Verdict: 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

With most cars that come into our fleet, several features receive attention. With others, one particular element becomes the focus of just about everyone on staff. The Mitsubishi Outlander MITSUBISHI GT falls firmly into the latter category, with most of our year's worth of notes on the crossover focused on the shortcomings of the Rockford Fosgate-sourced infotainment system. A sampling:

"The Outlander's iPod integration leaves much to be desired."

"iPod integration is shameful. USB connection is erratic and unreliable."

"No rotary knobs at all. Does Mitsu really expect the user to push the Up/Down toggle, oh, 147 times to browse sat-radio channels?"

 "The dial works, everyone knows it, and because you can grip it makes it easier to deal with while driving (oh, yeah, driving...oops). Ditch the buttons."

"The touchscreen nav/audio interface needs to be purged and junked."

It's been a long time since the interface of a long-termer's infotainment system drew so much ire from our merry band of drivers.

Sure, the lack of a knob is annoying, but there were some positives about the system. First, it allows you to enter a destination with the car in motion. Second, MITSUBISHI I liked the way it showed traffic, using large color arrows in addition to the usual color-coded lines, though photography editor Julia LaPalme felt it was a visual mess.

 Once they got past these shortcomings, most staffers had a positively uneventful experience with the aggressively styled seven-seat crossover, though it's not certain if the third-row seats and their shin-crushing 27.7 inches of legroom were ever used. Multiple props went to its tailgate: "I love its split-folding tailgate, a la the Land Rover LR4. Not only does it make loading big objects a breeze, it also doubles as a baby-changing table," commented editor-at-large Ron Kiino.

Praise was also directed at the shifter paddles, with senior editor Jonny Lieberman the most vocal. "Best paddle shifters this side of Maserati," wrote the Loverman. "Big, crafted from magnesium, and mounted to the column; there are a whole lot of carmakers that could learn a thing (or three) from Mitsubishi about proper paddle shifters."


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