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The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander gets a mild refresh heading into this year. For starters all Outlanders get a 7-inch touch screen, LED running lights and a rearview camera. Advanced safety features such as a Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Remote Power Tailgate have been added to the SEL trim. New to the lineup is the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid, which comes with all-wheel drive and can travel up to 22 miles on electricity alone. Both the front and rear fasciae receive subtle updates, with the most apparent being the presence of new LED running lights.
There are five different versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander for 2018: the ES, the SE, the SEL, the Hybrid and the GT. The GT is only available with an all-wheel drivetrain while all other trims can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive form.
Among 4-cylinder models, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is offered with two different engines: a 166-horsepower, 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, or a 224-hp, 3.0L V6. Four-cylinder models include a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while shifting in V6 models is handled by a conventional 6-speed automatic. If buyers want the V6, they should opt for the GT model.
The layout underneath the Outlander is like that of most crossovers in this class, with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link rear suspension. An electric power steering system helps provide good weighting and responsiveness and also reduces fuel consumption. EPA gas mileage ratings for the 4-cylinder models ranges up to 25 mpg city, 31 mpg highway.
The Outlander may not present as a hard-core off-roader, but it has enough toughness and ground clearance to get through loose, rocky trails and the occasional forest road. S-AWC models (with all-wheel drive) include an electronically controlled center coupling, with an open rear differential; the system is supplemented by an active front differential that helps get the torque split correct between front wheels--especially of help in low-traction situations like ice, snow and mud.
In all models, the second row can fit up to three, and it's 60/40 split, with the seatbacks folding forward for more cargo capability or reclining--and there are adjustments for sliding fore and aft as well. The third row can fit two, and it's split 50/50, with a fold-flat mechanism. With both rows folded, the Outlander has up to 128 cubic feet of cargo space.
Equipment included on base ES models of the 2018 Outlander includes automatic climate control, rear-seat heat ducts, remote keyless entry, heated side mirrors, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls and a 6-speaker sound system with 140 watts. Stepping up to the SE adds dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a passive-entry system and touch-screen audio with a USB port, Bluetooth and HD Radio. SEL trims add a power sunroof, power tailgate, a premium Rockford-Fosgate sound system and SiriusXM satellite radio.
Top of the line Outlander GT models come with rain-sensing wipers, standard multi-view camera and heated steering wheel, an 8-way power driver seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power liftgate and leather seat trim.
High-tech safety come standard on the SEL and GT which include adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and rain-sensing wipers.