2007 Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD Sets Its Identity

    Because some people think of SUVs, like the Montero, while others think of the Lancer Evolution high-performance rally replica whenever the name Mitsubishi is heard, the company has set its identity with its second-generation 2007 Outlander.

    Mitsubishi has merged an SUV with a rally car. The new Outlander has its four-wheel drive system, which is meant more for traction and cornering on pavement than traditional four-wheeling. Though the mid-size, middle-class crossover field is already crowded due to its competitiveness, the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4WD stands out with its sporty abilities. Its poise comes in handy for safety and security on slipperier surfaces as well, whether they are dirt or gravel roads or snow.

    The ES comes as a front-drive model only, while the LS and XLS may be had with the “All-Wheel Control” (AWC) multimode four-wheel drive system, which combines front or full-time all-wheel drive with electronic traction and anti-skid control for optimum power-to-ground traction and handling ability in all weather and road conditions.

    In style, the second-generation Outlander has a conventional small trapezoidal grill over a larger intake in the front bumper fascia. Its multi-element headlights are covered with plastic fairings. The two-box shape has typical proportions, gently rounded corners and edges, and an arched roofline. Its exaggerated wheel arches give a muscular look, and these are filled with the large wheels and tires. Red LED taillights with clear covers give it a sporty look to the rear. The Outlander sits are high, but just enough for easy access with a ground clearance at 8.5 inches.

    The new Outlander’s larger size has extra space inside. The interior look is closer to sports car than sport-utility. It is dark in color with contrasting matte silver plastic trim. The sporty look is completed by bolstered sports seats and an instrument panel that Mitsubishi calls “motorcycle-style”. The manually-adjustable front seats are as comfortable as they look, and offer better than average support for the Outlander’s price class. The rear seat is by second-class accommodation, and it easily folds flat with a 60/40 split for cargo carrying. The XLS features a third row seat that folds flat into the cargo floor, and optional leather seating surfaces and power driver’s seat. The Outlander’s interior is useful due to its storage spaces, with covered storage in the top of the dash, a twin-level illuminated, locking glovebox, and a split-level console box, which is the largest. All doors have storage and bottle holders, with cup holders – and more storage spaces, and power points – strategically placed throughout the interior. The headliner uses a catalyzing substance to decompose cigarette smoke and formaldehyde into water and carbon dioxide. The new Outlander’s load floor is eight inches lower than that of the original, for easier loading and unloading. Its split tailgate, with a lower section that folds down to ease access in addition to the regular top-hinged top section, further improves the access.

    Also found are the dual front airbags, with a passenger-seat occupant sensor, seat-mounted side airbags, first- and second-row side curtain airbags, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.

    Its Mitsubishi exhaust system is also enhanced to assure proper excretion of gases that would maintain the interior part of the engine.

    The Outlander is a quick crossover with a relatively light weight of under 3700 pounds. It is due to its “unibody” construction and 220 horsepower (at 6250 rpm) and 204 lb-ft of torque (at 4000 rpm) from its 3.0-liter V6. The MIVEC variable valve timing and lift system helps improve the power band and driving characteristics at all engine speeds. The electronic throttle control allows smoother operation and other electronic systems to interface with the engine control unit (ECU). The engine is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with “Sportronic” manual-shift mode. The engine’s strong low and mid-range torque allows it to work well. But manual shifting does improve both performance and driving enjoyment.

    The Outlander’s 4WD system has FWD (front-wheel drive) mode for best economy. It also has a regular 4WD and 4WD Lock to vary the power split between the front and rear axles. In a typical 4WD system, “lock” means locked hubs, and is strictly for use in loose off-road conditions. Here it means more power to the rear wheels, with side-to-side traction controlled by the traction and stability control systems.

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