But Still FunBut Still Fun  - 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander Review - Reviews - Mitsubishi Outlander

Green-light power isn't the only ingredient in driving fun — just test a car like the non-turbo Mini Cooper or even Mitsubishi's base Lancer. The Outlander is fun in the same kind of way: The steering wheel requires medium effort to turn at low speeds but yields impressive turn-in precision on curvier stretches, and the nose goes right where you point it, with no vague intermediary motions. On the highway, however, the wheel loosens up and feels a bit too twitchy when pointed straight ahead.

Body roll is well-controlled for a crossover, and the four-wheel-disc antilock brakes exhibit a linear, carlike response. The prior-generation Forester comes to mind as comparably agile; its softer successor falls a bit short.

Even with the SE's 18-inch wheels (versus 16-inchers in the ES), wind and road noise remain controlled at highway speeds. The suspension, however, lacks composure. All three trim levels share the same tuning, and it chatters a lot over potholes and expansion joints. It doesn't do a great job isolating the bad stuff, with noticeable reverberation after major bumps. There are worse examples in this crowd — the RAV4's optional sport-tuned suspension comes to mind — and the Outlander's setup never feels uncomfortably brittle, but it could stand to attend finishing school.

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