Large and comfy back seat.
Cons Acceleration sluggish.
Interior has some cheap plastics.
Summary I've had this car almost two years and absolutely love it. I've never used the third row so I can't comment on that, I have it but have never opened it. Having small kids, I sometimes have to sit in the back seat with them on long rides and the back seat slides back and forth and reclines so it is very comfortable with lots of leg room, and I'm 6 feet tall. This car handles like a sports car. The all wheel control is amazing, handles wonderfully in all weather, and I would say corners and handles better than some cheaper "sports" cars I've driven. The torque vectoring when it occurs can be a little unsettling at first but for a family hauler this thing is a lot of fun for driving enthusiasts on twisty roads...actually more fun than a BMW 3 and an Audi A4 I used to own, feels lighter and more planted on the road than either of those. This was my first SUV/Mini-van and so I wanted something fun to drive and this was it. The only thing that's lacking is that it is under powered. Acceleration is adequate at best but does not match its sporty looks. Interior plastics need a serious upgrade. I leaned on the side elbow rest too hard and I heard it crack. The plastic beneath the leather is really cheap. The leather is also not luxury car quality leather, it's a cheaper feeling leather that barely qualifies for the word "leather" it's rather "pleather" like, but not totally horrible.
Pros Nice upgrades, good cargo space, 4x4 capability is great for its class, and still has a tough/mean look while CRV and RV4 look like soccer mom in training cars. 10 year 100,000 warranty on PT and 5 yr/60,000 mile bumper to bumper is one of the best out t
Cons CNET's review captures the clunky-ness of the motor well and the MPGs could be a little better based on competition.
Summary My wife was looking to upgrade out of her 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport. For some reason she liked that beast. It had a variety of issues and after 150k miles, under 20MPG, and no working A/C it was time to upgrade. After looking at a variety of similar mid-size SUVs (RV4, CRV, and Terrain), we stumbled across the Outlander. Chalk it up to poor marketing or the smaller number of dealerships in my area, but we never had this SUV on our radar. It was actually CNET's review of the 2010 that got me looking.
On paper it seemed better then all the competitors; good MPG (not great) for a V6, great reviews on the 4x4, loads of features, longest warranty of the bunch, all under $30,000. My wife really liked the look of it (which was the highest priority) and all the features. The only difference in my model and the one CNET reviewed is the navigation system package. We opted out of that, I have an iPhone and I use it for directions more then my Garmin (collecting dust in closet). You get a 6-disc CD changer (instead of single shot), and a text display instead of the LCD. There are other upgrades that came with the navigation package that we did not get. But for the most part everything is similar to the review.
I will concur with the review on the 3rd row seat. It is a joke. I would not recommend a mid-size SUV for anyone requiring a 3rd row seat. We have used it once when I was on designated driver duty, the most HAPPY person got the 3rd row. So beyond DD responsibilities or a car full of 8 year olds, I would never use the 3rd row. The cargo space is very respectable for its class and the back seats have a lot of room. Maybe coming from a Cherokee everything is bigger, but I was pleasantly surprised with the leg room. The seats can recline and slide quite far to help maximize your cargo space when needed, or reverse, maximize your passenger space.
Only negative would be the engine, at times. For city driving it feels perfectly fine and fairly quiet. Highway driving is still perfectly acceptable but the engine can be loud and aggressive when gearing down to accelerate or when going through hills and you have the cruise control on. These issues are not nearly significant enough for me to be disappointed. It is still miles ahead of the Cherokee and on par with its competition. I think the CNET review is very fair but should include the warranty information. I think Hyundai is the only one with an equally as good warranty. Jeep might be 10 years but many reviews of Chrysler have me concerned of their quality.
The mid-size SUV market is definitely getting competitive (reminds me of the late-90s early 2000s when all the big-boy SUVs were coming out) and I would put the Outlander on your list of test drive worthy cars. Mitsubishi has priced the Outlanders very well and they always seems to have some promotion going on.
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