There’s a certain beauty found in the simplicity of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander when compared to the overuse of exterior styling cues and plethora of buttons seen on most other vehicles. Although this midsized SUV is a fully competent daily driver, the lack of inspiration seen in the interior and exterior design doesn’t make a good first impression. If you can get past the bland design, you will soon realize that the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander performs with remarkable efficiency and reliability.
ENGINE & DRIVE
Having only driven the 4 cylinder version of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander, I was impressed to see the amount of power coming from the 2.4L, 166hp engine. Paired with a continuously variable transmission, the engine provides a smooth and steady acceleration. Although the base model 4 cylinder Outlander is only a two wheel drive, all other models come equipped with 4 wheel drive.
The impressive amount of power coming from the Outlander’s 4 cylinder engine can be tapped at any speed. Particularly at highway speeds, one would expect less power at hand for overtaking but the amount of power in reserve seemed consistent at any speed. With a very responsive engine, zippy accelerations and smooth and firm feeling ride, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander was indeed a pleasure to drive!
Perhaps the best part of the drive was looking down at the mileage tracker to see that the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander only consumed 9.2 L/100km over a combined city and highway test drive. For an SUV of its size, I expected a higher consumption. However, the 1,460 kg lightweight build of the 2014 Outlander allows a much more fuel efficient drive with quicker accelerations.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
Both the interior and exterior can be summed up with the words “simple” and “plain”. The plain looking exterior could do with a few more accent lines and perhaps some larger tires to give the Outlander a bit more of an aggressive look. The interior offers a plain looking yet straightforward dash with a polished metal plating accenting the dash and door trims.
The focus of the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander must have been functionality. Upon stepping into the cabin you will notice the roomy interior space and great visibility around the vehicle. Also, the well thought out interior offers many storage areas including many easily accessible, compartmentalized areas under the trunk floor.
The cabin does a decent job of reducing engine and outside noise, but there is still room for improvement. I also found that the cup holders for the front passengers were slightly out of reach and made passengers have to lean forward to access them. I would have preferred to see the placement closer to the central armrest.
Giving the windshield wipers a quick tap for a spray, results with a long beginning spray, followed by three perfectly timed sprays between the wipers, ensuring a fully cleaned windshield with a single push. Although I did like this feature, I’m confused as to why this advanced thinking went into wiper design versus interior and exterior design.
The integrated Bluetooth technology for connecting your phone and other devices comes standard on the base model Outlander. Since there is no display screen to control the various features, the Bluetooth needs to be connected via voice commands. I tried numerous times and struggled in frustration repeating the commands. I even consulted the user manual. In the end I gave up and was unsuccessful in connecting my phone.
Although the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander may not win any awards for innovative design, it is indeed a pleasure to drive. For a daily driver with a functional interior and great mileage, the entry level pricing of $25,998 is quite attractive. Before writing it off for its looks, I would recommend taking a 2014 Outlander for a test drive if in the market for a midsized SUV.