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Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester

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Comments

  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    edited February 2010
    >> Warren Brown: "Lower ground clearance/better balance usually equals better handling which proved to be true in driving the EX35"

    Another biased and subjective statement with no actual test data. GT while 3.1 inch taller still beats EX in slalom.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    And NHTSA gives the EX 4 stars for front driver/passenger and 5 stars for side impact; the Outlander gets 5 stars all around. Both get 4 stars on the rollover test with the EX having just 3% less chance of rolling over; statistically that's a wash & driver skill and road conditions will matter more.

    Anyway, my main beef was with the AWD system comparisons as that was the focus of the article. Comparing the other features reveals more about the market segments than anything else with the EX being an upscale/near-luxury small CUV while the Outlander is a richly appointed but non-luxury small CUV. Both offer things the other doesn't and it is up to consumers to determine which vehicle suits their needs.

    In my zip code an AWD EX Journey with H01 (Bose stereo, nav, etc.) & W01 (18" wheels) has a TMV of $38,878. An Outlander GT (AWD standard) with P6 (Nav, leather, etc.) has a TMV of $31,384. That's about as equally configured as you can get without going into the minor things like wheel locks. At those prices , both vehicles offer somethings the other doesn't but if one were to compare, that's probably the configurations that would be used.

    The Infiniti is $7500 more, making it uncommon that the two would be cross-shopped. It could happen, though, if someone had $40K to spend, was brand-agnostic, and wanted the best value in the $30-40K range. "Best value" is personally defined; for some the luxury appointments on the EX have a lot more value than some of the practical features on the GT.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    In your daily commute do you drive around cones, or do you step on the gas to accelerate? BTW can you post that information for the source, same test, same day about the slalom? If not the comparison is not valid.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2010
    Some context may help...

    Warren Brown is syndicated, so his reviews appears in many newspapers, not just the Washington Post.

    Also, he's a bit older, so he's offering the empty nester point of view, hence the lack of interest in things like cargo space and back seat room. I doubt he even looked at those things.

    FWIW, the EX is absolutely TINY and I agree the comparison is a bit off, however...

    What happened was he reviewed the Outlander the week before. It was just a coincidence, i.e. all about timing, and not a comparison per se.

    He drove around in an Outlander XLS for a week, had a few scares, then the following week he drove around in an EX he felt more secure in.

    I read the print copy of the Outlander but I didn't scan it, lemme see if I can find a copy on-line somewhere. It wasn't very favorable, as you can imagine, but it wasn't all bad.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Found it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/06/AR2010020600148.- html

    He talks about S-AWC but prices and lists an XLS in the specs, so the article is not without error.

    keeping the Outlander upright and moving in a straight line in that windy, wintry mix proved far more difficult than I would have ever imagined

    It's likely the GT would have fared better, if indeed he was driving an XLS. :confuse:

    If anyone wants to ask him to clarify what model he drove, here's a link to ask questions:

    http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/articles/warren+brown/
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    While we're at it, here's his review of the Forester X Limited:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/22/AR2010012202283.- html

    Excerpts:

    perfectly competent for dry-road highway runs, accelerates well when necessary and handles well in high-speed highway traffic

    Excellent vehicle balance in combination with excellent traction is hard to beat when weather combines with road design -- narrow foothill roads with deep drops on either side, covered with thickening slush

    The Forester responded expertly -- gripping as needed when needed; preventing short turns into skids from becoming longer, more dangerous skids; and handling potentially upsetting vehicle weight transfers with aplomb


    Overall a very favorable review. :shades:
  • If pub dates are accurate, maybe Warren drove the XLS a day after a major snow, then drive the EX three days after another major snow. Same with the Forester review noted above, you'd really have to drive these cars side-by-side to gather an accurate assessment.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    I agree with fushiqi, this was very unusual comparison and many various virtues of each vehicle wre not mentioned. Comparing a G35-G37 hatchback (that's essentially wht it is) to a Suv??? Car platforms notwithstanding, it did make apparent the differences in AWD , or 4WD systems. They do all vary - greatly in different vehicles. I can vouch for the G35X - AWD Sedan. I have a 2007, with standard Goodyear RSAs, All-season tire, and again as in the past few years of dealing with snaowfalls in the NY region, the car is absolutely fantastic in the snow. I have not driven an Outlander, but our other car - 2007 CRV AWD, is not nearly as good in the snow. In fact, last year making a left turn on a snowy night - 4-6" on the ground - plowed hours earlier - the CRV slip slided away in the rear end, going very slowly. The car in front of me that made the same left turn, was a Subie Forrester, he/she went faster and I ddin't see any slipping or sliding of the rear end. So, all the systems vary. Infifniti on the theire web site will show that their AWD is just that - it will engage the front and rear axles at immediate first slippage of the wheels. It is a rear wheel drive regulalry. But I think it moves the torque not just to the front and rear simultaneously as it sdetects slippage, but also left and right to the indiviudal wheels, integral to the VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist ) and with the Traction Control system with Anti-lock brakes. There's a Snow Mode too, so that not too much torque at startup to help avoid initial slippage. I know somehere here on Edmunds is a complete tutorial on all of the 4WD and AWD systems. They are Different.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    CR-V has a pretty basic FWD-based, part-time, reactive system, so I'm not surprised it struggled a bit, while the Forester didn't in the same conditions.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I don't know if it's a single slalom result or multiple. Two cars tested on two different days in different weather in different parts of the world cannot be compared. That's what I think this is, but I could be wrong.
  • chelentanochelentano Posts: 634
    edited February 2010
    It’s not just one test. They perform several tests and pick best result. And I am sure they are smart enough to do these tests on the same track and in very similar road conditions. May be I am biased but what about Edmunds InsideLine testing team?

    Edmunds Inside Line slalom test 6 x 100 ft (mph):

    BMW X6 M: 68.6
    2010 Outlander GT: 66.2
    2008 Infiniti EX35: 66.0
    2009 Infiniti G37 Sport: 65.9 (convertible coupe)
    Mercedes C Class: 65.8 (sedan)
    Acura RDX: 65.7
    Cayenne Turbo X: 65.2
    MB ML63 AMG 64.4
    BMW X3: 64.4
    BMW X5 M 63.5
    Infiniti FX50 63.3
    Acura MDX: 62.6
    LR2: 62
    Audi Q5: 61.9
    RAV4 LTD: 61.6
    MB GLK: 61.3
    Forester 2.5XT: 60.3
    Murano LE: 59.2
    MB ML350: 57.5
    Lincoln MKX: 57.3

    According to Edmunds, the Outlander GT beats in slalom every SUV/CUV except for the $95K BMW X6M which comes with $575 21” Dunlop Sport Maxx RunOnFlat (Max Performance Summer) tires and active differential/torque vectoring. The EX35 shows excellent result, almost a draw with Outlander GT, but no way better then GT. Besides the GT was tested with regular OEM Goodyear Eagle LS2 while EX35 was tested with high performance Dunlop SP Sport 7000 tires.

    In another slalom test by Road & Track the 2010 EX35 produces more moderate result of 64.1 Mph: perhaps with the base OEM Michelin tires.

    We could find plenty of examples when taller SUV handles equal or better then sedans and coupes. Laws of physics is one thing but technology is another one. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that both top slalom performing CUVs utilize torque vectoring.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    edited February 2010
    If my daily commute involved driving a bunch of cones and nothing else, there are two cars on the list I woud consider. And, one is a screaming value compared to the other.

    Maybe for the benefit of the board you could post other aspects of performance; acceleration, skippad (not that it means much, like the slalom), gas mileage, emergency lane change (CR favorite test), brake fade etc, leaving the doodads out of the equation. In this bunch of cars the Outlander would probably is dead last.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    Thanks for the context. I see the coincidence but disagree about it not really being a comparison. He made it one by mentioning another vehicle. No one but the regular reader would know the circumstances and only those who follow Mitsu (or maybe even just those who follow the Outlander) would realize the comparison wasn't like-for-like as the Outlander has more than one AWD system.

    Yes, the EX is tiny. I was at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday and made a point of sitting in an EX Journey. Nissan/Infiniti's display was adjacent to Mitsu. I did fit in it, but that thing is small. Too small. Infiniti definitely neglected the U in SUV/CUV. The rear opening is very short though width is adequate. A 40" LCD TV box would probably fit flat with the second row folded, but I doubt anything larger would fit. The EX is certainly not up for a good trip to Sam's Club/Costco or the local Ikea.

    Second row is cramped with little leg room. The seats fold almost flat. The first row door pockets are barely large enough for a folded map. The single glove box is small and hits the passenger's legs when opened. The console hump between driver & front passenger wide & high - a trend I don't much are for - which also makes the cabin feel even smaller. Not having that much headroom didn't help either. There's no real storage other than under the console arm rest.

    The headroom thing reminds me. In the EX you sit like you're in a car; in the Outlander, Forester, and every other SUV I've been in you sit more upright. That low seating position matches the sporting nature, I suppose, but it also detracts from a basic strength of getting an SUV.

    The materials quality was nice and I would say they were a step or two above the Outlander. Fit & finish were fine but not perfect, with things like the liner/"cup" of the second row door handle not lining up straight.

    And that instrument panel is a god-awful mess. Lots and lots of tiny buttons & knobs in groups all over the place. Things like the control buttons below the nav screen are not at an angle where you easily see the labels. They are readable but not at a quick glance like one would have while driving. Whoever decided the panel should face up instead of towards the driver should be fired. Ditto the person who made all of the labels too small to read quickly.

    The EX has a trip computer between the speedo & tach like the Outlander does. In fact they look to be from the same supplier. But while the speedo & tach are full color & feature nice blue accents the trip comp display is "angry red" (like Mitsu used to use, I will freely add). Which is all the more strange since Mitsu's color screen uses what looks to be a matching blue to indicate fuel level & temp.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    Thanks for the link. After reading the article it is interesting that while he had issues with the Outlander he just as much blames his own driving overconfidence. At least that I can agree with; most drivers of AWD-type vehicles tend to feel more confident than they should and forget that engineering can only go so far and that systems that let us speed up don't necessarily help us turn or slow down.

    It's something I try to keep in mind when tempted to do something I never would have tried in a car ;)

    And really, it comes across more as disappointment in AWD capabilities overall v. the XLS specifically. Examples: "A slippery, icy road is a slippery, icy road. A strong wind is a strong wind. The two together will upset any vehicle, regardless of size, technology, engineering or build quality." and "The experience taught me several lessons. One, too many automotive advertisements don't deal with reality. All of the on-air braggadocio about how well one car or another could run in snow or other bad weather is braggadocio -- and dangerous braggadocio at that."

    Myself, regardless of vehicle with weather like that I would stay home.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    Oooh. An on-topic post. :blush:

    Decent review of the Forester. Interesting, between the three articles that's the only one that reads as an honest review.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    Two cars tested on two different days in different weather in different parts of the world cannot be compared. That's what I think this is, but I could be wrong.

    So you agree that Mr. Brown shouldn't have compared the EX & Outlander.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,234
    2010 Outlander GT: 66.2
    2008 Infiniti EX35: 66.0


    The EX is only 0.2MPH behind the GT. That's less than a half percent difference so is basically a wash. Variations in temp & humidity could make that much difference, let alone things like wear on the tires and for that matter how much gas was in the tanks & how it sloshed around (shifting rear-end weight left-to-right).

    So, in this case small & low to the ground does not trump taller (but designed with a low center-of-gravity). In that test the GT did better but next Tuesday it could easily swing the other way by a similar margin.

    I forget to ask earlier, but why does Infiniti use trim names for model names and model names for Trim names? EX is a trim name in several models and Journey is a Dodge.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    No, I do not agree with that. It's am impossible thing for a journalist to do real world testing/evaluations on the same day.

    What is NOT AN IMPOSSIBLE task for an automotive magazine/website to do this testing in similiar test conditions even if not on the same day.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2010
    The funny thing is that the Infiniti EX review was a front page story (Automotive section, this past Sunday), and the bottom of that same page had a huge Malloy Mitsubishi ad! (Outlanders from $20,995)

    Talk about the Washington Post ad sales staff not communicating with the editorial staff, that's just wrong.

    Warren Brown usually write puff pieces so that scathing review on the Outlander is especially odd coming from him. You ought to write him a letter and ask him to at least clarify what model he drove.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    MT runs a figure 8 test that incorporates not just handling but also braking and acceleration, and in that all-around test the Forester XT comes out ahead.

    Actually, the non-turbo Forester X actually ties the Outlander GT in the Figure 8, for both time elapsed and grip in Gs. So the Forester overcomes a 60hp power deficit to come out even.

    I think the achilles' heel of the Outlander may be the brakes. The front rotors are a fraction of an inch smaller than the Forester's, but it weighs a few hundred pounds more.

    The Outlander concept had upgraded Brembo brakes up front, and I think everyone would agree those should have made it to production.

    Pic for fun:

    image
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Warren Brown usually write puff pieces so that scathing review on the Outlander is especially odd coming from him. You ought to write him a letter and ask him to at least clarify what model he drove.

    Good luck with that. I've emailed him a couple of times taking issue with his reviews and never received an acknowledgement (I bet the WP requires him to list an email address).

    Funny, I missed the Outlander review because that was the week we went without getting a paper delivered due to the snow storm (I hope my acct gets credited).

    -Frank
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2010
    That was the week prior, so that would have been February 7th for the Outlander review.

    Mitsu was lucky, in a way, because that was the last issue where his column appeared on the back of the Business section. So not a lot of people would have seen it, unless they opened that secton and looked for it.

    Unfortunately, the Infiniti EX review appeared on the front page of the Automotive section (Feb. 14th), which they just brought back. So everyone saw that.

    Circulation for the Washington Post on Sundays is huge, too. It's the biggest paper in the Mid-Atlantic, basically.

    I bet the ad purchasing guys at Malloy Mitsubishi (the dealership is located in northern VA) are furious.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,214
    Hopefully editorial has a firewall up so that sales can't influence stories and reviews.

    I don't read Brown all that often, but I don't remember ever seeing a "scathing" review from him.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We are Sunday-only print subscribers, so I'll generally at least skim them.

    This was the harshest review I've ever seen from him. In the Feb 7 article he did take half the blame for overconfidence, but even then he got on marketing's case for overhyping.

    More people saw the EX review and didn't get the full context of the criticism. It sounded like he went from a near-death experience to a nice crossover.

    FWIW I sent an e-mail using the form letter asking him to clarify what model he drove. Limited to 20 words, sheesh. :sick:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    For what it's worth.

    January 2010 Entry-Level CUV Sales
    1. GLK - 1,803
    2. Q5 - 1,050
    3. RDX - 700
    4. EX - 566
    5. XC60 - 489
    6. X3 - 288
    7. LR2 - 178

    Hey Frank, check out who's on top. :shades:

    BMW has to rush the X1 and quick. The X3 is ancient.

    I'm surprised the XC60 isn't doing better - it's IMHO the best looking of that bunch.

    EX is not doing much volume, then again the Outlander sold 824 units so it didn't do much better.

    For reference Forester sold near 5k.
  • Does anyone have anything to say about this comparison (in the defined segments)?

    Subaru Forester vs. Acura MDX
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4SN9tXvrRQ
    0:56-1:40

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YidkaqlW9ns&feature=related
    1:26-3:18

    I like that they show off their capabilities but I'd like to see the two switch roles; I'd love to see how the MDX does in the Forester tests and how the Forester does in the MDX tests.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool demos for sure. Nice to see the Forester is far, far more capable than anything 99.9% of owners will toss at it.

    Check out the articulation ... and how they open the door with a wheel several feet off the ground. Also note how well the traction control limits wheelspin.

    The first one compares the Forester to the CR-V, though, as it should. Plus the RAV4 and Rogue.

    FWIW Toyota supposedly upgraded their AWD systems in the last model year or two. It is funny, though, how both Subaru and Acura choose to pick on Toyota/Lexus. Easy target? ;)

    In the 2nd vid, Lexus and Audi allow too much wheelspin, IMHO. Then again, the MDX spins its wheels quite a bit to make it up that 30% grade. Compare that to the first video, with the Forester - which doesn't spin it wheels nearly as much even when the tire is suspended in mid air (zero traction).

    Apples to Oranges, for sure.

    I for one would love to see Edmunds add an AWD test to their vehicle evaluations. Either a ramp of some sort, simulated ice, hill climb, whatever. It would be nice to have a standarized test, though.

    FWIW, these demos are all staged. Mitsu did one with S-AWC handling ice on one side as well, though I don't think the grade was as steep. That Subaru one was a dealer training event (several publications filmed similar vids). Acura's had a Temple of VTEC logo, probably also a long-lead event for media that TOV attended.

    Funny thing is - both the Outlander and the Forester performed their respective video demos with far less wheelspin than Acura.

    And Subaru wasn't even showing off their best system. :shades:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited February 2010
    Credit to rsholland for finding this link, but here's another take on what must have been that same event, hosted by Acura:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/18/acura-cold-weather-testing-in-minnesota/

    I found it a bit funny that Acura hosted, yet they had more fun in an automatic 3 series BMW than they did in a manual TL-S (with the traction/stability control off).

    Interesting read, check it out.

    Again, you see TOV (Temple of VTEC) has a bit more of a pro-Acura spin to the same event.

    Autoblog seems a bit more neutral, subjective. Mind you - they were still impressed.
  • imaginaryimaginary Posts: 59
    edited February 2010
    Yeah, I noticed the exact same things save the Toyota/Lexus bullying. :) I used to love the Rav4 and Forester all the same. However when I finally saw this I was completely disappointed with the Rav4 and Toyota. It'd be nice to see the Rav4 with the upgraded system, as you mentioned.

    I agree; Edmunds should host such an event. It'd be nice to finally see which is a better buy when you want a reliable AWD system. Reliable as in the AWD system actually helps you, the driver, get to your destination; not that technical stuff where if all four wheels are spinning, it's "technically" AWD.

    I want to see how the MDX does on the uneven surface and then how the Forester does with both left wheels on ice with the right wheels on pavement. Up until now I thought the Forester was the only one to surpass all of the other SUV/CUV's with this AWD system. When I finally saw that Acura video, I started to really wonder if the Forester would follow the Audi Q7 on that slope. Even though it is symmetrical, I've seen some videos that show the Vehicle Dynamic Stability Control (VDC) in the Forester prove to work too much and cause the car to fish tail; I was worried the VDC system in the Forester would cause the same counter-steering mess the Audi Q7 had. If Acura keeps this up, I'll make sure to consider the MDX when it comes time to buy a bigger SUV with the convenience features I want in the Forester. I'm still looking around at the Outlander.

    Yep, I thought as much. The presentations were obviously biased but it was nice that they at least showed some competition.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The MDX is a different class than the Forester. Much more expensive to buy and service. Although I can see where if one was to spend about $40K, the Forester just isn't there. So while these two vehicles can be compared side by side, I cannot see the Acura buyer stepping down to a Forester. Not to mention those people I know who have the MDX all say gas mileage is less than stellar.
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