2007 Mitsubishi Outlander 4WD System Explained

dodo2dodo2 Member Posts: 496
edited April 2014 in Mitsubishi
For those who are interested to understand the 4WD system in the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander, here it is an excerpt on the topic, from an article available on Mitsubishi's web site. The link to the full article is here

All-Wheel Control with Advanced 4-Wheel Drive

The 2007 Outlander gives the driver a choice among vehicle drive modes. Standard front-wheel drive is augmented by the Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC) system, which includes traction control for better grip on slippery surfaces.
With the optional 4-wheel drive system, the driver uses a drive-mode dial on the center console to select "FWD" for best fuel economy; with "4WD Auto" mode selected, the system uses a rear-mounted electronically controlled transfer clutch to automatically and seamlessly route more power to the rear wheels, depending on driving and road surface conditions. The driver can freely change the drive mode at any time.

Two 4WD Modes
When "4WD Auto" mode is selected, the Outlander 4WD system always sends some power to the rear wheels, automatically increasing the amount under full-throttle acceleration. The coupling transfers up to 40 percent of available torque to the rear wheels under full-throttle acceleration, and this is reduced to 25 percent over 40 mph. At steady cruising speeds, up to 15 percent of available torque is sent to the rear wheels. At low speeds through tight corners, coupling torque is reduced, providing a smoother feel through the corner.

For driving in particularly challenging conditions, such as snow, the driver can select "4WD Lock" mode. In Lock mode, the system still apportions front and rear torque automatically, but enables greater power transfer to the rear wheels. For example, when accelerating on an upgrade, the coupling will transfer more torque to the rear wheels immediately, helping to ensure that all four wheels get traction. In contrast, an automatic on-demand part-time system would allow front wheel slippage before transferring power, which could hamper acceleration.

In dry conditions, 4WD Lock mode places priority on performance. More torque is directed to the rear wheels than in 4WD Auto mode to provide greater power off the line, better control when accelerating on snowy or loose surfaces, and enhanced stability at high speeds. Rear wheel torque transfer is increased by 50 percent over the amounts in 4WD Auto mode - meaning up to 60 percent of available torque is sent to the rear wheels under full-throttle acceleration on dry pavement. When in 4WD Lock mode, torque at the rear wheels is reduced by a smaller degree through corners than with 4WD Auto mode.

Drive Mode: 2WD
Overview of Control: Distributes all torque to front wheels
Benefit: Best fuel economy

Drive Mode: 4WD Auto
Overview of Control: Distributes variable torque to rear wheels depending on accelerator pedal position and front-to-rear wheel speed difference
Benefit: Delivers the optimal amount of torque for driving conditions

Drive Mode: 4WD Lock
Overview of Control: Delivers 1.5 times more torque to the rear wheels than 4WD mode
Benefit: Increases off-the-line traction; provides greater high-speed stability and best performance on rough or slippery surfaces.


  • chelentanochelentano Member Posts: 634
    ...continued from another thread

    >> I wonder why the Outlander team went to the low percentage split - is it for the mom shopping in the snow covered parking lot? I understand the small saving possible in fuel usage with the selector switch

    Well, after all the Outlander is not a real SUV, it's a crossover. Besides as a consumer I'd like to have a choice running in 2WD, 4WD auto or 4WD Lock, so I like the Outlander AWD system better then Subaru full-time AWD. There is quite significant difference in gas mileage in normal road conditions between 4WD auto and 4WD lock. The 2WD mode could be handy when you are running out of gas and every drop of gas is very valuable. The 4WD Auto gives me best of both: lower gas mileage and availability of all wheel torque for sudden change in road conditions.
  • 20vcq20vcq Member Posts: 82
    Thanks for that link etc - the mitsubishi.ca web site that I some how get defaulted to has non of that info available - yet. So after a quick read I see why the selection of the multi choice when tied to the asc and the variable torque control. And I happily retract the "superior to coments" heretofore written by yours truly.:) Snow - bring on the damn snow ..!
  • chelentanochelentano Member Posts: 634
    >> Here are some videos of the Outlander in the snow, showing the performance in 2WD, 4WD, 4W Lock with and without ASC on. Brush up on your Japanese!

    This is quite impressive video.

    Here is another one, of course it's not the Outlander,
    but it's fun to watch: Pagero Evo Dakar video:
  • chelentanochelentano Member Posts: 634
    >> Snow - bring on the damn snow ..!

    We had that snow in Chicago yesterday :) The Outlander traction was excellent even when I was speeding making turns. Also no skid when braking. My wife was scared of bad road conditions but after I explaned her the safety aspect of AWD she appreciated the new car much more. I felt very confident and safe.

    What I miss is heated mirrors. You Canadians lucky to have them on Outlander. I've heard the wiring is there on US models, so I guess there is a way to activate them.
  • 20vcq20vcq Member Posts: 82
    I have now recorded 4000 km on snow and ice roads (4 studded BFG 225 snow tires)and can without hesitation say this Mitsu awd system is at best - your grandmothers' awd. Given some specific attempts at finding its limits I now better understand how the braking and logic systems kick in to "save your bacon". Only trouble is you can actually end up with you foot planted on the floor and the engine slowing down and the car coming to an eratic stop. One example is a switch back corner snow and packed snow and some ice under than - the car maintains a straight line, wheels turned, brakes apply automatically to stabilize motion - hit the gas to draw the car through the turn and the engine rpm drops and the car gently putters around the corner. Nice but in the mean time three cars pass on the inside (yes we were testing this out in a safe manner) The A4 accellerated away in EVERY corner even an old Toyota pulled away. Tried it again with the stability control off and the car is useless - like a rear wheel drive pony car with traction. So to go back to my original statement the Audi and Subaru systems are far superior mechanical / electronic controle systems. They alow the driver to direct the cars operation and direction and also have te Mercedes designed stability control in some new models but the Mitsu reverse use of the anti lock brake system to control wheel travel and direction is only adequate and very little fun.
    Still like the vehicle overall - the paint chipping and this old lady approach to traction take the shine off.
  • growwisegrowwise Member Posts: 296
    Last february, I remember ASC kicked in for me and cut the power. This was while I was trying to change lanes and there was heavy snow between the lanes. While I appreciate it, what made it scary was that the vehicle suddenly slowed down in the highway and it is unnerving at first. Last thing you want is someone to rear end you and in those slippering conditions it is a distinct possibility.
  • chelentanochelentano Member Posts: 634
    Interesting description of

    Immediate torque is available for the rear wheels with a 50:50 split between the front and rear axles. The superior traction is specially useful for gravel paths, towing and driving on slippery and snowy roads."

    on Mitsu UK site: http://www.mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/newoutlander/4wd.asp
  • jillb2jillb2 Member Posts: 8
    Extract from LS Manual, 2007 model ZG Outlander:

    Climbing /descending sharp grades
    " It is particularly important to note that 4-wheel drive may not give sufficient hill climbing ability and engine braking on steep slopes.

    Avoid using on steep slopes even though the vehicle is 4-wheel drive vehicle".

    Hell! Why bother with 4 WD at all if it is no good on steep hills. Why is it no good on steep inclines? I would have thought that the improved traction to all wheels in 4WD mode would make it ideal for climbing hills and also for acceleration. Where is my thinking going wrong?

    one confused Jill.
  • biscuit_xlsbiscuit_xls Member Posts: 194
    It's just a disclaimer that says even AWD won't allow you to safely climp a verticle grade or descend a steep icy slope. Same thing holds true for things like ABS, it can't stop a collision in some situations.
  • jillb2jillb2 Member Posts: 8
    Will the 4WD mode give me improved acceleration from :

    1. a standing start, and also
    2. when overtaking vehicles on the open road, when accelerating from 100km/hr to 130km/hr to overtake B-double road trains with short overtaking lanes that we have?

    If so, should I use "4WD auto" or "4WD lock" in each case?

  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes Member Posts: 1,019
    I personally never use the 4WD Lock unless I'm in heavy snow or ice conditions.

    4WD Auto will definitely help in accelerating from a stop, especially in rain, gravel or other low traction situations. I'm not sure it will help in a higher speed pass, maybe the power going to all wheels will help keep the car stable?

    I always use 4WD Auto in the rain.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • piastpiast Member Posts: 269
    Because it is AWD system, not 4WD system. Real 4WD system has High and LOW 4X4 transfer case build with climbing rocks in mind. Such equipped "old school" SUV, build on frame, would go almost anywhere. Modern day CUVs, being unibody, will not.
    Outlander advantage is you can still lock 4WD, but primary for on rood slippery or snowy condition. Other CUVs system are "on demand, they switch to AWD when slippage is already detected. Another exception would be Subarus with permanent AWD.
  • jillb2jillb2 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2007 Outie, generally very pleased with it., esp with 4WD on the rough mountain roads inland in NQ.

    Does anyone know of a kit that will allow me to replace the terrible standard thin spare wheel with a full size wheel under the body at the rear?


    PS this is a 4 cylinder auto and I get 11.3 litres/100km in long distance driving betwen Cairns and Mackay on Highway 1 ( bitumen) and 13.0 l/100km in town. I try to keep the revs to 2200 rpm for max economy. It has CVT transmissioon, and has done 25,000 km
  • batman47batman47 Member Posts: 606
    Tire size and 4WD/AWD

    I bought an Outlander 2008 V6 XLS with 18” rims. Now I am in Panama (Central America) and had a 2” cut on the side of my rear tire. After 2-weeks of looking for a stock tire (225/55R18) it was not possible to get stock tires for my Outlander. The closes size tires was 235/55R18 (RAV V6 Stock) so I had to buy 2-tires (In Panama used tires are sold as they were new) to put them on the rear.

    My question is perhaps for a tire specialist but I trust that someone in this forum may help to find out that changing the original tires from my Outlander will not screw up my differential or transmission.

    These are the data:

    "This ALTERNATE tire size will cause the 'Actual Vehicle Speed' to be 66.015 mph when the speedometer reads exactly 65mph. Or, when the 'Actual Vehicle Speed' is 65mph the speedometer will now read 64.001

    Also, the ground clearance of the vehicle will change by 0.217 inches."

    Wheel circumference in inches 87.161 (stock)
    Wheel circumference in inches 88.521 (replacement)

    I have only changed the 2-rear tires. The front still had the original tires, i.e. 225/55R18.

    I will appreciate someone could give some comments or advise in this matter. I usually switch on the 4WD Auto when it is raining.
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