Introduced in the 2003 model year for the first time, the Mitsubishi Outlander is a compact SUV designed to compete with the foreign and domestic offering recently made available. In its second model year, 2004, the Outlander was offered in two distinct trim levels, the LS and the XLS. Both editions featured a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. No manual transmission was offered for the model year. Together the powertrain produced sufficient power and handling for city and town driving. On the highway, the Outlander struggles a bit with assertive merging and passing. Driver and passengers are treated to a very comfortable ride however.
In an effort to set itself apart from the competition, the Outlander was given a unique body style and lots of accents. It looks stylish and sporty. Though it only seats four comfortably, the Outlander has plenty of interior standard features for comfort and convenience. This SUV would be a good choice for anyone looking for a car-like ride and handling in a small SUV.
Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Mitsubishi Outlander LS, Mitsubishi Outlander XLS
For the most part the Mitsubishi Outlander stayed the same for the 2004 model year. The only real change to note is the increased power of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder motor. It received a boost of power and is now capable of 160 hp.
The one thing that is important when offering a product to the consumer is to make it unique. With the body style of the 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander, the company tried to make a statement. The body design is sporty and stylish for this model year and features an incredibly distinctive grille and front end. The grille is split with a solid piece of metal in the middle. Uniquely designed headlights are in place as well and add visual interest in addition to their function. The Outlander has modern sleek lines down the sides of the vehicle and the back end is somewhat boxy.
The 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander can boast plenty of interior space for a compact SUV. The cabin of this vehicle is designed to provide a great deal of comfort. The front seats are bucket and cloth upholstered. The driver’s seat is height adjustable for optimum comfort. Power mirrors, door locks, and windows are standard for this model as well. The front console is equipped with storage space and additional space can be found in the front door pockets. Cup holders are placed in the front and rear of the cabin for convenience as well. An air conditioning and audio system are standard equipment on the Outlander too.
Performance & Handling
One of the biggest complaints about the first generation of Outlander, available from 2003 to 2006, was its unimpressive powertrain. In the 2004 model year things improved a bit with the increase in engine power to 160 hp. However, the Outlander still has a hard time competing against the larger V-6 SUV options. Even with 160 hp, the Outlander doesn’t necessarily produce the speed necessary for aggressive merging and passing on the highway. About town, the SUV does very well and drives comfortable thanks to its car based design. It’s important not to expect this vehicle to do much off road though. Like many of the other small SUVs in its class, the Outlander simply wasn’t designed for off road terrains though it is offered with all-wheel drive as an option.
For the Outlander, Mitsubishi chose to add some impressive safety features to the 2004 model. This SUV comes standard with child seat anchors and rear door child safety locks. The front and rear of the cabin are equipped with height adjustable head rests. Two are located in the front, with three in the rear. This model offers front ventilated disc brakes and rear drum brakes for added safety. The front seats are equipped with pre-tensioner seatbelts. An engine immobilizer system is in place to stop the engine in the event of an accident.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Outlander: 19/24 mpg city/highway
- Nice, comfortable ride
- Drives well in town
- Lots of interior space
- Impressive handling
You Won't Like
- Odd audio controls
- Less cargo space than rivals
- No manual transmission
Unique design, plenty of power, and lots of comfort.
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