Want to know how a family of 7 handled a fun Texas road trip in a new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL from Fort Worth to San Antonio to Port Aransas and back to Fort Worth again? It was a wild ride, but totally worth it!
My son was about to turn 6, and all he wanted for his birthday was to go to the beach. The beach? Really? We had never been to the beach as a family before. I found the request a bit odd, and originally said no. Then I thought about it. Why the heck not? Road trip!
I knew we had a vacation coming up, so I reached out to my friends at DriveShop and was able to get a review vehicle. I asked for something that could fit 7 people for a roadtrip. A few weeks later when it was time to go, a beautiful 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL was delivered to my driveway.
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL
At first, I panicked a little. How was this going to fit 7 people? In fact, I must have had a blonde moment, because I couldn’t find the seatbelt for the middle seat in the second row. My smart kiddos were able to find where it came from in the ceiling and the latch below on the seat, so we were able to locate all 7 seatbelts.
Next, I had to install all of our carseats. For this trip, we had 2 kiddos rear-facing in their Diono car seats, one kiddo forward facing in his Diono seat, one child in a Bubble Bum portable booster, and one lucky girl got to ride all by herself without a car seat at all because she met the 5 Step Test requirements in this vehicle. Keep in mind that just because your child meets the requirements in one vehicle, it doesn’t mean they will in another one, so be sure to do this in any vehicle you get in to be as safe as possible.
Since the second row folded down in a 40/60 split, we chose to put my oldest kids in the 60 part so that their seat could easily fold down for my little in the 3rd row to get out. It wasn’t quite that easy, since the middle seat belt in the second row had to be specially unlatched each time, but it was doable and way easier than trying to figure out how to climb on and over big car seats!
After we got the seats installed, we had to figure out where all of our stuff would go. I’m not going to sugar coat this, there really isn’t a ton of room in the back if you are using the third row. We were able to stuff 2 bags under each rear-facing seat, and two more bags plus a pinata, water wings, and some water shoes in the very back. It was a tight squeeze, but we made it work because I was determined.
For a smaller family, this would be a total breeze. In fact, I think the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL would be awesome for a family of 4 or 5 people. The third row could be used as an optional back seat if you needed to tote around a few extra kids (or adults, even) or had large items to tote around like your kids’ musical instruments or sports equipment. The third row folds down in a 50/50 split, which makes it easy to put stuff on one side and a person on the other!
I loved that the driver’s seat could be customized in height, in addition to pushing that baby as far forward as possible. (I’m short, okay?) My husband appreciated that, too, because he would push it all the way back and all the way down because he’s 11 inches taller than me and doesn’t understand how a person can fit a car’s seat so differently. We were both able to comfortably ride just right.
Though we didn’t use them, I liked the option of heated seats. With the cold months upon us now, I’m sure that will be a feature that I’ll be wishing I had in my current vehicle.
We used the Mitsubishi Outlander is ECO Mode the whole time we were driving it. I honestly can’t tell you how big of a difference it made between using it normally versus having the ECO Mode engaged. We experienced great gas mileage on our trip and didn’t have to nervously worry about when we’d run into a gas station again while going from small town to small town with lots of stretches of nothing in between.
My husband commented that he liked how intuitive it was to drive from a safety standpoint. He does a lot of driving for his daily commute to and from work. He said he came up on a bunch of cars that were stopped suddenly, and the Outlander sensed this and began braking before he had a chance to do it himself in response to their driving.
He also said he likes that it can be used for families of different sizes, single people, couples, tall people, short people…..It’s very accommodating and has versatility.
Another thing I really liked was that I could drive the Outlander using Cruise Control, and it would notice if I was getting too close to a vehicle in front of me and would adjust the speed accordingly. This became an important feature on our drive home, because we drove on the interstate for the last couple of hours and we hit rush hour at one point. Luckily that patch didn’t last too long, but I liked that the Crusie Control automatically adjusted for me until we were able to get back up to the regular speed again.
We enjoyed our vacation! We went from Fort Worth to San Antonio for a few nights, then headed over to Port Aransas where we visited the beach twice at Mustang Island State Park. I loved having a brand new reliable, safe, and easy to maneuver vehicle to vacation in. It drives and parks like a car, but it holds the people of a minivan! The fuel economy was pretty sweet, too.
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Features of Note
There have been over 100 improvements to the NEW 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander from the 2015 model. I loved all of the features, but these were a few of my favorites:
- Seats 7
- Up to 25 MPG City/31 Highway
- Leather seating standard
- Dual Zone Climate Control
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Forward Collision Mitigation
- 7 Airbag Safety System
- Rearview Camera System
Have YOU driven in a Mitsubishi Outlander?
Which feature is on your must-have list?