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2009 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS: close, but no cigar (review)

While the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander's tech package is still at the head of its class and it still gives great performance at a great price point, the rough ride and cheap interior hold it back from greatness.

Mitsubishi Outlander interior
Corinne Schulze/CNET

Having just finished reviewing the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander, I find my interest piqued by two facts.

This first is that I missed an opportunity to work in a reference to the Outlander film--an epic space-monster-versus-Vikings movie.

Secondly, and most importantly, I'm surprised at how a few poorly executed elements can combine to spoil one's experience with a vehicle.

Rockford Fosgate Subwoofer
It's not often that you hear me call a stereo too powerful, but the Outlander's is. Corinne Schulze/CNET

At first, I was impressed by the Outlander's straight line acceleration and quick shifting automatic transmission. The leather steering wheel and magnesium paddle shifters felt good in my hands. I was even enjoying the firm suspension, and then the road got bumpy.

All at once, the too-firm-for-an-SUV suspension, hollow plastic interior panels, and boomy overpowered stereo created a perfect storm of rattles, buzzes, and creaks that made the Outlander feel cheap and, well, annoying.

The Outlander's powertrain and tech package (which includes an available hard-disk based navigation system) are impressive and the price is right, but ride and build quality keep us from wholeheartedly recommending the Outlander over the more expensive competition.

You know what they say, "you get what you pay for."

Check out the full 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS review for more pictures and details.