Out and about in the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Sponsored postYou may want to sit down for this announcement, it’s a big one. Here it goes:

If I were buying a new automobile {which I’m not… yet}, I would put the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander at the top of my list.Mitsubishi Outlander 1Whoa, right?

Remember when we borrowed the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the consensus was that this was the type of vehicle everyone thought we should own? At the time, I agreed and thought we might eventually purchase the Outlander Sport, but that’s before I got a chance to drive the Mitsubishi Outlander and enjoyed all the luxuries of the bigger model. Completely redesigned with over 100 improvements, the new 2016 Outlander offers more style, better comfort and greater capability.

So, why am I so certain I found my potential next vehicle? Naturally, there are lots of considerations, but for me, the biggest selling point is the CUV size with a versatile design.

Here’s what we love about the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander:

Mama Likes

A cabin for conversation – As practical as they are sometimes, I really don’t like SUVs. I hate how huge SUVs feel when you’re trying to have a conversation and I really dislike all the road noise. Mitsubishi gets how important a quiet cabin is, and that’s why they have made a whopping 31 small improvements that all add up to the quietest Outlander cabin ever. It may not be the silence of a compact sedan, but as far as conversation goes, it feels like it.

Keyless entry and ignition – I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Keyless is awesome! I love leaving my keys safely in my purse, especially since I never have my hands free. If you’re more of a key in the pocket type, you will love the small nook that holds the Mitsubishi Outlander key in the console so you don’t have to take up a cup holder if you take the key out of your pocket. Another keyless feature I absolutely love is the auto-open lift gate if you stand in the back of the vehicle with the key in your pocket. This feature cannot be beat when you are wrangling kids and dealing with strollers and gear. Mitsubishi Outlander 4Just the right size – I really like the mid-level height for getting in and out of as well as for loading kids and gear into, but I really don’t want to drive a huge truck or SUV. It’s this reason that I love the idea of a CUV that is big without being unmanageable in a parking lot or on narrow roads and can still hold all of our gear. The Outlander somehow feels big and small at the same time, in all the right ways. While driving around it never feels too big or cumbersome on the road, but inside it is nice and roomy for everyone. Mitsubishi Outlander 5Optional 3rd row within seconds – Speaking of hauling stuff, with three kiddos and one husband, we’ve officially maxed out our compact sedan we normally drive. This isn’t a problem most of the time but there have been quite a few times when having the option of having even one or two people ride with us would have been amazing. The 2016 Outlander is the only vehicle in its class to offer seating for seven passengers standard, so you have the option of having a third row {or just one extra seat if you still need storage space} anytime you want without feeling like you’re driving a bus the rest of the time. Note: the second row bench seat slides forward to make legroom for the third row. This picture was snapped with the seats all the way back against the third row. If it was adjusted properly there is a surprising amount of room back there, especially if we're talking small children. Mitsubishi Outlander 6Back up camera – Safety is paramount, so anything that helps keep us and our kiddos safe is a huge plus to me. Plus, the wide-angle backup camera on the Outlander made it even easier to navigate out of tight parking spots, which makes it even more city-friendly.

A place for everything – One thing that made me wary of SUVs, and even station wagons, was the idea of all of my stuff just rolling around in the back unsecured. Granted, my stuff probably still shifts and rolls in the trunk of my sedan, but at least I can’t hear it, right? Well, with the Outlander I was thrilled to find that not only is there a large cabin storage console, but there were also little recessed cubbies along the sides of the cargo space that were perfect for a small purse, baby essentials, or in my case, camera gear that kept it from rolling around as we drove. It’s the small things that make or break a vehicle, and this is a small thing that is anything but. Mitsubishi Outlander 10Daddy-O Likes

Feels like a station wagon, drives like a utility vehicle – Hubby must have said how much the Outlander felt like a station wagon a half a dozen times during our test drive whenever someone would ask how we liked it, and for him that’s high praise. He’s always wanted to convince me that a station wagon was the way to go for us, and he couldn’t be happier about my love of the Outlander that gets him the station wagon feel but the extra height I love.

A rocking stereo – Much like the stereo in the Outlander Sport, the Outlander’s Rockford Fosgate stereo is just awesome. It has the ability to play everything from AM/FM, CDs, SiriusXM, and MP3s so you’re well covered with options. Plus if that isn’t enough, you can even load up an SD card and slip that right in the slot in the dash, or use the USB input for your phone or iPod. On top of that, the audio controls really let you dial in the sound just how you like it and the nine speakers {including a 10in dual-voice coil subwoofer with Punch Control®} give you a nice full sound. Since my husband drives so much, all these details are a huge deal to him. Mitsubishi Outlander 7Eco mode – Who doesn’t want to save money on gas? With Eco mode the Outlander helps you drive more efficiently by tempering initial throttle response on acceleration as well as fine tuning the air conditioner and engine for maximum efficiency. Plus on S-AWC models, it keeps the Outlander in 2WD until AWD is needed. This kind of savings is the best kind because it happens behind the scenes the whole time you own the car which makes it even more affordable to drive. Mitsubishi Outlander 9Price – Speaking of your pocket book, the Outlander is crazy affordable. After a couple days of driving Hubby finally got around to asking “How much is this thing, anyway?” The answer was a few thousand less than he expected. With a starting price of $22,995, it’s no surprise that the Outlander was named to the "10 Most Affordable 3-Row Vehicles" List by Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com for the 2nd year in a row. Our well-loaded test model came in at around $32,00 but we both agreed the SEL S-AWC trim starting level had an amazing amount of features for around $26,995, which is probably what we would go with if we were buying one.

Handling – I was shocked our first time trying to maneuver a tight parking lot when I realized how tight the turning radius is. I guess I was still thinking big huge SUV, but the Outlander turned much sharper than I expected and more like a car. This also translates to the open road of course, where the Outlander takes very little time to really learn the car and how it handles. Mitsubishi Outlander 3Kiddos Like

Good visibility – Both kiddos loved being up higher so they could see out the windows on our journeys. Of course, they also loved opening and closing those windows whenever we weren’t on the freeway. Thank goodness there’s a parent lock for that.

In-dash navigation entertainment – I don’t think I would ever spring for an in-car entertainment system with DVD player and headphones, so I love that the kids think something as basic as the map and navigation screen is popcorn-worthy. Even though a lot of our driving was just on our familiar routes, the kids loved being able to watch our movements on the screen as we drove. I would think they were crazy, but then I remember how much I love the flight tracker when I’m on a plane so I can see what we’re flying over and how much longer we will be traveling. We may not use the GPS frequently for navigation, but the entertainment it provides and the learning opportunities are pretty awesome. Plus, the 7-inch HD touchscreen display with 3D mapping, road speed limits, and expanded Points of Interest {POI} is pretty cool when you need help finding something along your journey. Mitsubishi Outlander 8Bigger is better – When you’re not the one driving, parking, and paying for gas, bigger truly is better. As for our little passengers, they love the extra space the Outlander provided for seating as well as storing all their “must-haves”. Even our huge Costco-sized bag of Christmas presents and our mammoth double stroller don’t max out the storage space in the Outlander, which is pretty amazing. Mitsubishi Outlander 2So, are we going to buy it?

Right now we don’t have any solid plans to buy the 2016 Outlander, but I will admit this is the first vehicle I’ve thought about seriously since back in 2004 when I bought my current car. At this point we’re not in the market for a vehicle until my sedan is no longer driveable, but this would be something we would consider when we're ready to upgrade. Outlander comparisonThat being said, in the meantime I would definitely recommend it to friends or family looking for a CUV, in fact, I have recommended it already to numerous people and will continue to. It’s a good little vehicle with lots of room inside, a compact footprint, and it can go anywhere and do just about anything that most people will realistically ever need a sport utility vehicle to do. For me, that's about as perfect as it gets.

Want to find out more? Check out MitsubishiCars.com/Outlander for more information and to start customizing your ride.

Leanne SignatureA big thank you to Drive Shop USA for this test driving experience. All opinions are 100% ours.

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