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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2017 Dodge Durango GT and Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit

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      What do you talk about when you don't have much to say?

    Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.

    The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.

    The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 

    The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.

    Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 

    Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

    You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.

    Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.

    Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2017
    Make: Dodge
    Model: Durango
    Trim: GT
    Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
    Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
    Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
    Base Price: $40,095
    As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Premium Group - $2,395
    Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
    Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
    Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
    Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
    Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
    Second-Row Console - $300

    Year: 2017
    Make: Jeep
    Model: Grand Cherokee
    Trim: Summit
    Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
    Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
    Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
    Base Price: $53,995
    As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
    Summit California Edition - $995
    Skid Plate Group - $295

    Edited by William Maley

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    Both are pricey with no V8. Makes one question the value of buying new rather than waiting for a Lease return and getting it used, low miles and hopefully with the V8.

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    So far I'm happy w going the CPO route w my 14 GC.  The differences between the 14 and 17 are prettty minor.  

    The addition of Android Auto would cinch it for me.  I am holding out on a vehicle purchase as long as I possibly can till I can get what I want with Android Auto. The only exception would be if I found an excellent integrated looking aftermarket 

     

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The addition of Android Auto would cinch it for me.  I am holding out on a vehicle purchase as long as I possibly can till I can get what I want with Android Auto. The only exception would be if I found an excellent integrated looking aftermarket 

     

    True, UConnect has been improved and the older systems can only upgrade to a certain level...Apple Car Play would be nice, but I live without it.

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    Just now, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    True, UConnect has been improved and the older systems can only upgrade to a certain level...Apple Car Play would be nice, but I live without it.

    UConnect is excellent even in old versions. I want to get something that is going to be a long term purchase.  We paid for NAV in the Encore and use our phones to navigate today.  I need NAV, but I'm not paying for it again.   Android Auto is superior to Car Play (which seems kinda forgotten by apple lately) and they just added Waze to AA.  Either one is better than none though. 

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    11 hours ago, regfootball said:

    I'll check back in 10 years, FCA's whole product line will probably still be the same.

    Hardly.  We have a new Wrangler and Ram coming and a Wrangler pickup, the MCE for the Cherokee has already been seen testing, the Renegade is only 3 years old, the Compass is brand new, New LX replacements are coming in 2021 as will replacements for the GC and the Durango along with a good chance the Journey replacement will be based on the Dodge/Alfa platform as the others.  The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are coming and signs are pointing to the return of a Ramcharger as well, all based on the new Ram platform.  Your average vehicle uses the same platform for 10 to 15 years and similar styling.  The 08 to 17 Accords for example were based on the same platform with similar styling, and the Camry is finally changing platforms after roughly 15 years.  Remember, the only reason we got a new malubu for 16 was because the 13 to 15 models were total duds.  They are still making the last gen MImpala introduced in 06 and the crrent Impala hasn't seen any real updates since it came out in 14. 

    Also, GM for example already said they are increasing the times between major updates and redesigns. 

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    39 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Until FCA US gets sold...then all that is thrown out.

    Agree, I can see a new Chinese owner dumping everything and moving to their own unified platforms. Especially with a focus on Hybrid and EV's.

    This implies to me that the Big Hemi's are in their last Hurrah!

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Agree, I can see a new Chinese owner dumping everything and moving to their own unified platforms. Especially with a focus on Hybrid and EV's.

    This implies to me that the Big Hemi's are in their last Hurrah!

    Well that's already the case.  FCA is reportedly working on a twin-turbo version of the pentastar V6 and even a hybrid 4-cylinder for the Ram and possibly Wrangler. 

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    As an aside, I didn't realize the US-market JK generation Wrangler were all V6s...hasn't been a US market 4cyl Wrangler since the last TJ in '06. 

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    25 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    As an aside, I didn't realize the US-market JK generation Wrangler were all V6s...hasn't been a US market 4cyl Wrangler since the last TJ in '06. 

    Hmm.. I hadn't realized that either. 

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    On 8/16/2017 at 10:52 AM, dfelt said:

    Agree, I can see a new Chinese owner dumping everything and moving to their own unified platforms. Especially with a focus on Hybrid and EV's.

    This implies to me that the Big Hemi's are in their last Hurrah!

    @ocnblu My friend you can down vote all my EV posts you want but the future is not going to go backwards. China has made it very clear that starting next year and moving forward they are on an aggressive 5 year hybrid / EV everything only for their country. It is why the Grand Wagoneer is a Hybrid first before anything else as Jeep has stated they will sell it in China as well as the US. 

    Trust me when I say you will come to love the Torque Monsters that EV's can be with high speed.

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    On 8/19/2017 at 11:40 PM, dfelt said:

    @ocnblu My friend you can down vote all my EV posts you want but the future is not going to go backwards. China has made it very clear that starting next year and moving forward they are on an aggressive 5 year hybrid / EV everything only for their country. It is why the Grand Wagoneer is a Hybrid first before anything else as Jeep has stated they will sell it in China as well as the US. 

    Trust me when I say you will come to love the Torque Monsters that EV's can be with high speed.

    Indeed, the future is coming whether you, or anyone, likes it or not.

    I've adjusted my thinking here as well.  When the Pruis and Insight were the only hybrid options, I never would have considered one. But now there are hybrid options that I'm looking into.  I'd prefer to go plug-in if possible, right now, the only one(s) that meets our needs are the Volvo XC60 PHEV and XC90 PHEV.  The Benz's and BMW's EV only ranges are too short to be worthwhile.  The Volvo is bare minimum (20 miles) in the XC60.  Here in hilly western PA, using Pure mode which favors EV as much as possible would probably produce some good results by regenerating on the downhills and using gas on the up hills.   If Toyota made a plug in Highlander or Honda made a plug in Pilot, that might get us over there. 

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    The real world is always the ultimate test, and electrified vehicles do not pass.  They continue to flunk.

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    5 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    The real world is always the ultimate test, and electrified vehicles do not pass.  They continue to flunk.

    Maybe in your reality, but I don't think Tesla owners think that way... the real world isn't all an Amish paradise..

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    5 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    The real world is always the ultimate test, and electrified vehicles do not pass.  They continue to flunk.

    How do you justify that they have flunked? They are growing and CA just showed that 5% of all auto sales are electrified. 

    Back at the beginning, if we use what ever justification you are trying to apply to EV's you would have to say that the early 1900's ICE auto's failed. So they should have just quit and not continued to build and design auto's?

    Please expand on your statement that they continue to flunk?

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    On 8/24/2017 at 3:31 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

    I like electrified vehicles because they offer better torque delivery than plain gasoline engines. 

    Yes but you shoot your wad early and the recovery time is too long before you can go again.  Real men know this is not optimal.

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    9 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Yes but you shoot your wad early and the recovery time is too long before you can go again.  Real men know this is not optimal.

    So Mr. Musk and all His Tesla X drivers that beat ICE equal CUV's are not men then? :o

    Interesting :scratchchin:

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    So Mr. Musk and all His Tesla X drivers that beat ICE equal CUV's are not men then? :o

    Interesting :scratchchin:

    How can you be a man when you're locked inside your fancy golf cart with those stupid doors dfelt

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    On 8/27/2017 at 8:22 AM, ocnblu said:

    Yes but you shoot your wad early and the recovery time is too long before you can go again.  Real men know this is not optimal.

    I don't take advice on being manly from a guy who's manliness is so fragile a taller overdrive gear and an underbody shield on a Cruze can be shattered by it. 

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    On 8/27/2017 at 8:22 AM, ocnblu said:

    Yes but you shoot your wad early and the recovery time is too long before you can go again.  Real men know this is not optimal.

    You've got much to learn, young padawan...

    Oh...Good morning Mr. Tyler, going...down?

    If you are a REAL man...It really is not about how long before shooting your load...

    Dont take my word for it...straight from a lady...

     

    tenor.gif

    And if you really cant understand all that what is going on...you are completely hopeless.

     

    Now back to cars...and electric vehicles

     

     

     

    Edited by oldshurst442
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      The only engine option on the Kia Telluride is a 291 horsepower 3.8 liter direct-injected V6.  Torque comes in at 261 lb-ft, about average for this segment.  Coupled to the engine is an 8-speed automatic, and if you check the box for an additional $2,000, you get an active AWD system.  The system constantly monitors traction and via a controller in the cabin, the driver can select between 80/20 (Comfort and Snow), 65/35 (Sport), and 50/50 (Lock, best used for off-roading).  If you do care to do off-roading, you have 8-inches of ground clearance to play with. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds which again is pretty much the expected capacity for the segment. EPA fuel economy is rated at 19 city / 24 highway / 21 combined.  The 2020 Telluride has not yet received a crash test rating.
      Though the engine only puts out 261 lb-ft of torque, the 8-speed automatic makes quick work of it and acceleration is sufficient at a reported 7.1 seconds.  Engine noise is hushed and refined.
      One of my favorite things about the Kia Telluride is its ride. The suspension is soft and comfortable.  The big 20-inch wheels can slam hard if one hits some more serious potholes, but overall this is one of the nicest riding big SUVs.  That soft suspension does have a downside; body roll and handling are not what you would call sporting. Though the steering is precise and well weighted, the big Kia hefts and leans through corners. Take it slow with grandma in the back and all will be well.  The towing package adds a hitch receiver and a load leveling suspension.
      Kia is not a brand known for luxury vehicles, but in SX Prestige trim, this Telluride can certainly count as one.  That leads us to the price. At $46,860 after destination charges, the Telluride handily undercuts the competition, some of which don’t even offer the level of active safety technology the Kia offers as standard.  If you’re shopping in the large SUV segment, the Kia Telluride is definitely one to add to your test drive list.
      Year: 2020
      Make: Kia 
      Model: Telluride
      Trim: SX
      Engine: 3.8L Gasoline Direct Injected V6
      Driveline: All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
      Torque @ RPM: 262 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4482 lb.
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA
      Base Price: $31,690
      As Tested Price: $45,815
      Destination Charge: $1,045
      Options:
      SX Prestige Package - $2,000
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $210
      Carpeted Cargo Mat w/ Seat Back Protection - $115

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      At an event in May, I got to spend some time with the 2020 Kia Telluride. The Telluride is an all-new model for Kia, though it is based on the Kia Sorento’s platform.  Being a good bit longer than the 7-passenger Sorento, it is substantially roomier inside, allowing for 7 or 8 passenger configurations depending on trim level.  The version I tested was the top of the line SX package with all-wheel drive and an additional Prestige Package.  Kia makes standard a whole host of active safety equipment.  Thankfully, I didn’t get to test any of the more important ones. One important safety feature on my shopping list is Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and the Kia has it standard.
      On appearance alone, Kia is going to have a hit on their hands.  Though on the same platform as the Kia Sorento, the Telluride strikes a handsome square and almost truck-like silhouette. The overall look is of a vehicle even bigger than it is. Up front are an attractive set of headlight clusters with yellow surround daytime running lamps. As this is a new entry to the segment, Kia spells out the model name across the front of the hood making sure you know what model vehicle it is.  It still manages to look classy. My tester had the black 20-inch wheels, LED headlamps, and rear fix-glass sunroof that comes with the SX trim level.  
      Because this was the top of the line SX with Prestige Package, it came with beautiful Napa leather chairs, second-row captain chairs, heads up display, and premium cloth headliner and sun visors.  The overall fit and finish of my tester was excellent. Switchgear is nicely weighted and has a premium, if not luxury, feel to it. The styling inside is handsome if conservative, and passengers could be fooled into thinking they were in a vehicle of higher pedigree.  While it is roomier than the Sorento, is it still smaller than some of its primary competition. The Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Buick Enclave all boast roomier interiors.  Still, second-row comfort was good and third-row accessibility is acceptable, though best left to the kids.
      My experience with the Telluride’s 10-inch infotainment system was limited, however, it is based on the same UVO system found in their other vehicles.  Even in its native modes, I find Kia UVO to be one of the easier systems to use, but if you use the included Android Auto and Apple Car Play most often, you won’t be in the native system much anyway.
      The only engine option on the Kia Telluride is a 291 horsepower 3.8 liter direct-injected V6.  Torque comes in at 261 lb-ft, about average for this segment.  Coupled to the engine is an 8-speed automatic, and if you check the box for an additional $2,000, you get an active AWD system.  The system constantly monitors traction and via a controller in the cabin, the driver can select between 80/20 (Comfort and Snow), 65/35 (Sport), and 50/50 (Lock, best used for off-roading).  If you do care to do off-roading, you have 8-inches of ground clearance to play with. Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds which again is pretty much the expected capacity for the segment. EPA fuel economy is rated at 19 city / 24 highway / 21 combined.  The 2020 Telluride has not yet received a crash test rating.
      Though the engine only puts out 261 lb-ft of torque, the 8-speed automatic makes quick work of it and acceleration is sufficient at a reported 7.1 seconds.  Engine noise is hushed and refined.
      One of my favorite things about the Kia Telluride is its ride. The suspension is soft and comfortable.  The big 20-inch wheels can slam hard if one hits some more serious potholes, but overall this is one of the nicest riding big SUVs.  That soft suspension does have a downside; body roll and handling are not what you would call sporting. Though the steering is precise and well weighted, the big Kia hefts and leans through corners. Take it slow with grandma in the back and all will be well.  The towing package adds a hitch receiver and a load leveling suspension.
      Kia is not a brand known for luxury vehicles, but in SX Prestige trim, this Telluride can certainly count as one.  That leads us to the price. At $46,860 after destination charges, the Telluride handily undercuts the competition, some of which don’t even offer the level of active safety technology the Kia offers as standard.  If you’re shopping in the large SUV segment, the Kia Telluride is definitely one to add to your test drive list.
      Year: 2020
      Make: Kia 
      Model: Telluride
      Trim: SX
      Engine: 3.8L Gasoline Direct Injected V6
      Driveline: All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
      Torque @ RPM: 262 lb.-ft. @ 5,200 rpm 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
      Curb Weight: 4482 lb.
      Location of Manufacture: West Point, GA
      Base Price: $31,690
      As Tested Price: $45,815
      Destination Charge: $1,045
      Options:
      SX Prestige Package - $2,000
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $210
      Carpeted Cargo Mat w/ Seat Back Protection - $115
    • By William Maley
      Seven years ago, I drove the previous-generation Mitsubishi Outlander for a week-long review. There was a lot to like about the previous model as it featured distinctive shape, comfortable ride, and being somewhat fun to drive. But in other areas, the model fell a bit flat. Poor material choices, firm ride, and the optional V6 engine feeling slightly lackluster. I ended my review with this,
      “Mitsubishi has shown a new Outlander at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Underneath the Outlander’s new sheet metal lies a new vehicle architecture and will have the choice between gas and plug-in hybrid power. The new Outlander also gets revised interior and new safety equipment. The question is will the new Outlander be able to fix the problems of the current one?”
      It has taken a fair amount of time to get my hands on the new Outlander. In that time, Mitsubishi has made a number of changes and updates to the Outlander lineup such as a revised exterior. Was it worth the wait?
      The Outlander’s shape is nothing too special with rounded corners, large glass area, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels that comes standard on most models. For 2019, Mitsubishi has updated the Outlander’s front end with a new grille shape, headlights, and more chrome trim. It does help spruce up the design that has been with us since 2014. My only complaint is the dark silver paint on my tester. It makes the vehicle look like a giant blob. There isn’t anything that sets the interior apart from rivals. The design is somewhat plain, but material quality is quite surprising with an abundance of soft-touch materials. There is a fair amount of piano black trim, which does attract fingerprints. All Outlanders come with a 7-inch touchscreen running Mitsubishi’s latest infotainment system is standard. Those wanting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto need to step up to the SE or higher. My experience with the system mimics the Eclipse Cross; lags behind the competition in terms of the interface and performance, but its a huge step forward from the previous system. The Outlander is one of the few models in the compact crossover class that can boast having three-rows to allow seating for seven. This seat is best reserved for small kids due to the limited amount of leg and headroom. Having the third-row also eats into cargo space - 10.3 vs. 33 cubic feet with the seats folded. Front and rear seating is fine. There’s enough padding to keep everyone comfortable on a long trip, and most passengers will be able to stretch out. Most Outlanders come equipped with a 2.4L four-cylinder engine producing 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and the choice of front or Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control. Step up to the GT to get a 3.0L V6 packing 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. There’s also a PHEV option which I talk about more in this first drive piece. The 2.4 is serviceable around town with brisk acceleration and minimal noise. But take the Outlander on the highway or fill it up with people and cargo, and the 2.4 feels overwhelmed. Not helping is the CVT that will drone quite loudly when you plant your foot on the gas. Fuel economy is mid-pack with EPA figures of 24 City/29 Highway/26 Combined for the AWD version - front-wheel drive models see a one MPG improvement. My average for the week landed around 24. One area that I was surprised by the Outlander was the ride. Over the varied surfaces on offer in the Metro Detroit area, the Outlander’s suspension smoothed out various bumps. It doesn’t feel comfortable around corners, showing noticeable body lean and a disconnected steering system.  The Mitsubishi Outlander answers the oddly specific question of, “what is the cheapest three-row crossover I could buy?’ I can see why someone on a tight budget would consider one as the Outlander provides a lot of standard equipment, along with seating for seven at a low price. It doesn’t hurt that Mitsubishi’s 5 year/60,000 mile new car warranty does provide peace of mind for those who want a bit of security. But it does become a poor value the higher you climb in price. My Outlander SEL S-AWC tester starts at $29.095. With the optional SEL Touring Package (forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, and a 710W Rockford Fosgate audio system) and carpeted floor mats, the price ballooned to $33,225 with destination. For that amount of cash, you get into a decently equipped Volkswagen Tiguan or Mazda CX-5. I know dealers put cash on the hoods - most dropping the cost to under $30,000, but it is still a tough sell. Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Outlander
      Trim: SEL S-AWC
      Engine: 2.4L MIVEC SOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 166 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 162 @ 4,200
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/29/26
      Curb Weight: 3,472 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $29,095
      As Tested Price: $33,225 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SEL Touring Package - $3,000.00
      Accessory Carpeted Floors Mats and Portfolio - $135.00

      View full article
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