ExteriorExterior  - 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Review - Reviews - Mitsubishi Outlander

When compared with its rivals, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander's exterior is an original. Where the others are shapely and docile, the Outlander is aggressive. It sits low to the ground with an insistently sporty front grille and strong lines throughout its body. The emphasis is definitely more on sport than utility.

In addition to the traditional liftgate, there's also a small rear tailgate that flips down to make loading groceries or putting on your ski boots easier. It also creates a nice tailgating seat that can support up to 440 pounds, which means Dad can take this car to the game.

What's also dad-friendly are the doors, which are light enough for a 3-year-old to open and close independently. The step-in height is also manageable for anyone making date night easier when Mom is wearing a tight skirt.

The top-of-the-line Outlander GT I tested comes with a 230-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. My test car had optional all-wheel drive, which Mitsubishi calls Super All-Wheel Control and includes a center dial to select driving modes to optimize traction in varying weather and road conditions. This test car gets an EPA-estimated 19/25 mpg city/highway and premium gas is recommended.

The Outlander can also be had with a 168-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and front-wheel drive that gets 22/27 mpg. This smaller engine uses regular gas.

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