2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Review : Digital Dad #DriveMitsubishi

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I received a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL on loan to drive for a week, courtesy of Drive Shop and Mitsubishi. My thoughts follow. This post is also part of my family’s year of experiences

The timing on the loan of the Mitsubishi Outlander was nothing short of amazing. We had been planning (and looking forward to) our trip to Florida for over six months. When I was asked if I would want to test drive a vehicle for a week, I happily agreed (after pinching myself to double check it was me they were asking).

We drove down to Orlando to spend some time with my Mom and then drive on to our second stop in our vacation, Melbourne Beach. A few days after our arrival in Orlando, I got a thorough orientation to the 2016 Outlander SEL from Luis with DriveShop.

Mitsubishi Outlander instrument cluster and dashboard
Luis and I go over the many features of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL.

The Outlander SEL is loaded with features and technology that really help make driving more enjoyable. Some of the many features of our Outlander included:

  • Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Automatic Climate Control
  • Sunroof
  • Satellite Radio
  • Navigation
  • Leather seating surfaces
  • Power liftgate
  • FAST -Key (smart key) entry
  • One-touch Start/Stop engine switch
  • Navigation

After the orientation we hit the road to Melbourne Beach. This drive would be a great way to get to acquainted with the Outlander on Central Florida roads and Interstate 95.

A Florida driving tip: If you are going to do any amount of driving, I would recommend allocating some budget to a SunPass. Using the toll roads makes driving around the greater Orlando area fast and painless.

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Driving the Mitsubishi Outlander towards Melbourne Beach.
Photo by my daughter. :-)

First things first, I am a fairly tall (6’1″) dad and when I read that the Outlander was a CUV (compact utility vehicle), I was a little concerned about leg room as I own another, smaller CUV and it’s pretty confining. Like most guys, I like to “spread out” a bit while driving. As you can see in the picture above, there is plenty of room to drive comfortably. The leather seating surfaces and sunroof were also very nice touch.

The navigation/touch screen/climate control cluster in the center of the dash was easy to access. Steering wheel audio controls were especially helpful in keeping my attention on the road and managing the audio levels to an acceptable teenager and adult middle ground. Controls were all easy to access and adjust. The navigation system was a tad frustrating as it directed us on to slower moving, non-toll roads. Once I discovered this, it was easy to fallback on my knowledge of Orlando side streets and get on the nearest toll roads.

I loved the smart key and on/off switch. I’d not experienced this for myself and it was a great change. So, easy to use and no fiddling with keys. I really enjoyed this feature. One minor annoyance, the lane departure alert. It’s a great feature, but having to disable each time you get in the car was a little annoying.

The Outlander SEL is equipped with a SOHC 16 valve inline 4 cylinder on our vehicle and all trim levels except the GT-S where it is upgrade to a 3.0 V-6.

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On the road, acceleration from this inline 4 was very good for merging, acceleration and passing with hardly a complaint from the engine or, transmission. Road noises were very minimal with help from the 18″ tires and alloy wheels. The suspension felt surprisingly plush. Shifting, handled by the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), was flawless and barely noticeable during our week long driving experience.

Second row seating was great. The girls occupied the second row without any complaints all week. A memorable accomplishment that added to a week of relaxation and fun experiences.

The two girls seemed to really enjoy the second row seating during our week long driving experience.

To my surprise there is also a third row of seating available if needed. For our needs, cargo area was more the priority. With a week’s worth of clothing and other supplies the Outlander fell a little short in cargo area. So, we decided to share the load between the two vehicles.

Once we arrived in Melbourne Beach, a slice of heaven and memories to be made.


Exterior styling of the Outlander SEL was modern and up to date. My Wife especially liked the alloy wheels.


All in all a very capable CUV loaded with great tech, engine and style.

A view of the illuminated instrument panel of the Outlander SEL
Early morning drop-off and a view of the illuminated instrument panel of the Outlander SEL.

I was sad to have to leave the Outlander and Melbourne Beach behind. Great memories were made with both. We hope to have both in our life again in the future.


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