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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

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Expert's Rating


MPG 21 City / 27 Highway
  • Responsive steering
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Spacious cabin
  • Awkwardly styled front end
  • Weak 4-cyclinder engine options
  • Ride may be too stiff for some
, Automotive Editor -
The Outlander is infused with a level of sportiness that's hard to find in the Crossover class, and its price is just right.


The Mitsubishi Outlander debuted in the 2003 model year, as the Japanese automaker's first plunge into the crowded crossover SUV realm. Not quite a station wagon and not quite an SUV, the Outlander gave customers a good alternative to boring minivans and wagons, but it never quite lived up to the SUV tag, thanks to low towing capacities.

The 2013 model year is the final one for the current generation, as Mitsubishi will soon unveil the all-new 2014 Outlander. Because of the upcoming revision, the 2013 model year is a carryover from the 2012 model year, including its car-like 1,500-pound standard towing capacity.

The 2013 Outlander comes in three main trim levels: SE, ES and GT. The SE trim offers up base-level pricing, but it actually has some premium features, like: LED taillights, leather-trimmed steering wheel, power windows, and so on. The ES trim level tosses in a little extra luxury with the addition of more leather, a higher-end audio system and upgraded climate control. The GT trim level adds an element of performance, with its upgraded engine and transmission, plus it tosses in a few extra amenities. The GT also gives buyers the ability to tow more than a jet ski, as its towing capacity jumps to 3,500 pounds. All three models comes standard with front-wheel drive, but the ES and GT trim levels do have optional all-wheel drive available.

In the land of the crossover SUV, models like the Outlander run free and are available in huge numbers, so buyers definitely have a ton of options. Starting off the list is the 2013 Kia Sorento, which features a standard 2.4-liter engine with 175 horsepower (3.5-liter with 276 horsepower is available), seating for five and a 1,650-pound towing capacity. Next up will be the 2013 Chevrolet Equinox, which comes standard with a 182-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (a 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter is available), seating for five and a 1,500-pound towing capacity. Finally we have the 2013 Honda CR-V, which comes standard with a 2.4-liter engine with 185 horsepower, a 1,500-pound standard towing capacity and five-person seating.

With all of that competition and not the greatest of track records, the Outlander has a lot of work to do in order to have a successful 2013 model year.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
Starting price

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander ES

Recommended for: Buyers looking for an inexpensive mid-size crossover SUV with some premium amenities

The ES trim level is the entry-level trim for the 2013 Outlander, and it includes the basics that anyone would expect from an SUV, plus a few little extras that may not be expected. On the exterior, the ES trim level includes: anti-lock brakes, flap-old-style tailgate, LED taillights, stability and traction control, tinted windows, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 168 horsepower, continuously variable transmission, auto-off headlights, mesh grille with black surround and color-keyed grille bar, 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, chrome exhaust tip, heated mirrors, and black roof rails. Inside the cabin, the Outlander ES includes: six airbags, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, air conditioning, cabin air filter, tumbling second-row seating, remote keyless entry, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, multi-information display, power windows and door locks, 140-watt, six-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, fold-flat front seats, and five-passenger seating.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
Starting price

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Recommended for: Buyers looking for better performance and a little extra towing capacity

The GT trim level is the top level and the sporty level all rolled into one stylish SUV. On the outside, the GT trim level takes the SE level’s features and adds in: 3.0-liter V-6 engine with 230 horsepower, six-speed Sportronic transmission, automatic xenon HID headlights with daytime running light and roof carrier plug-in accommodation. Inside the cabin, the GT trim level adds in double-stitched leatherette dashboard and door panel accents to give the interior a sportier look.

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
Starting price

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander SE

Recommended for: Buyers looking for an economical crossover SUV with leather interior and other luxury options

The SE trim level on the 2013 Outlander takes the ES trim and adds a touch of luxury, making it great for the more discerning buyer. On the outside, the SE takes the ES’ trimmings and adds in: fog lights, chrome grille surround, silver skid plate extension, 18-inch alloy wheels, rear window washer and wiper, color-keyed door handles and mirrors, mirror-mounted LED turn indicators, and side sill extensions with chrome accents. Inside the cabin, the Outlander SE adds: color LCD multi-information display, automatic climate control, silver shifter bezel with chrome surround, sport fabric-and-leather seating, paddle shifters, heated front seats, FAST-Key entry and ignition, six-disc CD changer, and seven-passenger seating.

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