What a difference a year makes. It was February, 2010 that we received a record snowfall here in North Texas and almost one year later we get socked in with ice and sleet just as teams arrive here for the big football game. I hope they feel right at home. For me, I am just thankful that this time around for the frozen weather I can actually get out of my driveway. No roadsters or performance cars this year, no sir – sitting in the front drive is the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander GT with Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) complete with – Ta Da! – snow mode.
While trying to remember to not get too confident in my inclement weather driving skills I twist the S-AWC knob to Snow setting and away we go, fueling up at Whataburger and then zip around the empty high school parking lot alternating between the S-AWC driving modes of Tarmac, Snow and Lock. Each worked fine but Snow mode retarded the accelerator input a bit allowing for added control on the slick stuff. Super All-Wheel Control for Super Bowl week. Coincidence?
The loaded GT tester we received featured full leather interior (including HEATED seats) along with navigation and Rockford Fosgate audio upgrades. There is a third row seat that folds flat into the rear cargo floor, which is exactly where I kept it, allowing for second row passengers to slide the seats back for impressive legroom.
Mitsubishi places a generous 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on the powertrain that features a 230hp 3.0-liter V-6 backed by six-speed automatic transmission that includes steering wheel mounted sportronic paddle shifters. The Outlander GT S-AWC also includes active front differential, hill start assist and active stability control with traction control logic.
Perhaps the best news for 2011 is that the GT model sees a base price reduction – of nearly $1,700 over last year. Base MSRP is now $27,795 and fuel economy is rated for 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. Our loaded tester came in at just over 33 grand.
All of the latest safety equipment is there as well including side impact airbags, side curtain airbags, active front seat headrests, ABS, stability control and tire pressure monitoring system.
Aside from the Lancer Evolution I had not driven a Mitsubishi vehicle in quite some time – since the first introduction of the Outlander crossover I believe. The vehicle is well-built, features a smooth powerful powertrain and offers a host of amenities making it worthy of consideration. And don’t forget the lengthy warranty. Styling may appear to be an assimilation of several brands currently on the market but it is still fresh.
If the ground hog can defrost its way out its burrow tomorrow I hope it will bring news of a swift end to Old Man Winter’s stay. I am just glad I have a vehicle capable of dealing with the news our furry little friend brings, good or bad.