Fans of historical science-fiction will know Outlander as a Diana Gabaldon novel that kicked off a series of epic sequels and, then, a TV series.
Maybe that's where Mitsu got the idea to use the name for its much less exotic compact crossover model, introduced in North America about a decade after that first book came out.
While there are nine books in that series, the Outlander is in its third generation, following a full redesign in 2014 and a styling refresh for 2016.
For 2019, there are no changes.
Outlander comes in four trims, comprising ES, ES Touring, SE and GT. All come standard with the brand's "all-wheel control" all-wheel drive system that can vary torque between the front and rear axles, while GT gets a more sophisticated version with a torque-vectoring front differential.
ES and ES Touring use a 2.4L four-cylinder engine that makes 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and SE and GT models get a 3.0L V6 good for 224 hp and 215 lb-ft and a six-speed automatic transmission.
That the Outlander still options up to a V6 is a rarity in the compact crossover set; most of its competitors either come with a single engine choice (if you can call that a choice at all), or offer a turbocharged four-cylinder motor as the upgrade.
Mitsubishi also stands out here for the fact that regardless of which engine you choose, you're getting less power than in the Outlander's competition, most of which now start out with more like 180 hp and feature optional motors nearing the 250-hp mark.
More positively, the Outlander stands out for optional third-row seating that expands its capacity to seven; the Nissan Rogue, Dodge Journey and Volkswagen Tiguan are among the few other compact utilities that can match that.
Where the Outlander really stands apart is in offering a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant that's covered in a separate buyer's guide entry.
Advanced safety begins in the ES Touring trim, which comes standard with blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. If you want items like lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and adaptive cruise control, the GT is the only place you'll find them, at more than $38,000.
Meanwhile Honda outfits its CR-V with those active safety tools for a shade over $30,000, and Nissan includes a basic active safety suite in its Rogue (collision warning with automatic braking, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert) at the sub-$27,000 starting price.
At the time we put together this buyer's guide, Mitsubishi had yet to publish fuel consumption estimates for the 2019 Outlander, but this year's figures should be similar to 2018's 9.9/8.1 L/100 km (city/highway) for four-cylinder models and 12.0/8.8 for the SE and GT’s V6.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed