The Outlander is a four-door crossover compact SUV from the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi. The layout of the Outlander is front engine, either with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). It was first introduced in 2001 and remains in production today. There were three generations of the Mitsubishi Outlander.
The first generation was in production from 2001 to 2008 with four engine options: a two-liter DOHC 4-cylinder, a two-liter DOHC 4-cylinder turbo, a 2.4-liter DOHC, and a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder non-DOHC. They were available as a five-speed manual, four- and five-speed semi-auto, and a four- and a five-speed turbo.
The second generation comprises of models from 2005 to 2011. The body remains somewhat similar to the first generation, but it has a wider range of available engines, including the addition of three-liter options and a V-6, along with the previous 4-cylinder models. Transmissions included five- and six-speed manual versions, a six-speed semi-auto, and a six-speed twin-clutch.
2012 introduces the third generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander and includes a hybrid version along with gasoline models.
The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander is Mitsubishi’s smallest version of it. The exterior design remains much the same from the 2008 model, with a compact four-door layout, rounded grill and rear, and unique rear-window outline. Three engines are available with the 2009 model, that are more powerful than previous years, and this year’s models saw the elimination of the full-manual versions for two six-speed versions, CVT auto-manual with overdrive, and automatic with overdrive and auto-manual capability.
Some of the positive features of the 2009 model include a newly available V-6 four-cylinder, the AWD versions are popular with the Outlander, paddle shifters are now available, and the liftgate and tailgate combination is convenient. The Outlander is quite agile for an SUV and there is a surprising amount of interior room, especially when it comes to cargo space and the third row. The Outlander scores high on crash tests and reliability ratings.
Body Styles: compact SUV crossover
Engines: 220-horsepower three-liter V-6, 213-horsepower three-liter V-6, 168-horsepower 2.4-liter I4
Transmissions: six-speed CVT with overdrive and auto-manual, six-speed automatic with overdrive and auto-manual
Models: ES compact SUV, ES 4x4 compact SUV, SE compact SUV, SE 4x4 compact SUV, XLS compact SUV, XLS 4x4 compact SUV
Compared to the 2008 Outlander, the 2009 Outlander received minimal design changes for the exterior and the interior. Available trims included the ES, SE, and the XLS. The 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder fuel efficient model remained an option, and you have both front and all-wheel-drive models similar to past years.
Some of the changes to the 2009 model include a minor rearrangement of controls, a four-cylinder V-6 as an additional option, available paddle shifters are introduced, a liftgate, and a tailgate combination is newly available, and the 2009 models no longer include the LS trim.
The 2009 Outlander’s exterior remains relatively the same, maintaining a common SUV frame with a handful of distinct features to separate the outer appearance such as the trapezoidal grill, wraparound headlights and a mesh screen on the front bumper. The exterior measures 105.1 inches at the wheelbase and 182.7 inches long.
Other exterior features of the 2009 Outlander include; rear LED taillights, foglights standard on all models but the ES, a rear liftgate, a small tailgate that can support up to 440 pounds, 16-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels, optional chrome side sills, and an aluminum roof with a lower center of gravity than past models.
Inside little changed with the introduction of the 2009 models. Third-row and cargo room is ample; however, second-row headroom is lacking. The layout saw little changes outside of this. Most of the features are the typical within the class: air conditioning, cruise control, CD stereo, power windows and locks, and a moderate list of options beyond these.
Performance & Handling
Handling for the Outlander is considered above average. The ride is a bit rougher than comparable SUVs. For 2009, engines include 220-horsepower three-liter V-6, 213-horsepower three-liter V-6, and 168-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder.
Standard safety features on the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander include all-disc anti-lock brakes (ABS), front- and side-impact airbags for the front seats and side-curtain airbags in the front and second-row seats, and electronic stability control.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mitsubishi Outlander ES, SE: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Mitsubishi Outlander XLS: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Newly available V-6 four-cylinder engine
- Available paddle shifters
- Liftgate/tailgate combination
You Won't Like
- Rough ride
- Poor acceleration
- Low-quality cabin
- Second-row headroom
Very dependable and affordable, but less powerful than other SUVs in its class.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet HHR
- Chrysler PT Cruiser
- Dodge Journey