I’m very happy with my stupidly modified BMW 335xi coupe. But sometimes I can’t help but think about going back to two vehicles like I used to have when I drove both a BMW 135is and a Hemi WK Grand Cherokee, which I got because I am obsessed with limited slip differentials. Enter: the Mitsubishi Outlander GT!
It’s still not very practical for me to have 2 vehicles, because my wife and I have a little townhouse with a 1-car garage and we alternate weeks of who gets to use the garage. That’s why I got down to 1 car in the first place. But sometimes, like when I’m once again crashing over the shittily-maintained road leading up to my office in my lowered BMW, I think, “you know, it would be nice to have a more comfortable vehicle to complement a fun car.”
Which brings us to the Outlander GT. If I went back to a dedicated winter vehicle, I’d want as much capability as possible. But the reality is I’m not an off-roader, and I want half decent mileage, so I’d probably be best served by a crossover as long as it has something an above-average awd system.
When the Outlander GT first came out, it was often mistakenly referred to as having the same awd system as the Lancer Evolution. It doesn’t. But it does have a system that’s nonetheless interesting.
This diagram is of the current 2016 Outlander’s awd system but the only difference with the 2010-12 Outlander GT is it lacks the ECO mode which limits it to fwd, and I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have electric power steering.
BUT it does have an electronically-controlled center differential that varies the torque split on the fly, an electronically-controlled front differential, and brake-based torque vectoring on the rear differential. It has a snow mode that tweaks the parameters of how the system behaves, and can be locked in a 50/50 split for sticky situations.
Basically, this would be more than capable for my needs, especially when paired with snow tires. Because hey, if it can kick up sand with all 4 wheels, you know it has to be good.
That’s some high quality off-roadiness!
The Outlander GT also has a halfway decent 230 hp V6 that’s at least not a wheezy 4-banger. It technically requires premium but is generally fine without it.
You also get a comically bad 3rd row jumpseat that is literally a piece of cloth stretched over a metal frame, and idiotic plastic flip-up headrests. It only gains anything resembling 3rd row leg room if you slide the 2nd row seat forward.
On the plus side, it has a generally un-fussy interior that classes up a basic plastic dashboard by covering it in stitched vinyl, giant magnesium paddle shifters for all the flappy-paddle shifting you’re likely to do in a 230 hp crossover, a stupid looking Rockford Fosgate subwoofer integrated into the trunk, and this cool tailgate that drops down for you to sit on.
There’s really nothing special about the Outlander GT at all besides its front differential, but I kinda love it for that differential all the same. It would certainly get a lot better mileage than the silly 11 mpg I got in my old Grand Cherokee and overall I think it would be a much more reasonable all-weather practical complement to some other stupid car, if I were to get a hypothetical stupid car. You can find nice lower mileage examples for $12k or less. That leaves plenty of money to get some stupid project car.
Honey, can I go get 2 cars again?