The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT -- the right car (at the right stage!)

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

One man's meat is another man's poison.
To each his own.
One man's trash is another man's treasure.

They all mean the same thing:  what's right for one person isn't right for everyone.  Everyone has different needs, different preferences, different lifestyles.  Take the Mitsubishi Outlander GT, for instance.  I test drove it last week, and there were lots of features that I liked, and lots of features that I didn't like.  Here's a rundown:

Best features:

Luxurious styling:  The Outlander has an aerodynamic body, slick wheels, leather everything.  It's beautiful to look at, inside and out.

Power.  Yes, sometimes I like to go fast.  Speed and power are great for overtaking slow idiots in the fast lane, and for getting to the end of a long car trip with 3 impatient kids.  When I'm feeling the need for speed, I like the V6 engine and 224 hp.  And when I'm feeling guilty about it, I like the Outlander's Eco mode.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Safety and assistance features: There are 2 features which I really love.  First, the Outlander's forward collision mitigation system can detect objects ahead of the car that might pose a collision risk (like a car that's braking too suddenly, a tree in the road, etc...).  The system warns the driver and if for some reason the driver doesn't apply the brakes, the system automatically applies brakes (first gently, then more firmly as the object draws nearer).  Second, the lane-departure warning system beeps if the driver strays across lanes (unless the driver has activated his right or left turn indicators).  I, ahem, have a tendency to stray across lanes, so it's a great reminder for me!  Both of these safety systems really give peace of mind.

Ease of use:  Gone are the days of asking the kids to look back to make sure it's okay to reverse.  Gone are the days of struggling with maps, or resisting the temptation to answer your phone when it rings.  Gone are the days of cursing the fact that you forgot to charge your phone.  The Outlander has a great rearview camera, kickass lights that light up even the sides, USB charging, smartphone connectivity, and all the things that make driving a pleasure, not a burden.

Worst features:

Seating space: The driver and passenger seats are roomy enough, but I found the second row seating surprisingly tight.  There is no way 3 adults can fit comfortably for a decent length of time.  There is hardly any leg room or width to spare! None of our 3 back seat passengers are big people -- The Pea is about 5' 5") and my two in-laws are both shorter -- but they were quite uncomfortable.  The middle seat is especially uncomfortable because your legs run into the center console.

3rd row seating: I was warned about the "snug" 3rd row seats, but I didn't realize how "snug" they were until 3Po and Jammy sat in them.  They are average-sized 10 year old boys, and they could barely fit.  Their knees hit the back of the 2nd row seat, so there's no way an adult could fit there. The 3rd row seat should definitely be reserved for carpools with your kids' friends!

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

Cargo space: The problem with carpools is, the more kids you have, the more stuff you have to fit inside the car.  And when the 3rd row seat of the Outlander GT is being used, cargo space is practically nonexistent.  There is barely enough space to fit in 2 big gym bags.  If the 3rd row seat is not in use, cargo space is decent -- but then my 3 kids would have to squish into the 2nd row seat.  I can image all the "Move over!" and "He's poking meeeeeee!!".

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

With all its space issues, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT is not the car I'd choose for my 5 person family (plus various relatives and friends who ride along with us!) at this point in time.  But does that mean I don't like it?  Heck, no!  One man's trash, one man's treasure, right?  It's all about different ages and stages!

IMHO, the Mitsubishi Outlander GT is a wonderful vehicle for young, carefree singles or couples who like to live fast and free, who don't like the impracticality of sportscars but love their speed.  It's great for people who love adventure, because it has the space to stow all the gear for their adventures, as well as the power to take their to those adventures.  The Outlander GT also transitions well into the next stage of life, i.e. starting a family -- but once the family grows to beyond two kids, or once the kids grow beyond the preschooler stage, it's time to graduate this car from the "family" car to the "second" car.  It will become the perfect car once again when your kid becomes a teenager:  with all those safety features, it's the perfect car to teach your teenager how to drive, and it's such a cool car, your teen will love driving it!

For more information about the Mitsubishi Outlander, check out Mitsubishi Motor's website.

Disclosure: I received a Mitsubishi Outlander GT to test drive for a week, courtesy of Drive STI . The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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