What it is
Now would be a good time to introduce a competitive model that buyers want, like a 220-horsepower SUV with seating for up to seven passengers and enough advanced electronics to keep the driver and his co-horts entertained for endless roadtrip miles. For kicks and giggles, toss in an optional four-wheel-drive system that puts grip to all four tires with the simple turn of a knob. Finally, give it an adventurous, outdoorsy name that’ll make shoppers dream of off-roading, trips to the lake and mountains, and toting a kayak to remote rivers.
It’s the redesigned 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander, and it’s due to arrive during the latter half of 2006.
Why it matters
What’s under the hood
What we think
There’s much to like about this truck, including the booming Rockford Fosgate sound system, the V6’s added punch, fender flares that have skipped a cycle or two of steroid injections, and cool features like a touch-screen navigation system and paddle shifters. Six airbags help, too. But is it enough, especially for a brand that is fighting for recognition and grappling for every sale? It’s possible, though the one topic currently left off the table by Mitsubishi executives, price, will be a huge factor, as will results from the test drive. In the meantime, the Outlander appears ready to hold its own, provided there’s plenty of ongoing marketing to build awareness.
Photos by Ron Perry and Mitsubishi