrange

2010 outlander exterior 2 The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT isn't for everyone. This top-of-the-model-line CUV takes premium gas and retails for $29,500 - before destination charge. But if you're looking for a vehicle that can handle inclement weather securely, tows 3,500 lbs., and can schlep your giant schnauzer (or seven people in a pinch), this may be the one for you.

Sporting a  3.0-liter, SOHC MIVEC V6, the GT pumps 230hp and 215 lb.-ft of torque @3750. It gets up to speed quickly, though I couldn't help feeling I was pulling a lot of weight, as the not-so-cute-ute weighs almost two tons with only the driver in it.

Outlander road selector Fortunately, if you like to push your grocery hauler to its limits, the Outlander GT is the one trim with Super All-Wheel Control and three terrain choices: Tarmac, Snow and Lock (low range). Based on an electronically-controlled active front differential, the S-AWC boosts handling and performance, and it's also a great safety benefit, keeping you planted on the road in various conditions. Read: Take me to the mountains, pronto!

So how's this baby beast on gas? The Outlander's 6-speed Sportronic® automatic transmission features Idle Neutral Logic, a fancy way of saying the transmission goes into neutral when the car comes to a complete stop. That saves gas, helping the GT earn an EPA estimate of 18 city/24 highway/20 combined. Nothing to write home about, but considering this vehicle's abilities, it's an understandable trade-off.

Then there are the GT's goodies. It's loaded with standard features:
- auto on- and off- Xenon HID headlamps
- flap-folding tailgate
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- power sunroof
- tire pressure monitoring system
- leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls
- magnesium paddle shifters - for fun and control
- FUSE Hands-Free Link System - Stream music wirelessly using Bluetooth, download your cell phone book, control everything with your voice. If it sounds like Ford's Sync, you're on the right track.
- 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system with nine speakers
- 60/40 split/folding/tumbling/reclining/sliding 2nd row seats. Whew!
- fold-flat 3rd row seat - barely usable, but good for those last minute "Can Johnny come over today?" pleas at the end of the school day. Most of the time, you'll have it folded down. With all seats down, cargo volume is 72.6 cubic feet.

Outlander dash My demo model in Cosmic Blue came with the only factory option available on the GT - a $3,000 navigation and leather package that includes power driver seat, heated front seats, 40GB HDD nav with music server and real-time traffic, a rear-view camera, and auxiliary video input jack. That's a lot of technology, and there are plenty more dealer-installed options available, like a rear seat DVD entertainment system ($1,695) and remote start ($599).

2010 outlander exterior For the animal lovers, Mitsu is touting the Outlander's usefulness as an large-size pet carrier; it received a few mentions in the automotive press for being dog friendly and dog safe last year. No doubt this emphasis on four-footed felicity is now a trend, what with the Honda Element Canine Edition getting so much press as well.

At least Mitsu is putting its money where its muzzle is, offering up a GT as the official wheels of TEAM PAWS Chicago, which raises money to rescue homeless pets. That's always good for a couple of points with the AskPatty staff.


Joanne Helperin Consumer Marketing Director, Blog Editor
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