Wednesday, June 3, 2009


MSRPs for the new 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander range from $19,990 up to $25,210. With comfortable seating capacity for seven and a better-than-class average warranty of 60 months or 60,000 miles, its offers prospective buyers an option to seriously consider. It comes in four trims and offers a choice of two engines: a 2.4L 168hp I4 and a 3.0L 220hp V6. People are bragging the 2.4L up because it pleases the efficiency-conscious by yielding 20/25 mpg city/highway and still produces appreciable power.
With the smaller engine choice comes a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) that also acts to enhance fuel economy. The larger 3.0L engine is mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission and an optional innovative 4WD system as well. Though, it is designed more for pavement driving than for off-road scenarios. The fold-down third row of seating maximizes cargo space and all models come with a nice array of standard safety features including 4-wheel independent suspension. Fully-loaded models come with dual automatic climate control; seats trimmed in leather; keyless entry and even a compact 3rd-row entertainment system that features a 9-inch LCD screen with wireless remote and headphones. The 2.4L engine models have a tow rating of 1500 pounds while the 3.0L models can tow up to 2000 pounds. When the larger engine is combined with the 4WD system, towing rates increase to 3500 pounds due to the larger stock radiator. Standard safety features include seat mounted front airbags, side impacts bags, roof mounted side curtain bags, head restraints, mandated frontal bags and child safety anchored seats. Active safety features include ABS braking, electronic brake force distribution (EBD), electronic stability and traction control systems, and tire pressure monitoring systems. The upscale interior is very pleasing. It features restyled door panels and tightened gaps. Classy metallic trim and a more compact control console accentuate the entire cabin. The new look is more refined and graceful than the previous models. The cabin has also been quieted and made to come off as more mature in all respects. Competition for the Mitsubishi Outlander comes from the Mazda CX-7, the Honda CR-V, the Chevy Equinox and the Ford Escape. Good value, impressive fuel economy, an extended standard warranty, a nice list of both standard and optional features and an elegant interior design are the highlights for the 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander. It's definitely worth your consideration.


With more standard features than the 2008 models, the 2009 Chrysler Sebring continues to improve its reputation. It is a solid competitor in the midsized car class and makes itself felt by offering bolder, more unique features than its competitors. There are 7 trims available: 4 sedan models and 3 convertibles. The convertibles are offered with your choice of a cloth soft top, a vinyl soft top or a retractable hardtop. You may also select from one of three available engine choices: a 2.4L 173hp V4; a 2.7L 189hp V6 or a 3.5L 235hp V6. For the 2.4 and 2.7 liter engines, you will have a 4-speed automatic transmission mated to them. The 3.5L gets a 6-speed auto.
Fuel economy ratings for the base 173 hp engine stand at 21/30 mpg city/highway - the 2nd highest in its class of close competitors only after the Audi A4 which carries a significantly higher base price (over $10,000 more). Speaking of pricing, the Chrysler Sebring costs less than all other competitors which include the Acura TSX, BMW 328 and the Buick LaCrosse as well. Fuel tank volume is 16.9 gallons, unchanged since the 2007 models. Convertible trims are called LX, Touring and the Limited while sedan trims are labeled only Limited and Touring as the LX sedan has been discontinued for the 2009 model year. All trims feature standard safety features including 4-wheel anti-lock braking, frontal, side and curtain-style airbags as well as tire pressure monitoring systems. There are loads of optional safety features as well. Since 2007, the Sebring has taken quite a bit of criticism, but you must remember which autos it stands against. Reviews and customer satisfaction ratings have been marginal and Chrysler has promised that the 2009 model will be more pleasing. One of the most outstanding design changes is that the hood is now smoothed whereas before it had an unseemly "ribbed" finish to it. Chrysler engineers report that the other changes made will enhance the aerodynamics of the Sebring and thereby fuel economy - always a major concern these days. Some of the reported enhancements for the Touring model include an eight-way adjustable driver's seat, a shifter finished with chrome and leather and standard traction and stability control systems. Chrysler has also promised several changes to the interior of all trims for the 2009 model year. On a downside, the Chrysler Sebring offers the class-worst standard warranty at 36-month/36,000 miles while all others mentioned here offer coverage for 48-months or 50,000 miles. Chrysler maintains a solid reputation for taking chances that others do not. Their bold engineering standards are appreciated by many and the company continues to thrive overall. The Sebring faces some stiff competition, but continues to gain ground. At significantly lower MSRPs than its competition, the 2009 Chrysler Sebring is definitely worth consideration. The best advice, as always, is to schedule a weekend test drive with a new Sebring and see how it makes you feel. You may find that the monetary savings are well worth the sacrifices of the Audi/BMW-type reputation.