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Nuts & Bolts: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

Bottom line: The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander, with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, is one of the best compact crossover-utility deals in the U.S. market. It is a well-engineered, well-constructed vehicle that is a miserably slow seller. Dealers will deal on this one. Besides, Mitsubishi will introduce an all-new, redesigned Outlander for the 2014 model year, which should make retailers even more willing to deal on the 2013 model.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Excellent marks in all.

Head-turning quotient: Great male appeal outside. No female appeal outside or inside.

B ody style/layout: It’s a compact, front-engine wagon/
crossover-utility vehicle with four side doors and a rear hatch. It is available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. It comes in three trim levels — base ES, popularly equipped SE and upscale GT.

Engines/transmission: The 2013 Outlander GT with all-wheel drive comes standard with a 3-liter, 24-valve, single-overhead-cam V-6 with variable valve timing (230 horsepower, 215 foot-pounds of torque). It is linked to a six-speed automatic transmission that also can be shifted manually. ES and SE versions of the Outlander are available with 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic transmissions.

Capacities: The 2013 Outlander GT officially seats seven people. But the rearmost two seats are practically unusable, certainly uncomfortable for anyone on a trip 50 miles or longer. Cargo capacity is 72.6 cubic feet with rear seats folded. Using full seating capacity reduces cargo space to 14.9 cubic feet. The Outlander GT can be equipped to tow up to 3,500 pounds. Fuel capacity is 16.6 gallons; premium gasoline is recommended for best performance.

Mileage: Our real-world mileage was 24 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving carrying 400 pounds of cargo.

Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; rear parking proximity warning sensors; side and head air bags; and Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlamps.

Prices: Prices for the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander start at $22,695 for the base ES model, with a dealer’s invoice price of $21,237 on that model. The Outlander GT with all-wheel drive starts at $28,595 with a dealer’s invoice of $27, 388. Price as tested is $34,610, including $5,190 in options (onboard navigation with backup camera, towing package, premium sound system and USB access points) and an $825 destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $32,823.

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