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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2018 Mazda6 Signature

      The turbo makes the difference

    The Mazda6 is a prime example of how making various improvements throughout the lifecycle can make a vehicle. Since the first model I drove back in 2014, Mazda has been messing around with various aspects such as the interior and NVH levels. Last year saw Mazda make some key changes to 6 with the big news being the introduction of a turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder from the CX-9 crossover. This was to address one of the major shortcomings of the sedan, lackluster performance when it comes to making a pass or merging onto a freeway. There are some other minor changes to go with the updated engine that help make the Mazda6 feel a bit more rounded.

    • The turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder produces 227 horsepower (250 on premium fuel) and 310 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic to the front wheels. 
    • I praised this engine in the CX-9 I drove back in the summer with a linear flow of power and no hint of turbo lag. Those carry over to the 6, along with the feeling of confidence that you’ll be able to pass or merge onto a freeway without any issue. It was quite startling how quick the 6 accelerated from 45 to 70 on a freeway on-ramp, only taking a few seconds. The six-speed automatic works seamlessly with the turbo engine, providing snappy up and downshifts.
    • One other trait of the turbo engine I was impressed with was NVH levels. There was barely any engine noise or the whoosh of the turbo when accelerating.
    • Mazda hasn’t messed with the 6’s chassis with the addition of the turbo engine. It still has the planted feeling and minimal body roll that imparts a lot of confidence to a driver. Steering is quick and provides the right balance of weight and feel.
    • One surprise is how the 2018 model rides slightly better than the 2017 model as bumps are better isolated. This might be 
    • Exterior enhancements are small with a new grille design, LED headlights, and the 19-inch wheels. But they do a surprising job of keeping of the 6’s exterior looking fresh.
    • The enhancements for the interior really help Mazda’s ambition to become more premium. The dash has been slightly restyled and now comes with stitched upholstery and natural wood trim. The climate control system has been redesigned that makes it slightly easier to use.
    • Mazda has started rolling out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on the 6 for 2018 via an update. My test car had had the update, but I was unable to try it out as I could not pick the option in the system. I’m not sure of the issue, but I hope to try it once again in a future Mazda product.
    • The turbo engine is only available on the Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. My test 6 was the top-line Signature that carries a base price of $34,750. With destination and some options, the as-tested price came to $36,140. If I was to buy one, I would drop down to the Grand Touring Reserve which begins at $31,750. I would lose out on the 360-degree camera system, Nappa leather upholstery, and digital gauge cluster. But I would keep a number of desirable features such as the ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heads-up display, and power front seats.
    • Every Mazda6 review has seen me come to the same conclusion; the sedan is so close to being considered one of the best, but it is missing a certain thing. But this conclusion is different. Mazda has been able to fix the various issues I have complained about over the past few years and now have a very compelling midsize sedan. It's a shame that the 6 along with other midsize sedans are being overshadowed by the likes of crossovers. But for those who still have their heart set on a sedan, then I have no issue in recommending the 6 as an option worthy of consideration.

    Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 6, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    2018 Mazda6 Signature Gallery

    Year: 2018
    Make: Mazda
    Model: 6
    Trim: Signature
    Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
    Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/31/26
    Curb Weight: 3,560 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Hofu, Japan
    Base Price: $34,750
    As Tested Price: $36,140 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Machine Gray Paint - $300.00
    Scuff Plates - $125.00
    Cargo Mat - $75.00

    Edited by William Maley



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    @William Maley How is the interior space for big people? I grew up with my parents having a 626, my moms car and later my oldest sister got a Mazda 6 in 2007 which if I was in the front no one could sit behind me. 

    So how is the interior space and rear headroom with that coupe sedan design?

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    2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    @William Maley How is the interior space for big people? I grew up with my parents having a 626, my moms car and later my oldest sister got a Mazda 6 in 2007 which if I was in the front no one could sit behind me. 

    So how is the interior space and rear headroom with that coupe sedan design?

    @dfelt I happen to be 5'8" or 5'9" and I fit ok behind the front seat with a decent amount of head and legroom. Legroom will become tight if a tall person is up front.

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    16 minutes ago, William Maley said:

    @dfelt I happen to be 5'8" or 5'9" and I fit ok behind the front seat with a decent amount of head and legroom. Legroom will become tight if a tall person is up front.

    Awesome, much appreciated, thank you.

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    If Chevrolet put the 2.0 into a lower level of Malibu it would be an obvious choice over this...but given the extra power...I think I would take the Mazda over the Malibu.

    Nice looking car and I wish them well with it.

    Chris

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    DFelt how is this a relevant question for gods sakes you can’t fit yourself either headroom or legroom wise behind the driver seat adjusted for yourself in any midsize sedan currently available for sale.

     

    😛

     

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    2 minutes ago, Suaviloquent said:

    DFelt how is this a relevant question for gods sakes you can’t fit yourself either headroom or legroom wise behind the driver seat adjusted for yourself in any midsize sedan currently available for sale.

     

    😛

     

    ALWAYS RELEVANT!!!

    The biggest missed place in ALL AUTO REVIEWS is to clearly talk about how people sitting in the front will affect those sitting in the back. There is NEVER a perfect front seat sitting and back seat sitting that fits a perfect 4 or 5 adult placement. This is the LIE that the auto industry has not owned up to. You and your coworkers decide to go out to lunch and your the one who offered to drive. You and one coworker are US average size of 5'8" another is 5'6" tall but very large size and the other is 6'2" tall and you drive a Camry. Who sits where and why. 

    IMHO, ALL Auto Reviews should cover sizing and how it fits for the AVERAGE American but also if you have Large size people or tall people or even very short. 

    Just like many other areas in life that people either try to fit everyone into or ignor it totally, the interior space of sizing for a single person is a lie when you will always have a variety of sized people. They should clearly state a 4 adult person space seating in every car or SUV on how people will fit. Fine if 5'8" tall is the standard they want, but then clearly state how much head room, hip room, leg room, etc. is left or if there is not enough.

    We have discussed many times on how tight the compact to mid size 4 door sedan market is and how even when multiple OEMs state the same or near same seat size, one fits more comfy than another.

    The reviews are heavily biased on just the driver and not taking into account passengers.

    I could go on but I hope you get my point.

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    Back seats are usually for children or pets.     How many car buyers actually care if large adults fit in the back seat of a car?  It seems like an edge case, not a common use case. The driver space is the most important measurement.    However, I could see back seat space for adult passengers being a concern if you are a taxi, Uber or Lyft driver. 

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    9 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Back seats are usually for children or pets.     How many car buyers actually care if large adults fit in the back seat of a car?  It seems like an edge case, not a common use case. The driver space is the most important measurement.    However, I could see back seat space for adult passengers being a concern if you are a taxi, Uber or Lyft driver. 

    Exactly.  These cars are family cars and usually back seat reserved for kids or pets.  Especially, in mid size sedan category.   You want to fit 5 full size adults in a car, you need to buy a full size sedan or CUV.

    My dad has 2016 Mazda 6 and one time I was driving  it with three 8 to 11 year old kids in the back, and they fit perfectly fine there,  

    Edited by ykX
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    2 hours ago, ykX said:

    Exactly.  These cars are family cars and usually back seat reserved for kids or pets.  Especially, in mid size sedan category.   You want to fit 5 full size adults in a car, you need to buy a full size sedan or CUV.

    My dad has 2016 Mazda 6 and one time I was driving  it with three 8 to 11 year old kids in the back, and they fit perfectly fine there,  

    That was the beauty of the Chrysler cab forward cars like the Intrepid and Concorde. They had loads of interior space in the back. We loved the one that we owned. 

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    5 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Back seats are usually for children or pets.     How many car buyers actually care if large adults fit in the back seat of a car?  It seems like an edge case, not a common use case. The driver space is the most important measurement.    However, I could see back seat space for adult passengers being a concern if you are a taxi, Uber or Lyft driver. 

    Sorry Cubical, I have to down vote this. Even when I was 12 I was already 6' tall and my sisters were almost as tall as I even being older. Many people do not want a minivan  or full size van to carry adults. 

    Adult carrying is VERY IMPORTANT and I think many are to focused just on themselves the driver when you also need to think about others you carry. This is not a corner case but a much more common use case. I see it daily coworkers cramming into tiny cars, corpool in cars or SUVs and everyone is cramped it looks like. More common than many realize.

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    2 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    That was the beauty of the Chrysler cab forward cars like the Intrepid and Concorde. They had loads of interior space in the back. We loved the one that we owned. 

    Those weren't mid-size thought the Intrepid could sell as low as a mid-size in poverty spec.  When those were out, the mid-size at Chrysler/Dodge would have been the Cirrus/Sebring and Stratus/Avenger respectively.   That would have been the equivalent of the Malibu or Contour.

    The LH cars overlapped with a bit of Taurus/Sable and Crown Vic, and Lumina/Impala/Grand Prix/Bonneville/Regal/LeSabre/Park Ave/Cutlass Supreme/Intrigue/88/98 

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    8 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Sorry Cubical, I have to down vote this. Even when I was 12 I was already 6' tall and my sisters were almost as tall as I even being older. Many people do not want a minivan  or full size van to carry adults. 

    Adult carrying is VERY IMPORTANT and I think many are to focused just on themselves the driver when you also need to think about others you carry. This is not a corner case but a much more common use case. I see it daily coworkers cramming into tiny cars, corpool in cars or SUVs and everyone is cramped it looks like. More common than many realize.

    I'm not an Uber driver and would never carpool, so I really don't care.  I've driven before w/ coworkers going to lunch, etc.  Never had anyone complain about backseat space in my Jeeps.    I do recall cramming a couple tall coworkers in the back of my Mustang years ago, was a bit of chore for them getting in and out of the back.  Likewise when I rode in the back of a '15 Mustang and a '76 Porsche 911--tight.  But for a 10 minute ride to lunch, no big deal.

    For people w/ children, that's what minivans and SUVs are for...

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    15 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Those weren't mid-size thought the Intrepid could sell as low as a mid-size in poverty spec.  When those were out, the mid-size at Chrysler/Dodge would have been the Cirrus/Sebring and Stratus/Avenger respectively.   That would have been the equivalent of the Malibu or Contour.

    The LH cars overlapped with a bit of Taurus/Sable and Crown Vic, and Lumina/Impala/Grand Prix/Bonneville/Regal/LeSabre/Park Ave/Cutlass Supreme/Intrigue/88/98 

    You are very correct in that...but they were not really full sized either.

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    2 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    You are very correct in that...but they were not really full sized either.

    They were as big as the FWD LeSabres, etc of the time IIRC..pretty big.  I liked them, had several '99-04 Intrepid rentals, a couple 300Ms, a Concorde and an LHS as rentals back in the day..really liked the design inside and out, and they drove quite nicely.. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    1 minute ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    They were as big as the FWD LeSabres, etc of the time IIRC..

    Really...hmmmm.....Never really thought of the Intrepid/Concorde as that much larger than a Mazda 6.

    Passat also has decent interior room for a lot terribly large car.

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    2 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Really...hmmmm.....Never really thought of the Intrepid/Concorde as that much larger than a Mazda 6. 

    Actually longer than the Impala or LeSabre....the LHS was DTS sized.  The 300M was a bit shorter w/ it's cropped rear. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    6 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    You are very correct in that...but they were not really full sized either.

    Well I disagree on that... particularly the last LHS/Concord.... that thing was a titanic and that's coming from a guy who loves big cars. 

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    2 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Well I disagree on that... particularly the last LHS/Concord.... that thing was a titanic and that's coming from a guy who loves big cars. 

    Hmmm....Okay. The last of the Interbreeds and Concordes fell to rust and transmission failure seemingly years ago here in Central Ohio.  My memory (like much of the rest of my so called thinking...) is probably flawed.

    Thankfully, youngest kid goes away to college next year...so Beetle can be trade in fodder for a BRZ or Miata.

    Back into a fun car....could not convince the wife we needed a V8 Camaro.

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    1 minute ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    Hmmm....Okay. The last of the Interbreeds and Concordes fell to rust and transmission failure seemingly years ago here in Central Ohio.  My memory (like much of the rest of my so called thinking...) is probably flawed.

    Thankfully, youngest kid goes away to college next year...so Beetle can be trade in fodder for a BRZ or Miata.

    Back into a fun car....could not convince the wife we needed a V8 Camaro.

    I just had a V6 Camaro Convertible and that thing was way more fun than it should have been in that config.  Felt light-weight, fun to toss around, and the V6 had plenty of scoot without being excessive. 

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

    I just had a V6 Camaro Convertible and that thing was way more fun than it should have been in that config.  Felt light-weight, fun to toss around, and the V6 had plenty of scoot without being excessive. 

    I am working on that with the wife. I actually really like the 6th gen Camaro, Also  GM has a fantastic Blue BTW. Interior is an upgrade over 5th gen also.

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    38 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    Sorry Cubical, I have to down vote this. Even when I was 12 I was already 6' tall and my sisters were almost as tall as I even being older. Many people do not want a minivan  or full size van to carry adults. 

    Adult carrying is VERY IMPORTANT and I think many are to focused just on themselves the driver when you also need to think about others you carry. This is not a corner case but a much more common use case. I see it daily coworkers cramming into tiny cars, corpool in cars or SUVs and everyone is cramped it looks like. More common than many realize.

    Sorry, you are not a typical case. According to the latest statistical data average US male is 5 feet 9 inches tall and female is 5 feet 4 inches.  This car can perfectly accommodate two average males according to dimensions and @William Maley .

    Edit: two average adults in the back with four average adults total.

    Edited by ykX
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    1 minute ago, ykX said:

    Sorry, you are not a typical case. According to the latest statistical data average US male is 5 feet 9 inches tall and female is 5 feet 4 inches.  This car can perfectly accommodate two average males according to dimensions and @William Maley .

    As a sumo wrestler (or at least Sumo/Shrek sized) you would think he would support Japanese products...

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    1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    ^ This....

    @dfelt is doomed to a life of Suburbans and Escalades. 

    Yes, like NBA and NFL players..doomed to having to buy full size SUVs to haul around their posse of hangers-on...

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      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
    • 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
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