2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT
Does the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander GT stand up to its competition?
With the way that Mitsubishi has fallen off the map, I was really hoping for more from this 2016 Outlander GT. They have been marketing the new Outlander GT heavily on TV, and I thought, “Hmmmm maybe this is the beginning of a bold & calculated comeback.” I wanted that to be the case. But it’s not.
The car isn’t bad. But it’s just not innovative. Past that big chrome-swooped bumper, there’s nothing exciting that you get with the Outlander GT… that you wouldn’t get with any other car. No interior accents or tech-tricks, no revolutionizing ‘something or other’. It feels like a brand new car – from 2006.
The infotainment system feels like a cheap unit trying to dress up like it’s expensive. The seat-heater buttons look like something that would be on a toddler’s play-toy (you can literally hear the spring in the bottom ‘springing’ when you flip the seat heater on).
The suspension is lack-luster. My feeling is that they used too soft of a spring-rate for the car, to try and make the Outlander GT feel smooth to people who don’t know much about cars. But it just feels loose/sloppy, and heavier in turns than it should.
The electronics are irritating. In Mitsubishi’s defense – ‘electronics’ is something that I’m sure you’d figure out with ownership… there’s a learning curve. But let’s just say, it’s not intuitive. In the week we had the car, I never figured out why sometimes the tailgate would open electronically when I hit the button, and sometimes it wouldn’t. It would just… BEEEEP at me. And then I realized the bigger source of the confusion, was that the car has no ‘information feedback’ on the dash. Most other auto-makers would put a subsequent message on the dash that said, “Lift-Gate Obstruction”, or something like that. The Outlander GT just BEEEEPs… and leaves you hanging. So I didn’t know if it was because the doors had auto-locked, or there was an obstruction, or the car was not in park, etc. I never did figure it out; sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.
The Outlander GT lacks features that you would kind of expect from a vehicle in this class – like blind spot monitors. Yet – you can raise & lower your headlights on a dial from inside the cockpit?? The Outlander GT has a lane departure warning – BUT YOU HAVE TO TURN IT OFF EVERY TIME YOU RESTART THE CAR. C’mon. I’d get in the car, and a half mile down the road, the car would BEEP BEEP BEEP at me for getting too close to the edge of the lane (I tend to follow the road, not the lanes). So I’d mash the ‘lane-departure button’ off. Then I’d stop to run in a store, get back in… and within a half mile the car would BEEP BEEP BEEP at me again. If the driver turns off a feature like that, the setting should be saved/stored until the driver turns it back on. Your car should not annoy you.
The Outlander GT is competitively priced (about 30K loaded; 23K entry)… especially when you consider the size, and that you DO get a 3rd row. But on the same token, it also feels cheap compared to the competition. So it’s the old adage – you get what you pay for. I will say, the Outlander GT runs down the interstate comfortably. It’s got room for the whole family. It gets pretty decent gas mileage. Yet still, I would at least consider/drive other options… even though the Outlander GT pretty much is the ‘other option’.
The fact of the matter is: you can’t find Mitsubishi dealerships easily anymore. And when you do find them, they’re dried-up places. And let’s be honest – Mitsubishi reliability hasn’t been the best. My gut tells me – avoid a situation where you might be dealing with mechanical, maintenance, or bodywork issues in 5 years… when dealerships are scarce, sad, and even the future of Mitsubishi Motors is kind of uncertain. I was hoping the Outlander GT was gonna be good enough to shine above those drawbacks. But it wasn’t. As an editor, I really try to stay away from being needlessly negative… but I’d look elsewhere.