The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC: 25+mpg and space for 7

The diminutive Mitsubishi lineup offers two sport utility vehicles that share the same name and recently, I had a chance to spend a week behind the wheel of the roomy 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC - the larger of the two company SUVs packing seating for seven and realistic fuel economy of 25mpg on the open road.

My 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC test vehicle was equipped with the 3.0L V6 engine and a 6 speed Sportronic automatic transmission mated to Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system. The GT trimline of the Outlander is the top of the line option and with my test vehicle being equipped with both the Touring Package and the Navigation with Rearview Camera Package, there is little that can be wanted inside and out.

The Exterior
The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC shares similar front end styling to that found on the smaller Sport model that shares the Outlander name; although the full sized Outlander has a slightly bolder design to fit the larger lines. Across the front end, the Outlander has the familiar grille treatment that is common among the Mitsubishi lineup with angular, angry looking headlights mounted just outside of the grille area and pointing inward. Unlike the Sport that has a body colored center bar running across the grille, the Outlander GT uses a matte black center bar that smoothly connects the upper and lower grille openings. That matte black look is echoed along the bottom of the front fascia while the front end is accented with silver on the lower fascia, around the fog lights and trimming the grille. The front end is as aggressive as you would expect from the modern Mitsubishi lineup, presenting a sporty look but the touch of chrome here and there gives it a more upscale feel.

Along the side, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC has a more upright feel than the smaller Outlander Sport with a flatter, longer roofline that affords everyone inside gobs of headroom. The accentuated wheel openings with rounded edges give the Outlander a muscular feel while a chrome strip running along the lower edge of the side glass angles upward to create a “fast” look. The B and C pillars are both finished in matte black which blends in with the darkened glass to add to the sporty feel that is punctuated by the lower chrome trim strip running along the back most glass up towards the roof. Body colored side mirrors and door handles give the vehicle a seamless look while the black and chrome lower side sill follow suit with the front end, adding attitude and class.

Out back, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC has a massive rear window that is tinted dark enough to make it look almost solid from the outside while still proving tons of visibility out the back window for the driver. Above that dark rear glass is a low profile spoiler that improves the look and aero properties of the roomy sport ute while the dark lower fascia area has an upward angle that fits with the angular design of the rest of the vehicle. One of the most distinct styling features of the 2012 Outlander is the large LED taillights which do not use a red lens design so when the lights are not illuminated; they appear to be grey and clear. However, when the brakes are applied, the many LEDs mounted in the upper grey panel light up bright red – all of which creates a great looking lighting design.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC is a 7 passenger vehicle that doesn’t look that big from the outside but the long, high roofline offers a sleek look and tons of interior space. Where other 7 passenger SUVs look big and bulky, the Outlander GT has a design that makes it look like a smaller SUV so for those people who don’t want to drive a “big vehicle” but they still want a roomy vehicle – the Outlander delivers.

The Interior
The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC is a 7 passenger vehicle with tons of room for the front and second row of seating. While there is a third row that conveniently tucks into the rear cargo space floor that offers seating for two extra bodies, those bodies are going to have to be fairly small. The third row is ideal for kids as the short distance from the third row seats to the floor caters more to someone with shorter legs. However, the driver and front passenger seat along with the entire second row offers plenty of space for 6 foot tall adults. I can safely say that the Outlander will comfortably seat 6 children and an adult driver so for a mom or dad carpooling to kindergarten, this would be an idea vehicle. However, I wasn’t doing any carpooling so with my wife and son in the vehicle, there was no need for the third row of seats.

The beautiful part of the Outlander’s rear seating is that it folds into the floor in such a way that it doesn’t get in the way of rear cargo space. When the back seat is folded down, you cannot even tell that it is there and in this large rear cargo area, the Outlander really differentiates itself from the smaller Outlander Sport. The tall rear roofline offers both a high ceiling for cargo along with a massive rear door opening so not only can you put a great deal of cargo in the back – you can put very large single objects. Also, if you need even more space the second row of seats will fold forward to make for a cargo area as big as your average half ton pickup with just the pull of a couple loops mounted in the back of the rear seats.


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