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The new Outlander is a pretty impressive car, whether you are considering it from a tech perspective or just as everyday, practical transportation.
The front design, with its dual honeycomb grilles, suggests more performance than the Outlander actually has, although the car does have decent acceleration.
We were particularly impressed with the Outlander's 3-liter MIVEC V-6, which puts out 220 horsepower, gets around 21mpg, and has extremely low emissions, earning a SULEV II rating.
The Outlander has a fairly sporty look, but it doesn't particularly distinguish itself from the pack of small SUVs available. But the large wheel wells suggest bigger wheels could be installed, increasing ground clearance.
The Outlander gets one of the more interesting rear designs we've seen in a small SUV, with a nice expanse of rear window leading down to the tail lights.
LED tail lights are a nice, high-tech touch.
The third row seat folds neatly into the cargo area floor, but its padding is very thin, making it uncomfortable.
The 10 inch subwoofer in the cargo area comes as part of the 650 watt Rockford Fosgate stereo upgrade.
The dashboard materials and finish is what we would expect for a small SUV in this price range.
A smart key is a nice addition to the Outlander's tech arsenal.
The buttons on the steering wheel are nicely integrated into the spokes.
One particularly nice feature is standard Bluetooth cell phone integration, although the system can't access your cell phone's phone book.
The display between the speedo and tach can show a wide variety of information, including fuel economy and range.
The Outlander uses a six speed automatic, which helps it get good mileage on the freeway. Paddle shifters let you control the manual gear selection mode.
This dial lets you easily take the Outlander through its different drive modes.
The CD player handles MP3 CDs as a standard feature. You can upgrade to a six CD changer that also handles MP3 CDs. If you get the navigation option, you can't have the CD changer.
The Rockford Fosgate sound system includes four sound field settings for Normal, Stage, Live, and Hall.
Sirius satellite radio comes with the upgraded stereo, plus you get a six month introductory subscription.
The display cuts off ID3 tags after only a few characters, but with the navigation option the display would show more information.
An auxiliary audio jack is present, but is placed at the back of the console, facing the rear seats.