Mitsubishi must cringe when non-Evo vehicles hit the press fleet and start racking up reviews. No matter what kind of vehicle the reviewer is driving, there's always a mention of the Evo and how (insert product name here) can't compare to the thrill of hustling an Evo down an empty road. Then it's made the clear the only thing an Evo and the vehicle being reviewed have in common is a cheap interior.
I honestly wasn't expecting much from the Outlander, which probably explains why I was so impressed with it. There's perfectly adequate thrust from the 230-hp V-6 engine and the AWD system is certainly more sophisticated than anything else in this class, even if it isn't quite as sharp as we've experienced in the Evo. Given the Continental winter rubber connecting this Outlander GT to the road, I was very pleased with steering feel and the overall handling characteristics given the incredible 50+ degree temperatures yesterday. Though it required some minor corrections to keep the vehicle on course through high speed turns, I expect that was due to the tires and the situation would be different with the stock all season rubber.
With an as-tested price near $33,000 it is a bit difficult to make a case for the Outlander GT as a great value, but some bargaining with a dealer would likely drop the transaction price. And what other small crossover will give you the S-AWC system Mitsubishi offers? It's a shame Subaru gets all the AWD love since Mitsubishi generally offers a superior system.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor