For the 2013 model year, Mitsubishi has added a number of features to its midsize Outlander crossover utility vehicle, available in front- or four-wheel drive configurations.

The Outlander is a capable crossover earning high marks for value, interior room and standard features.

With a base price starting below $23,000, the Outlander packs a lot of premium safety features and amenities into a very affordable 7-passenger utility vehicle (5-passenger seating in the ES trim level).

In terms of performance and handling, the Outlander is not a segment leader.

Capable and comfortable, yes. It’s big on bang for the buck.

But in comparison with other models in the segment, the Outlander is underpowered and it handles more like a full-size SUV than a mid-size crossover.

For 2013 (the Outlander is being completely redesigned for the 2014 model year), consumers have the option of ES, SE and GT trim levels.

ES and SE models are powered by a 2.4-liter I-4 engine delivering 168 horsepower and 167 lbs.-ft. torque.

Requiring regular unleaded gasoline and mated to a CVT Sportronic, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city, 28 mpg highway for front-wheel drive models (22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for four-wheel drive).

Outlander GT trim levels are powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 engine generating 230 horsepower and 215 lbs.-ft. torque.

Requiring premium unleaded gasoline and mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it has an EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway for front wheel drive (19/25 respectively for four-wheel drive).

New features for 2013 include:

• Heated outside mirrors on all models.

• FUSE hands-free link system on SE and GT models that allows users hands-free operation of the vehicle’s audio and navigation systems as well as Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

• SiriusXM Satellite Radio on GT trim levels.

• Heated front seats on SE and GT models.

• Numerous new option packages.

Standard safety features include advanced dual-stage front airbags with seat position sensors; side-impact curtain airbags for first and second row passengers; front seat thorax side airbags; tire pressure monitoring system; anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution; active stability control and traction control logic, to name but a few.

Standard features on the Outlander ES (base trim level) include auto off headlight control; air conditioning with micron filtration; heated side mirrors; 140-watt, 6-speaker audio system; intermittent rear window wiper/washer; tinted glass; power windows with auto up/down; power central door and tailgate locks; multi-information meter display; 60/40 rear split-fold/tumble seats.

The SE adds third row seat; heated front seats; upgrade instrument panel; audio system upgrade; fog lights; 18-inch alloy wheels; automatic climate control; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; FAST-Key passive entry and starting system; Sportronic paddle shifters on steering wheel; high-contrast gauge meters with full color display.

Again, the Outlander is a very capable utility.

Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 20 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association.

The Nuts and Bolts

MODEL:

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

5- or 7-seat midsize crossover utility vehicle

Front-, or four-wheel drive

Trim packages:

ES, SE, GT

PRICE RANGE:

$23,000-$35,000

ENGINE:

2.4L I4 (168 hp/167 T)

3.0L V6 (230 hp/215 T)

TRANSMISSION:

CVT

6-speed auto

EPA: 23/19 mpg city, 28/26 mpg highway (I4/V6 FWD)

FUEL: Regular unleaded for I4; premium unleaded for V6.

STABILITY CONTROL:

Active stability control with traction control

BRAKES: ABS

LENGTH: 183.7 inches

WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.

WIDTH: 70.9 inches

HEIGHT: 67.7 inches

WEIGHT: 3384-3780 lbs.

TRACK: 60.6/60.6

(front/rear)

FUEL TANK: 16.6/15.8 gallons (2WD/4WD)

TIRES: 16-, or 18-inch