CYPRESS, Calif. -- If the U.S. crossover market is a raucous party, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., with its slow-selling Outlander and Outlander Sport, is a wallflower. But the Japanese automaker hopes a fresh look will put its products closer to the action.
Today at the New York International Auto Show, Mitsubishi unveiled a heavily reworked 2016 Outlander with a racy black-and-chrome grille, plus a skid plate effect in the rear, and metallic body cladding beneath the door sills.
Mitsubishi plans to launch the 2016 Outlander in the United States this July, followed in November by an updated version of the smaller Outlander Sport.
The redesigned Outlander includes more than 100 changes, inside and out. For the interior of the reworked 2016 Outlander, Mitsubishi used more premium materials, such as softer leather with finer stitching and a thicker, more padded steering wheel.
Mitsubishi inserted sound-deadening materials into the doors, wheel wells and side mirrors and switched to thicker, acoustic windshield glass to silence road noise. Many of the metal joints now have props to prevent squeaks and rattles.
Though the Outlander’s engine and transmission choices carry over from the 2015 model, Mitsubishi reprogrammed its continuously variable transmission to be more reminiscent of an automatic gearbox -- a change that started with the 2015 Outlander Sport. It also retuned the suspension for a smoother ride.