On-roady ute, off-roady name.
Direct competition for the has arrived in the form of a new car-based SUV-meets-wagon from Mitsubishi. The Outlander (in Japan, it’s called the Airtrek) is powered by a 140-horsepower, 2.4-liter in-line four mated to a four-speed manu-matic. The Outlander’s 103.3-inch wheelbase and 179.1-inch overall length are both four inches longer when compared with the new Subaru Forester, but otherwise the dimensions of the two vehicles are strikingly similar. Available with standard front-wheel drive, the Outlander also offers an optional all-wheel-drive system, with viscous coupling plundered from the old Eclipse GSX parts bin. Building the Outlander alongside the Lancer in Korashiki, Japan, Mitsubishi will bring this versatile carlike mini-ute to the United States in July and plans to sell 40,000 a year, with a price starting at less than $19,000.