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Next-Generation Mitsubishi Outlander Brings Some Of The Biggest New Ideas…

Next-Generation Mitsubishi Outlander Brings Some Of The Biggest New Ideas In Flexibility To The Compact Sport-Utility Vehicle Segment

2008 Mitsubishi OutlanderThe next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander, introduced for the 2007 model year, melds bold, sporty design with impressive room and utility. The Outlander offers 5- or 7-seat flexibility, clever cargo area packaging and the segment’s first flap-fold tailgate.

The new Outlander debuted a new Mitsubishi design language that conveys the performance-oriented essence of the brand. Clean, sharp lines, featuring a “diamond cut” front end and boldly sculpted fender flares, evoke the athleticism of a sport sedan and the sophistication of a premium SUV. The LED tail lamp clusters give the rear of the vehicle a distinctive appearance.

Responding to changing customer demands, the compact sport-utility segment is evolving with larger vehicles, though these are still appreciably smaller and more nimble than mid-size entries. The compact SUV segment demands vehicles that offer ample room and comfort for five passengers, with the appeal of an optional third-row seat expected to grow.

Room for Five or Seven
The next-generation Outlander is built on a 105.1-in. wheelbase that enables generous second-row legroom. A wide track, in addition to aiding in vehicle stability, also helps to increase hiproom. Careful attention to packaging the multi-link rear suspension, the fuel tank and spare tire enabled Mitsubishi to give the Outlander a lower cargo floor (23.6 in.) than in most competitors. Step-in is easy and car-like, yet Outlander provides a generous 8.5 inches of minimum ground clearance, which is more than most competitors.

The 2008 Outlander offers ample room for five, or seven with an underfloor-stowable compact third row seat (XLS models) that folds flat into the floor when not needed. Five-seat models feature an under-floor storage compartment. The second-row seat features both a 60/40 split seatback and a 60/40 split seat cushion to balance customers’ needs for utility, passenger room and comfort.

Seats to Make A Sport Sedan Jealous
The Outlander’s sporty design DNA is carried inside, where the deeply contoured front bucket seats and motorcycle-style instrument panel gauges suggest “sports car” more than sport-utility. All models feature as standard premium fabric seats that combine a suede-style knit and sporty mesh. The 2008 models gain redesigned interior door panels with cloth inserts for 2008, with new chrome door handles for XLS. The Outlander XLS models offer an optional luxury package that features high-quality leather seating and heated front seats.

Seats in the new Outlander were designed to provide improved comfort, especially for long-distance drives (or sitting in traffic for long periods). In ES and LS models, the driver’s seat features an easy-to-use pump-type height adjuster. The adjuster raises the whole seat cushion, not just the front or back, through a generous 1.8-in. range. .

Given the Outlander’s handling capability, Mitsubishi used front seats that are more like those in a sport sedan than an SUV. The seats’ substantial bolstering gives the driver and front passenger the feeling of sitting in the seats rather than on them. The combination of the Outlander’s flat cornering performance and the sporty, comfortable seats help eliminate the top-heavy feel that even some car-based compact SUVs can exhibit.

The five-passenger Outlander models offer 39.6 in. of legroom, which is comparable to some larger SUVs and sedans. The seven-passenger Outlander XLS models provide 36.8 in. of second-row legroom. The second-row seat cushions in three-row models independently offer a 3.15-in. fore/aft slide range to enable optimizing passenger room or cargo room as needed. In addition, the seatbacks also recline independently, allowing second-row passengers to tailor their own comfort.

What the passengers can’t see helps reduce what they hear. Strategic use of sound insulation materials includes a soft material behind the dash panel and inside the floor console. Blown foam is used as floor spacer material over a broad area, not just at seat mounts, resulting in a flatter, more uniform floor surface. With its hollow core, the material is lightweight, absorbs noise and serves as heat insulation, as well. The carpeting features a molded one-piece base material and non-phenol felt to seal snugly to the floor. Rear fender wells contain acoustic splash shields, and an outer panel stiffener is used in the cargo area floor.

Cargo Versatility
To expand cargo capacity and provide a flat load floor, the second-row seat backs fold forward and then the seats can be tumbled forward into the foot wells. Operation is easy – lower the headrests (no need to remove them), and then the seat will fold, slide and tumble forward in one easy motion.

The second row seat incorporates a “why doesn’t everybody do that?” feature: when returning stowed seats to the seating position, releasing the tumble locks activates two small lamps on the seat bottoms, illuminating the area behind the interior to aid operation in the dark or to light an exit path for third-row passengers. The lights turn off after 10 seconds.

The second row outer seats are fitted with the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), with anchors on the seats rather than the body, enabling the customer to slide the second-row seat holding the child seat to the preferred position.

On third-row models, the third-row seat easily unfolds from the cargo floor: the seatback is raised first, then the headrests, followed by folding down the seat cushion. The thin profile of the third-row seat enables under-floor stowage without the seat protruding into the cargo area.

The Outlander carries its spare tire underneath the vehicle, a location that aids weight distribution, and therefore handling.

Expansive Inner Space
Overall cargo volume behind the front seats measures 72.6 cu. ft.. With the second row seats up, cargo room measures 39.0 cu. ft., and 13.0 cu. ft. behind the third row seats on XLS models.

The Outlander will carry two bicycles inside with their front wheels removed. Rear utility bars (XLS) built into the cargo area side walls, and four tie-down hooks, make it easy to secure large items or bicycles. The utility bars can serve as assist grips when passengers are using the compact third-row seat.

Unique Flap-Fold Tailgate
Taking advantage of the low 23.6-in. load floor inspired the segment’s first flap-fold rear tailgate.

With the Outlander’s unique flap-fold tailgate, many customers will find it easy to load packages just by opening the larger upper section. With the upper section open, the smaller bottom section then lowers with the push of a small lever, and packages can be more easily lifted to the cargo floor. As the bottom section of the tailgate is lowered, an integral flap slides into place, providing a flat, uninterrupted surface on which it is easy to slide packages into the cargo area.

As an additional benefit, when lowered, the flap-fold tailgate can also function as a seat for outdoor activities, with a generous 440-lbs. capacity. The 2008 Outlander 4WD V-6 models can tow a trailer up to 3,500 lbs. with the available towing package.

No Space Left Unused
The Outlander interior also provides numerous storage spaces and features. Starting up front, a dashboard center storage compartment opens with a push of its lid and will hold small items. The large, two-tier glove box is illuminated and lockable and features a card and pen holder in the lower tier.

The center console is a study in versatility. Its integral armrest features soft padding and, in LS and XLS models, can slide 2.5 inches fore/aft to adjust for optimal comfort. Lifting the armrest reveals a tray to hold a cell phone or other small items.

A larger compartment under the console tray can hold up to 10 CDs and also houses a 12V accessory power socket, with a slot in the tray and armrest providing a pass-through for a power cable. Finally, the underside of the armrest integrates a pocket tissue holder.

Front and rear doors all feature integrated bottle holders that will hold 16-oz. bottles. The center console provides two more cup holders, and there is a slide-out cup holder on each side of the dashboard. A fold-down armrest in the second-row seats features integrated bottle holders.

There is a small storage compartment at the top of each wheelhouse, plus a hidden compartment in the right side wall that also houses a 12V accessory power socket.

Body Smarts
Studying real-world compact SUV usage convinced Mitsubishi to take steps to reduce the cost of repairing minor body damage. For example, the front bumper covers were divided into several parts in areas that are likely to be scratched or scraped, and painted in base colors.

In front, the lower bumper fascia parts can be replaced without removing the rest of the bumper. The bumper extension can be replaced by itself if damaged, and all the lower parts use a color that helps to conceal small scratches.

The rear bumper is likewise a multi-piece design, with side pieces that can be replaced independently of the others. The rocker panel cover also uses colors that can help hide small scratches.

Quality in the Small Details
It’s not enough to have great traction in poor weather or road conditions – you have to be able to see where you’re going. The Outlander helps provide a clear view in rainy conditions with aero-blade windshield wipers that use oncoming air to evenly distribute contact pressure along the blade. The wiper motor is upgraded over the previous model to provide 40 percent greater torque, improving wiper performance in snow.

Equipment Levels
Generous standard equipment in Outlander ES includes: Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC); air conditioning; cabin air filter; ambient lighting monitor; cruise control; power windows, locks and mirrors; engine immobilizer and anti-theft alarm system; keyless entry, and a powerful audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback capability and six speakers.

An optional Convenience Package for the Outlander ES adds a number of exterior and interior enhancements, including: color-keyed door handles and side view mirrors; roof rails; rear privacy glass; 16-inch alloy wheels; steering wheel remote audio switches; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; a driver’s seatback pocket; two additional 12-volt accessory outlets (one in cockpit, one in cargo area), and floor mats.

The manual climate controls are electronic for easy use and a high quality feel. Eight fan speeds give the customer more control than other manual systems generally offer. A standard clean air filter protects the interior of the HVAC unit from foreign items, (dry leaves, etc.), removes dust and pollen, and improves air quality in the cabin.

The Outlander LS model, in addition to stepping up to V-6 power, includes all of the ES standard and Convenience Package items, along with a Bluetooth® cell phone-ready pre-wire switch. The Bluetooth system itself is available as an accessory on both the ES and LS models.

Outlander XLS models add 18-inch alloy wheels; Sportronic® magnesium steering wheel shifter paddles; underfloor-stowable compact third row seat; automatic climate control system; hands-free Bluetooth® cellular phone interface system with voice recognition; fog lights, and cargo area utility bars.

The 2.4-liter Outlander Special Edition features even more standard equipment than the XLS V-6 models, adding the Rockford-Fosgate Premium Audio system as well as unique interior trim. Exclusive to the Outlander 2.4 SE are new interior door panel trim and chrome door handles, chrome-accented exterior door handles and side sills, mesh fabric seats with leather bolsters, and high-contrast instrument gauges. Some Outlander SE features will be available on other Outlander models for 2009.

The Sun and Sound option package for Outlander XLS includes a power glass sunroof and the Rockford-Fosgate audio system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The Luxury Package available for Outlander XLS adds leather seating surfaces (front and second rows), heated front seats, auto-leveling xenon HID headlamps and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Outlander XLS also offers an optional hard disc drive (HDD) navigation system with Diamond Lane Guidance and a music server function; this system is available as an accessory on the ES and LS models.

Premium Warranty
Mitsubishi cars and light trucks are backed by a comprehensive new-vehicle limited warranty that covers the vehicle from bumper to bumper for five years/60,000 miles. In addition, the powertrain is covered by a 10-year/100,000 mile limited warranty, while body panels have a seven-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty.

The program also includes 24-hour emergency roadside assistance with free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi retailer for warranty-related repairs for five years/unlimited miles.

Technical data, features, options and other equipment listed in this release are based on the latest information available at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice.

Source: Mitsubishi

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