Two Japanese car models are terrific rivals in the market today. These are the 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4WD whose price is $28,815 and the 2007 Toyota RAV4 4×4 whose price is $23,574.
According to the news, the redesigned 2007 Outlander is a make-or-break product for troubled Japanese automaker Mitsubishi. The midsize crossover vehicle hits the U.S. market with new competitors Mazda CX-7 and Ford Edge.
But one of the most potent rivals of the Outlander is the Toyota RAV4, which was redesigned last year.
Both offer optional third-row seating and can be ordered in either front- or four-wheel drive.
In comparison with Toyota RAV4, the Outlander’s exterior is refined and larger in size. The exterior shape looks fresh modern, and stylish. On the tail, the rear three-quarter view is generic and clunky, with massive rear pillars and a narrow rear window that tends to restrict vision.
Toyota offers a much more contemporary shape in the RAV4, far more stylish than the Outlander. This is quite an accomplishment for Toyota, considering the previous RAV was one of the original “cute utes,” while the latest iteration is considerably larger and more grown up.
Inside the cabin, both cars have excessive fake-metal gray plastic. But Mitsubishi’s instrument panel is a mixture of mismatched parts and materials that according to a press release is “a virtual jigsaw puzzle that cheapens the overall ambience of the cabin”.
The Outlander, with its $1,600 luxury package, has leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power driver’s seat, while the RAV4 makes do with manual, cloth-covered chairs.
The RAV4 has two rows of seats. The second row ca be reclined and be adjusted for additional leg space, and the split folding seatbacks flip down at the pull of a lever on either side of the cargo bay. There is an ample under floor storage bin in the rear.
The RAV4’s controls and displays are simple and easy to comprehend. Materials are of high quality, although some pieces do not fit as snugly as people come to expect from Toyota.
The Outlander’s front seats are comfy and supportive. There is less space in the second row, and there have no many amenities for occupants back there. The rear center armrest lacks a pull strap, and while the tiny third-row folds neatly into the floor that it looks cheap and flimsy and is a chore to use.
The Outlander has some nice touches, including steering-wheel controls and simple rotary dials for the HVAC controls. But there are some questionable designs and engineering choices, too. For instance, the switches for the heated seats are stuffed between the inner seat edges and the center console.
When it comes to safety, both vehicles come fully configured in terms of occupant safety systems with standard antilock brakes, traction and stability control, side air bags for front-seat occupants, and side curtains for the first and second rows.
Next: the power train. Even the base Outlander comes with a standard overhead-cam 3.0-liter V-6, there is no four-cylinder version. The RAV4, in comparison, is equipped with a standard twin-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with a DOHC 3.5-liter V-6, which is available as an option.
The Outlander has the V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission, while the four-cylinder RAV4 comes with a four-speed automatic. The Mitsubishi V-6 is rated at 220 horsepower, and the EPA fuel-economy numbers are not too shabby, at 19 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 on the highway.
The RAV4’s base configuration is rated by the EPA at 23 in the city and 27 on the highway. The optional V-6 is considerably more potent than the one in the Outlander, delivering a whopping 269 horsepower; it comes with a five-speed automatic.
Both cars display the supple car-like ride that is typical among crossovers. The Outlander rides on 18-inch wheels and tires, while the RAV4 comes with optional 17-inch wheels and tires. Further comparison by car enthusiasts between the Mitsubishi and the Toyota outer tie rod end is also needed to comprehend which steering control is safer on the road.
Both cars are relatively easy to maneuver and park, and while they don’t exactly feel like sports cars, they are fairly nimble and responsive.