Mitsubishi Outlander

From Mitsubishi press: With its incomparable head-turning styling, well-appointed cabin, roomy accommodations for up to seven, and outstanding 5-Star safety rating, the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander truly exemplifies the Japanese auto manufacturer's "different for a reason" attitude that separates this car from its garden-variety crossover utility vehicle (CUV) competition.

And with an assortment of Outlander models available for the 2011 model year in both 2WD (ES, SE and XLS trim levels) and all-wheel drive (SE and the stellar amenity and technology-packed GT model), there is a version of this stylish and highly-efficient crossover that is a perfect fit for every young family's wallet and/or lifestyle.

Available with either the ES or SE Outlander models is a workhorse DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter (2360 cc) normally-aspirated inline-4 engine that features Mitsubishi Innovative Valve-timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) to maximize power production, improve fuel efficiency and minimize exhaust emissions. Utilizing an aluminum block and head, a compression ratio of 10.5:1 and a bore and stroke of 88.0 x 97.0 mm, this engine produces 167 horsepower at 6,000 rpm (161 bhp at 6,000 rpm for the PZEV-rated version) and has 167 lb.-ft. of torque on tap at 4,100 rpm (161 lb.-ft. at 4100 rpm PZEV). This engine has a 6,500 rpm redline and can run on regular unleaded-grade fuel as an added lower cost benefit of operation.

Of note, the lower-emission PZEV version of this engine is only available on the 2WD iteration of either the ES or SE Outlander models in the state of California. This engine is paired with Mitsubishi's highly-efficient Sportronic® continuously-variable transmission (CVT) on both ES and SE models, but the latter trim level has the added benefit of sporty steering wheel-mounted magnesium-alloy paddle shifters that allow the driver to manually make gear changes with the CVT. The towing capacity of this drivetrain is rated at 1500 lbs.

Both of the more upscale Outlander models - the XLS and the superior GT - make use of a 3.0-liter (2998 cc) normally-aspirated MIVEC-equipped SOHC V-6 engine that directs power to the driven wheels via a responsive 6-speed Sportronic® automatic transmission with Mitsubishi's smart Idle-Neutral Logic technology that intuitively switches the car to neutral whenever the car comes to a complete stop, helping to reduce fuel consumption. Like the 4-cylinder engine, this 6-cylinder powerplant has its block and cylinder heads composed entirely of aluminum-alloy, has a 6,500 rpm redline and a 10.5:1 compression ratio. The bore and stroke measure 87.6 x 82.9 mm, with power rated at 230 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 215 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,750 rpm. The Outlander GT model packs plenty of toy-pulling power with a maximum towing capacity of a full 3,500 lbs. (the 2WD Outlander XLS has a rating of 2,000 lbs.).

Mitsubishi Outlander