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Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester



  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    >> Rockville Mitsubishi got a 4 cylinder in stock, so I went to test drive it. Oddly enough this was a 2009 model, basic model with very few options. It was weird because they had a loaded 2007 V6 on the show room floor, so they are selling 2007s and 2009s side-by-side.

    It must be your typo or you talking about Lancer. The 2009 Outlander is not available yet.

    >> I wish the leather were perforated

    It is perforated, just in a different way: on side sitting area, not in the middle like Forester. I do like Forester perforation in the middle more.

    >> The arm rests are both padded but they are certainly not leather, sorry chelentano. Put two finger on the material and pinch them together. The soft leather on the seat has small wrinkles.

    It is vinyl, you r right, but if you don’t inspect it very close it looks like leather and offers more luxury feel.

    >> The headliner, again, par for this class, looks like recylced dryer lint glued on to cardboard.

    The headliner is actually a special unique fabric designed to absorb odor.

    >> The sun visor is, you guessed it, plastic, but squeeze it and you hear this strange crunching sound.

    The visors feel certainly cheep I agree, but I don’t care.

    >> I mentioned this after the Auto Show, but visibility is not good. What I found during my test drive is that the mirrors don't do enough to help - they are far too narrow.

    Forester visibility is little better, but Outlander is acceptable and better then Murano or CX-7. I agree about the mirror. I went and bought after marker extra wide rear view mirror for $20. Now I have no blind spots.

    >> Strangest of all, my head rubbed the ceiling on an XLS with the moonroof.
    Yea, rear seat head room with moon roof is little tight for a tall person. You must be at least 6 foot I guess.

    The Outlander is the only car I found which fits my requirements: integrated Bluetooth, FAST key, great reliability, preferably 5/10 warranty, styling, aux audio jack, smooth engine and transmission, full-time AWD, priced under $25K.
    All of that I could get in Outlander XLS AWD for about $23.5K, but I went for extra packages.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Motorweek's Outlander V6 took 8.9 seconds to reach 60, but other times I've seen are in the low 8s. Definitely quicker than the normally aspirated 4 bangers (except the Rogue, which just about ties it).

    I pointed out the Rogue to my wife at the car show and she hated it. Too small and strangely styled for her.

    To me the Rogue is too style-over-substance.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Agreed 100% about the base models being notably cheaper than the loaded ones.

    Still, most of my complaints also apply to the loaded V6 on the showroom floor. The seats, shifter knob, and steering wheel are much appreciated upgrades on the interior.

    As for Forester vs. Impreza, Subaru thankfully gave the Forester more upscale door panels. It still has some of the same issues that I had with the Outlander - thin carpeting, same headliner, etc.

    Like I said, for $20-25k prices, this is not a problem.

    As for the headrest, let me explain it better. When lowered, it sticks out a bit from the seat. It happened to hit my neck, so you pretty much have to raise it up all the time. The Forester's sits on top of the seat and didn't create that problem for me. I'm 6' so I doubt shorter people would even notice.

    Personally, I'd pick the manual transmission, but two problems: the wife wants an automatic, and the LL Bean model only comes in automatic on the Forester.

    Oh well, it's her car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The salesman told me it was an 09. Rockville Mitsubishi, it was a silver base model. If they are not out yet then he must have been mistaken.

    I can say that the 2008 brochure does not list the SE model, what's up with that? Does it exist? Was it a late model intro, that didn't make the brochure? :confuse:

    I did note the perforations on the sides of the seat, I just wish it covered the whole seating surface. My Miata has leather like that and it doesn't "breathe" well.

    As for the feel of the arm rests, let's rack that up to personal preference. Personally, I think it's a shame they didn't use the same soft leather from the seats there. The vinyl is shinier and doesn't feel the same to the touch. I prefer the EVO's faux suede, again personal preference.

    The Forester's headliner looks identical. Maybe before they installed it on the Mitsu they sprinkled some baking soda on there. :shades:

    Cool that the aftermarket can step in and offer better mirrors.

    For early models, 98-02, the Forester L had tiny mirrors and the more upscale Forester S has big ones. Thankfully, they standardized on just one size and chose the bigger one.

    I am spoiled by the enormous mirrors on my minivan. With those and a fish-eye lens stuck on the back window, I can see well out of that big van.

    Yep, I'm about 6' even, and since it's usually kids in the back seat I don't think the headroom issue is a problem. Plus if it is, just don't get the moonroof. The Forester seemed to have more head room, less leg room. The opposite basically. I sat in the back of the Forester when my wife was test driving it (we had 5 people in the car).
  • psychogunpsychogun Posts: 121
    The SE was indeed a late addition for the '08 model year. It has a couple of upgrades to it like new interior door panel trim, chrome plated door handles, magnesium paddle shifters, and s standard 650watt Rockford Fosgate system with sub woofer (that eats into cargo space). I thought that the side-bolsters on the front seats are leather as well...

    Several of these upgrades will be available on the '09 Outlander.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    The salesman must have been mistaken. He didn't know how to answer my towing questions, instead referring me to the brochure.

    He could not find the owners manual, but I doubt he spent much time searching.

    As is common in the industry he was more of a sales guy than a car guy. I was focused on the vehicle while he kept bringing up money - how much are you looking to spend? What kind of payments? Do you have a trade? etc.
  • psychogunpsychogun Posts: 121
    I find it distasteful when they bring money up before you've even driven the car.
    Then again, auto sales are dipping noticeably and they are under a lot of duress to make the sale...
    I'm in a similar boat as you, as I'm looking to trade in my Odyssey for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. I'm thinking new Honda Accord... but we'll see.
    Sorry about the off-topic post.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I'm looking to trade in my Odyssey for a more fuel-efficient vehicle. I'm thinking new Honda Accord

    Okay since we're off topic... I'm curious, the Odyssey get's pretty good mpg for a vehicle its size and I assume that the reason you got it was because you needed the load carrying capacity (you certainly didn't get it because of the coolness factor ;) ) so how's an Accord going to work?

  • craiglcraigl Posts: 12
    After reading all these glowing reviews from Outlander owners, I figured I ought to give the SUV a once over. (I'd initially not considered Outlanders because Consumer Digest and Edmunds had low real-world MPG averages. If memory serves, Edmunds averaged just over 18 MPG over a 1000 miles. CD was about the same, maybe a little lower.)

    So I contacted our local Mitsubishi dealer to find out if they had any V6 AWDs in stock. They did, and they offered me a nice price up front an a new '07 LS with sunroof and big, bad stereo. I stopped by and took the vehicle for a spin.

    I liked the V6 overall. It's not a powerhorse, but it's got enough get up and go for a leisurely driver like myself. The cargo space seemed ample, and I liked the way the vehicle looked from the outside. The brakes and handling were adequate.

    However, the fit and finish were pretty poor all in all. The dashboard and trim looked low buck to me (even for this class) and the displays washed out in the midday sun.

    Overall, I can see why people would like this vehicle, especially given the steep discounts available, but given it's questionable gas mileage, Mitsubishi's reputation for dishonesty, cheap interior, and good enough, but forgettable performance, the Outlander is not among my finalists (Forester, Outback, CR-V, and RAV4).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you try the CVT model as well?

    I'll ask the whole group - has anyone driven the V6 and CVT models back to back?
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    Gas mileage? I am averaging 22mpg with the V6 on my mixed drive this spring. I used to get 18mpg on the same route (work-home-grocery) when the vehicle was new, but once it's all broken in, mpg improved way above current EPA estimates. Now, I don't know how many 3.0L V6s get the same mileage.

    As for the rest of your personal preferences, I could argue otherwise, but what's the point? The world would be such a boring place if people have the same preference. ;)
  • busta4busta4 Posts: 35
    "it's questionable gas mileage, Mitsubishi's reputation for dishonesty, cheap interior, and good enough, but forgettable performance,"

    Nicely put, good luck not settling for less.

    your lucky not to have to find out what the Outlanders cheap plastic sounds like in an interior after a few miles on it. forget the discounted price, you get what you pay for.
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    your lucky not to have to find out what the Outlanders cheap plastic sounds like in an interior after a few miles on it. forget the discounted price, you get what you pay for.

    I drive the same vehicle as you do, got it Dec 06, so far no rattling sounds. As for getting what I paid for the price, I'd say I got more bang for the buck. But sounds like your experience is different.

    forget the discounted price, you get what you pay for.

    If you are looking for luxury in your interior, BMW or Mercedes might be the right vehicle for you.
  • biscuit_xlsbiscuit_xls Posts: 194
    If the V6 Outlander has "forgettable performance" then I'd really like to hear how you rate the 4 cylinder CUV's, because the CRV and RAV4 were both dog slow and sounded like the engine was going to explode when merging onto the freeway every time I test drove them. The Outlander V6 has plenty of power and it delivers it smoothly.

    Fuel mileage on all of the competing CUV's is going to be within a few points either way. The 4 cylinder models don't get that great of mileage in real world usage because you have to work the engine harder just to get going. The turbo engines suck fuel like crazy if you use the power aggressively.

    My Outlander has ZERO rattles after 14,000 miles... I can't say that for my other two cars (both Honda's).
  • craiglcraigl Posts: 12
    The V6 on the Rav4 isn't dog slow. It's a rocket, and it gets surprisingly good gas mileage. The Outlander certainly is faster than the other vehicles I'm considering, but the others are plenty powerful enough for a plodding old timer like me. (Okay, I have to admit that I liked the getty up and go on the Rav4, not that I'd need it.)

    As to forgettable performance, I was writing in general about the handling, braking, acceleration, turning radius, etc. The Outlander does fine in all those areas, but it didn't make a lasting impression one way or the other.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try a CR-V or Tiguan, maybe.
  • psychogunpsychogun Posts: 121
    My apologies for the OT in this post.

    I have 3 kids, that's why we got the Odyssey. One in a regular seat, one in a booster, and one in a full car-seat.
    The new Accord is just about wide enough to still seat all three in the back. We'll see...

    Regarding craigl's Outlander test-drive.

    While "feel" of a cars' handling will always depend on personal preference, it's worthy to note that in terms of raw numbers, the Outlander handles better than the RAV4 in all aspects except acceleration (and, depending on the source, braking).
    But again, that's just by the numbers. You gotta go with what "feels" right for you.
  • biscuit_xlsbiscuit_xls Posts: 194
    I was referring to the RAV 4 with the 4 cylinder engine, it's slow and noisy. The RAV4 V6 is rocket ship, check the RAV4World forum for real world mileage and reliability. The RAV4 was my second choice, I'm glad I chose the Outlander because I really enjoy the tech features.

    "Handling, braking... turning radius" I think you need to take that test drive again, the Outlander does great in those categories. Best in class in my opinion, and I drove everything at least twice before I made my purchase.
  • rcpaxrcpax Posts: 580
    The Outlander does fine in all those areas, but it didn't make a lasting impression one way or the other.

    Of course it won't, because it's a Mitsubishi Outlander. But if it was a Toyota Outlander or a Honda Outlander, it will. ;)
  • piastpiast Posts: 269
    "Overall, I can see why people would like this vehicle"
    That's why
    "..The automatic transmission is almost as smooth as the new CR-V's, while the engine provides considerably more power. The combination is far superior to the RAV4 despite the Toyota's higher horsepower figure, the Outlander is a better highway companion overall.... the Outlander handles steeply banked highway onramps with superb control and minimal body lean, giving the driver a sense of confidence not found in many SUVs — compact, car-based or otherwise.The ride was also car-like. Bumps were softly muted and road noise was minimal...Available with an optional manual four-wheel-drive system, the Outlander is one of the more affordable four-wheel-drive SUVs on the market, ...Surprisingly, the new Outlander seems to outclass its competitors on just about every front, although the RAV4 does offer more power with its optional V-6 engine (269 horsepower)."
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