After countless concept cars and teasers, Mitsubishi finally unveiled the 2016 Outlander at the 2015 New York Auto Show. The facelift comes as a last hurrah for the third-generation Outlander, which is scheduled to be replaced by a completely redesigned vehicle in 2017. To keep it fresh in a segment attended by many manufacturers, the Japanese automaker refined the SUV’s exterior looks and upgraded the interior and the chassis. Unfortunately for those of you hoping to get a more powerful Outlander, Mitsubishi decided not to meddle with the two engines offered in last year’s model.

Mitsubishi introduced the Outlander in 2001 as a midsize crossover based on the ASX concept. Initially known as the Mitsubishi Airtrek on the Japanese market, the first-gen Outlander was powered by a range of 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines mated to four- and five-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The vehicle was launched in the U.S. in 2003 as a replacement for the Montero Sport. The second-gen Outlander arrived in 2005. The redesigned shell came with new engines, new gearboxes and new safety features. For the first time, the crossover gained a 3.0-liter V-6 and a six-speed, twin-clutch transmission. A 2009 facelift added the Lancer’s front end to the Outlander. The second-gen model was replaced altogether for the 2013 model year, when major visual and drivetrain updates were operated. More importantly, the Outlander became available as a plug-in hybrid under the P-HEV moniker.

Updated 06/02/2015: Mitsubishi announced prices for the all-new 2016 Outlander which is now available at dealers. Prices will start from $22,995 - which represents a drop of $200 over the previous year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.

Exterior

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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Overall, the new front fascia is a massive improvement over its predecessor, making the Outlander look not only crisper, but sportier too

As with most facelifts, the Outlander gained a reshaped front fascia that includes a new grille with two horizontal slats, a revamped bumper with a massive, trapezoidal inlet and chrome ornaments, and revised headlamps that extend further into the grille. The foglamps received new housings that blend in with the chrome trim that surround both the large air dam and the headlamps. Overall, the new front fascia is a massive improvement over its predecessor, making the Outlander look not only crisper, but sportier too.

Significant changes are noticeable around back too. Larger, redesigned taillights and the chrome accents on the tailgate give the rear end a fresh look, also enhanced by the bumper lights, which have been reshaped and moved further toward the edges. Additionally, it seems as the revised bumper received a diffuser-like element. From the side, the Outlander looks a bit different too. The sills are slightly beefier, while black plastic trim has been added to the lower area of the doors for a touch of ruggedness.

Interior

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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The Outlander comes with significant improvements to NVH levels

The refreshed Outlander’s interior features a redesigned steering wheel, new seating surfaces, accent trim, rear folding seat, headliner, display audio system, and auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink. Granted, that’s not much for a facelift described as extensive, but I must confess I didn’t expect Mitsubishi to come up with something radical in this department.

The SUV also received significant improvements to NVH levels thanks to "noise-isolating windshield and rear door glass, more sound insulation throughout the vehicle." Other changes include the availability of the Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) for the SEL and GT Models.

Drivetrain

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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The 2016 engine lineup carries over unchanged from last year

Even though the company brags about having made "over 100 engineering and design improvements" to the Outlander, it seems as if the 2016 engine lineup carries over unchanged from last year.

That being said, the 2.4-liter four-banger motivating the ES and SE versions delivers the same 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, while the 3.0-liter V-6 powering the range-topping GT model cranks out 224 horses and 215 pound-feet. There is a new CVT, however, said to come with improvements to acceleration and shift feel.

Other upgrades include increased body and suspension structural rigidity, a redesigned suspension, and electric power steering.

Prices

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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Order Code Description (Eng./Tran) Suggested Retail Price Comments
2WD
OT45-A Outlander ES 2WD - SOHC 16 Valve I4 MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $22,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
OT45-D Outlander SE 2WD - SOHC 16 Valve I4 MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $23,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
OT45-F Outlander SEL 2WD - SOHC 16 Valve I4 MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $24,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission
S-AWC
OT45-E Outlander SE S-AWC - SOHC 16 Valve I4 MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $25,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission / S-AWC
OT45-G Outlander SEL S-AWC - SOHC 16 Valve I4 MIVEC (2.4L/CVT) $26,995.00 Continuously Variable Transmission / S-AWC
OT45-Z Outlander GT S-AWC - SOHC 24 Valve V6 MIVEC (3.0L/6ST) $30,995.00 6-Speed Sportronic® with Paddle Shifters / S-AWC

Packages

SEL Premium Package $1,900
SEL Safety Package $1,550
SEL Touring Package $5,250
GT Touring Package $3,350

Competitors

Kia Sorento

2014 Kia Sorento High Resolution Exterior
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Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Sorento received a bevy of visual upgrades that include modified front and rear fascias and larger wheels. A tad smaller than its predecessor, the new Sorento looks sportier and more dynamic, a feat available for only a handful of vehicles in its class. Moving into the cabin, Kia added Nappa leather-trimmed seats, more soft-touch surfaces, and improved functionality.

Unlike the Outlander, which can carry up to seven people in standard form, the 2014 Sorento needs to be ordered with an option to return the same hauling capacity. As far as engines go, the Sorento outguns the Outlander in terms of power. The standard 2.4-liter four-pot produces 191 horses and 181 pound-feet of torque, while the brand new 3.3-liter, V-6 unit cranks out 290 horses and 250 pound-feet of torque. That’s 24 and 66 horsepower more, respectively, compared to the Mitsubishi-badged crossover. For 2015, the Kia Sorento retails from $24,300. You can read the full review here.

Toyota RAV4

2013 Toyota RAV4 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Introduced in 2013, the fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 is still fresh for the upcoming Outlander. Redesigned inside and out, the crossover also received new technologies, a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a new six-speed transmission and more. The RAV4 is definitely the most attractive of the bunch as far as looks are concerned, but it doesn’t have optional third-row seats.

Moving over to drivetrains, the RAV4 is also inferior to the Kia, as its entry-level engine delivers only 176 ponies. On the other hand, the four-banger has 10 extra horses than the Outlander’s. The unit mates to a six-speed automatic transmission and returns 31 mpg highway and 24 mpg city. The RAV4 starts from $23,550 and goes up from there. Find out more about it in our full review here.

Conclusion

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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I always thought the Outlander’s exterior was a bit too bland, even for an unpretentious SUV, but this update comes to solve that problem brilliantly. What’s more, not only did the Outlander ditched its boring suit for 2016, but it also gained a sportier outfit that will leave a lot of SUV enthusiasts impressed. Based on the spy shots, I honestly didn’t believe the new Outlander will be able to win a beauty contest against the Sorento and the RAV4, but it seems I was wrong. The Outlander is sexier than it has ever been, which means Mitsubishi has done its homework in the styling department. On the other hand, cabin upgrades are rather disappointing compared to the efforts Mitsubishi put in redesigning the exterior.

  • Leave it
    • No improvements under the hood
    • The cabin didn’t get many new features either

Updated History

Updated 03/23/2015: Mitsubishi unveiled a series of new teaser images for the 2016 Outlander with just a few days before the car’s official debut on April 2nd at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

Spy Shots

November 11, 2014 - Mitsubishi Outlander reveals its interior

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Interior Spyshots
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August 1st, 2014 - First testing session

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Exterior Spyshots
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Exterior Spyshots
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Press Release

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today unveiled the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander seven-passenger crossover at the 2015 New York International Auto Show. The 2016 Outlander is the first Mitsubishi production vehicle to showcase the brand’s new design language. The 2016 Outlander is not just a cosmetic "refreshing," however, and features an unprecedented number of important engineering and design improvements that increase the level of refinement and overall driving experience. The 2016 Outlander is a segment-leading vehicle that will appeal to buyers wanting value, quality and safety.

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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"The 2016 Outlander has an eye-catching new design aesthetic inside and out, and with its long list of engineering upgrades, the new Outlander literally looks, drives and feels like an entirely new vehicle, making it an even more compelling value than before," said MMNA Executive Vice President, Don Swearingen. "Mitsubishi’s outstanding sales momentum is carrying into the new-year and with the arrival of the 2016 Outlander crossover we are well positioned to sustain our growth."

The 2016 Outlander features Mitsubishi’s new front design concept, "Dynamic Shield." This feature is inherited from the bumper side protection seen on generations of the Montero, providing unique protection for both the people and car.

Numerous design and engineering improvements have been made to the chassis of the 2016 Outlander, including increased body and suspension structural rigidity, redesigned suspension and Electric Power Steering, noise-isolating windshield and rear door glass, more sound insulation throughout the vehicle, new dynamic front suspension and rear differential dampers, improved weather stripping and engine compartment trim (all models). Additionally, the new generation continuously-variable transmission offers improved acceleration, performance, shift feel and torque delivery (all CVT-equipped models).

The exterior design features of the 2016 Outlander include a redesigned front fascia, front fenders, halogen headlights, LED position lights, lower door sections, 18-in. alloy wheels, rear fascia and LED taillights (all models); and power-folding side mirrors, windshield wiper de-icer and LED headlights (GT model). The reconfigured interior includes a redesigned steering wheel, seating surfaces, accent trim, rear folding seat, headliner, display audio system (all models) and auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink® (GT model).

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
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Mitsubishi’s advanced safety systems including Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are now available for the SEL and GT Models.

Mitsubishi Motors finished 2014 with vehicle sales up 24.8 percent over 2013 – among the highest sales growth in the U.S. auto industry. That sales momentum is carrying over through the first quarter of 2015, with continued year-over-year sales growth.

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