Arab Today, arab today 2012 mitsubishi outlander gt sawc
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2012 Mitsubishi outlander GT S-AWC

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Arab Today, arab today 2012 Mitsubishi outlander GT S-AWC

London - Arabstoday

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: You know the GT moniker has jumped the shark when it shows up on the back of a 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander. The sole concession to Grand Touring sportiness offered by this three-row crossover is the absence of roof-rack crossbars. That makes the Outlander GT look sleeker, but in reality it probably does more to hinder its touring ability than it does to help. And, in all fairness, the Outlander is not a bad-looking truck, in that frumpy Mitsubishi something\'s-not-quite-right-but-I-can\'t-figure-out-what styling idiom. It wears the aggressive Lancer/Evolution front fascia well and comes across as fairly compact, considering its theoretical seven-passenger capability. In fact, with the rear seat folded, the cargo well is extraordinarily large with deep, usable space. At least on paper, the Outlander GT seems to add up. But the devil is in the details, and a quick drive is all one needs to learn that Mitsubishi is peddling a 2012 crossover that feels as if it was designed in 1996. Refinement is utterly absent from the moment one opens the door: A high-friction detent makes the hinge feel stiff, yet the door itself has all the substance of that on a 1987 Suzuki Samurai. There\'s a giant four-by-six warning label affixed to the passenger-side seatback--right on the upholstery itself, staring back at the rear-seat passenger. Graphics and fonts on the extra-cost navigation system appear to be from an early Linux GUI. The steering wheel tilts but doesn\'t telescope, so it nearly rested on my knees. A perfect example of the \"oooh, almost\" nature of Mitsubishi\'s half-baked luxury attempts is the departure message in the information center. It\'s not the standard \"good-bye\" but rather \"See you.\" See me? See me what? See me later? It\'s nothing that directly affects the drive or utility, but like the obnoxious warning sticker, it shows that Mitsubishi simply didn\'t think things through all the way. About the drive: it\'s adequate, though also dated. The 3.0-liter Mitsubishi-built engine has enough power to move things around just fine plus solid low-end torque. The six-speed Sportronic automatic transmission is smooth and seems to decouple from the engine at lights not unlike a DCT; score one for the decent powertrain. But over expansion joints and speed bumps, the chassis again feels as if it\'s a decade old. Body damping is poor, and the occupants can actually sense where the subframe connects to the unit body. EDITOR WES RAYNAL: This Outlander is decent. No more, no less. For $33,000, one would expect better than decent, right? I think the exterior looks nice and aggressive and the interior is comfortable with decent (sorry) materials--a little too shiny and hard for my taste. The seats are good, and I found a comfortable driving position. The last Outlander that I drove had a four-cylinder and a CVT. Not a good combo. This V6 engine is a definite improvement over the four, with the power to haul the Outlander around smartly, and it\'s a smooth engine-trans combination. The car feels alert and fairly light on its feet and potholes are well absorbed. I liked the precise-feeling steering. But I did think that there was an overall feeling of looseness: things squeak and rattle around inside, the chassis didn\'t feel as stiff as those on some small utes I\'ve experienced. There was just an overall tinny feel to the car. EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: Here\'s a car that would fit the description of a camel--you know, a horse designed by a committee. This thing is all over the place. The Evolution nose is a nice touch, but, sadly, the car just doesn\'t drive as well as it looks from the outside. I guess that\'s a compliment, in that this little crossover has an aggressive look. And to be fair, this six-cylinder under the hood is adequate, mated with the six-speed auto with paddle shifters. The AWD was handy this morning on the icy roads, and I can attest that the ABS works quite well in this car. But ergonomically and design-wise, inside the car is where things really go awry. A tilt wheel with no telescoping feature is odd, and while the seats are electronically adjustable, I could not get a position that I would call comfortable. Long legs and a tight footbox make it difficult to be comfortable--not to mention safe--without a telescoping wheel. Andy\'s comment about the graphics on the touch-screen radio is right on. They seem as if they\'re from a different decade, dropped into the middle of the dash without blending in with the rest of the design. The heating controls are three simple, straightforward dials. The seat-heater switch and seat controls are also best adjusted when you are not sitting in the seat or maybe with the door open. The heater switch is down below the seat on the right side, while the seat-control switches on the left side cannot be operated with the door closed, unless your hands are as thin as pancakes. There was also an annoying rattle coming from the rear, caused by either the rear seatbacks or something beneath the cargo floor. I couldn\'t isolate it, but it would have driven me (more) crazy on a lengthy drive. The only thing missing from the \"see you\" message when you shut the car off would be to add, \"See you, dude.\" It would somehow seem an appropriate message. EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: This Outlander seems long in the tooth and has an odd mismatch of exterior styling because of the various redos over its life cycle. The interior is equally unusual, with attention to detail in the nice stitched-leather appointments and column-mounted (vs. wheel-mounted) shift paddles, while at the same time having acres of black plastic and a navigation screen that appears to have been lifted from some late-1980s handheld electronic game. Other examples: Mitsubishi smartly recognized the need for a third row of seats and wisely surmised that the seats only need to be usable for small children for short periods of time. But these two third-row seats are strictly tie-down points for seats for small children--anyone else might as well just climb into the cargo hold and sit on a cooler or something. And while I love that Mitsu engineered a tailgate/hatch setup instead of a liftgate, the execution is weak in that there\'s a plastic panel that folds down with the tailgate to create the tailgate surface. But when it is closed, that panel is what I\'m sure Hart is hearing rattling. Then there\'s the mechanical conundrum: Power is exceptional from this V6 and six-speed, all hooked up with Mitsu\'s excellent all-wheel-drive system. This is a variant of the same rally-bred AWD in the Evo, so we know from experience that it\'s strong. Steering is a strong point as well. But then there\'s that harsh suspension, which is so ratcheted up on the sporty side that it feels as if there\'s almost zero give over bumps and rough pavement. It feels like completely undamped, unsprung suspension parts hammering the roadway. If you want stiff in your CUV, this is it. Bring on the new model, and soon. ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: I\'ll start with the good. The engine and trans are impressive. As Bob said, it has a good amount of torque off the line. I would have guessed 250 or more for both power and twist. The steering, the view from the front seat, the paddle shifters on the column--it all reminds me of our long-term Lancer Evolution MR. I still haven\'t decided whether I like the column paddles or the wheel-mounted paddle shifters better. There are pros and cons for both. If the paddles are on the wheel, your hands would always be close to them. But if you\'re unwinding the wheel, they might get lost. The column paddle shifters stay put, meaning up and down are always in the same place. But if your hands are at noon and six, like during a turn, you have to take a hand off the wheel. Mitsubishi\'s paddles are pretty long, making them easier to hit. But I suppose during track days, the wheel shouldn\'t be cranked too much, so steering-wheel-mounted paddles wouldn\'t be that far out of reach. The interior is nothing spectacular, the dual stitching on the seats is nice, as is the double glovebox with soft-touch material on top. The seats are comfortable, but the seat-heater button is in the dumbest spot imaginable--in between the seat and the center console, behind the seatbelt. The touch-screen radio bothered me less than the heater controls. The three knobs were straightforward, just no elegance or smoothness. From the outside, the Outlander isn\'t a bad-looking car. I like the Evo nose, even if the shape throws it off a bit. The new model has a drastically reworked front clip. It\'s much more rounded. SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: My colleagues have hit on every point I intended to make, though in some cases I might even think they\'ve been too kind. The engine and transmission are \"impressive?\" The engine produces just enough power and torque to propel you adequately, but it certainly does not put a smile on your face. The transmission is better and indeed quite smooth, but are we really debating the location of its shift paddles? Does it really matter in this application? For the record, I detest steering-column-mounted paddles, but in this case I tired of playing with them quickly. Despite its Evo-like snout and GT badging, this Outlander is a far cry from a performance car or a sports car. Unfortunately, the car at times has the ride quality of such a car, without many of the returns that you expect to come with it. This just becomes an annoyance, and I started to ask aloud, \"What is this supposed to be? Why would I want one?\" I won\'t beat a dead horse regarding the interior appointments and ergonomics; the point has been made well. But with nothing especially enticing to offset the at-times irritating ride and ho-hum drivetrain, it\'s an odd offering whose time has definitely passed. (In fairness to the engine, it\'s not its fault that Mitsubishi ordered it to power a crossover weighing more than 3,800 pounds with a driver aboard, let alone any passengers and gear.) See you. 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC Base Price: $28,705 As-Tested Price: $33,605 Drivetrain: 3.0-liter V6; AWD, six-speed automatic Output: 230 hp @ 6,250 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 3,750 rpm Curb Weight: 3,780 lb Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 21/20.0 mpg Options: Touring package including leather seating surfaces, 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with nine speakers, SiriusXM satellite radio, power glass sunroof, heated front seats, power driver\'s seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror and rear camera system ($2,900); navigation with rearview camera including 40GB HDD navigation system, rearview-camera monitor and auxiliary video-input jack ($2,000)

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