As you may know, I get really excited about getting vehicles that have three rows of seating. Anything that allows me the ability to fit the whole family (four kids) into one vehicle is ideal, and gives me the opportunity to really put those vehicles to the test. With the Outlander, Mitsubishi has split its crossover lineup into two distinct models with the GT and the Sport. The Sport is their 5-passenger option with a smaller footprint, while the GT is their larger, 7-passenger option. The last time I did a full review on the Outlander GT was back in 2011 where I liked the styling but thought the 3rd-row seating was a bit of a joke. Today, I’m not as sold on the styling but the functionality of the 3rd-row seems to be much more sorted. So let’s dive into this 2016 Outlander GT and see how it stacks up.
For 2016 the Outlander gets a refreshed look, one it definitely needed it. I quite liked the design direction Mitsubishi was following back in 2011, giving more of their vehicles the Evo look. I thought this made a great selling point as it was a great design. Shortly after that year Mitsubishi started down a new path with their designs and I really wasn’t impressed. They lost what made them unique and started designing SUVs that looked like everyone else. This newly redesigned Outlander seems to be ready to bring some distinctive styling back into the lineup, though. You get a unique grille up front with what can only be described as chrome saber tooth-type fangs. You also get slimmer headlights and taillights with standard LEDs. Also, regardless of trim level you’ll be sporting some pretty nice 18-inch wheels. Overall, I think Mitsubishi is heading in the right direction with their design and I’m glad they’re doing so.
Inside the Outlander GT, Mitsubishi has also been working hard to up their game. Everything feels and looks much more premium, although they won’t really be fooling anyone into thinking this is a luxury competitor. For the most part the materials look and feel decent, and they’ve put in nice technology like the 7-inch HD touchscreen controlling Mitsubishi’s navigation and infotainment screens. One of my favorite interior features of all Mitsubishi products is the paddle shifters they use. While you won’t be hitting a track in this car and reaching for the paddle that often, if you ever do they are some of the best feeling in the business, solid pieces of metal that really feel great.
Under the hood you get two options: a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 3.0-liter V6 engine. Both engines are built to be fuel efficient, but while the 4-cylinder is matched up to a CVT the V6 affords you a more traditional automatic transmission. The V6, with its 224-horsepower and throaty exhaust note, is definitely the way to go.
Of course, the party piece is Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control system (S-AWC), which can be equipped on any trim level. One thing Mitsubishi is known for around the world is their rally racing and off-roading abilities. Now you won’t be taking your Outlander GT rock crawling on the weekends (unless you’re renting it…), but this vehicle – equipped with S-AWC – will get you just about anywhere you’re wanting to go with your own vehicle while making your own monthlies.
So, after a full week driving the new 2016 Outlander GT I’m pretty impressed with how Mitsubishi has been able to adapt and advance. The back seats are now really usable and I was able to fit the whole family without any issues. The interior and exterior are much nicer, which means you won’t be regretting your purchase every time you take a drive. And the biggest selling point, especially for families who need a 3rd-row, is the price. A base ES can be had for just $22,995, and even moving all the way up to a GT with S-AWC you’re still looking at just $30k.