New for 2003, the Outlander is Mitsubishi's answer to the popular CR-V and RAV4. The Outlander benefits from Mitsubishi's experience in building cars and off-road vehicles that both enjoy a long history of durability and reliability. The Outlander offers the added traction of all-wheel drive wrapped in a sporty exterior that definitely stands out in a crowd.
The Outlander is based on the all-new Lancer platform and inherits much of that car's stability and handling characteristics. A 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower is the only engine available. The engine is smooth and quite and develops it's torque low enough in the rpm range that it can move the Outlander with surprising quickness. The Outlander's optional automatic transmission features an adaptive technology that has the ability to learn your driving patterns, allowing it to chose the optimal shift points best suited to the way you drive.
The Outlander can seat four comfortably, though the rear seat passengers will feel cramped if they are on the tall side. Interior room falls somewhere in the middle ground, with more interior volume than the RAV4, but less than the CR-V. The interior itself is modern and clean, with nicely-textured materials on both the dash and seats. The dash is easy to read, with all the controls placed up high, within easy reach; the added center-console storage compartments and white-faced gauges are a nice touch. You'll also appreciate the hip-level seating position that allows you to easily enter and exit the Outlander without having to step up or down.
The Outlander comes well equipped and is offered in two trim levels, LS and XLS. LS models feature air conditioning, rear defroster, power door locks, AM/FM stereo with CD, power windows, tilt wheel and rear wiper. The XLS adds 16-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, exterior body enhancements and remote keyless entry.