The Outlander brand has had a loyal following for quite some time now and the latest 2012 GT S-AWC looks to keep that following going. It’s an all-wheel-drive crossover SUV that has a lot to offer in a very competitively priced packing.
The front-end keeps a the now-typical “Mouth” on the front grill – it’s sort of like the Jaws version of the Mazda smiley face – it means serious business. The overall look of it seems to work well with the totality of the look of this car so it’s an issue with me, however, I know some may find it a bit awkward; welcome to Mitsubishi.
Even though the outward look is a bit boxy, it is softened up by some nice body lines such as the sloping hood and the angle of of the read window – I also like the naturally taller stance this vehicle has compared to others in its class.
Our GT model comes standard with 18″ alloy wheels, HID headlights, foglamps, LED taillights, power sunroof and the optional Rockford Fosgate audio system.
Engine and Tranny:
The engine here is a 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 230-horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque – the overall “feel” of this motor is good but not a mind-blower. It’s more like the sure and steady versus the fast and furious and frankly, I’m okay with it. It’s spirited enough to get things moving along at a comfortable rate and rarely felt underpowered to me.
It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission which has a manually interactive technology and magnesium paddle shifters on the steering column.
The all-wheel-drive system features a control knob just below the shifter that allows you to adjust for a few different types of road surface, tarmac, snow/ice and a 4-wheel “lock” mode – I found the tarmac mode was more than adequate for all the areas I drove into.
The GT comes standard with leather/sport-cloth seats which have a very nice stitched look to them and are quite comfortable, even on longer drives. The overall “roominess” inside is something I very much appreciate. Most everything is within easy reach of the driver and the multi-function LCD is rather easy to use.
As mentioned, our test vehicle featured the Rockford Fosgate system which has a 10-inch subwoofer in the rear quarter panel and it rocks out pretty good. The sound quality is very good compared to most cars I’ve tested out so so far but still lacks a bit of the clarity I’ve heard in other cars – even in this price range.
The rear leg room is very spacious; easily accommodating four adults and possibly even a teenager in the middle. The same can’t be said, however, for the folding third row in the very back – these glorified jump-seats are on the floor-level and offer very little leg room for anyone much larger than an 8-year old. I suppose it’s handy to have them if you need them, but I’d soon rather just use it as more cargo space.
This is a very “utilitarian-feeling” SUV but has some nice elegance to it – if you put some snow tires on it, it’d make one helluva winter sports rig, keep on the all-season tires and you have a comfortable, spacious SUV that’s very competitively priced and offers a lot of bang for the buck.
If it were a bottle of wine, I’d liken it to a South African Pinotage – it has some brute and a bit of elegance at an affordable price.