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  • Exterior styling is based on the PX-MiEV II Concept
  • Functional new interior includes available touchscreen navigation
  • Hybrid powerplant from PX-MiEV II could come later

 

Mitsubishi chose this year?s Geneva Auto Show to launch its all-new third-generation Outlander crossover.  Based heavily on the PX-MiEV II Concept that debuted at last year?s Tokyo Auto Show, the new Outlander offers handsome new exterior styling, a revised interior and a new engine that could soon include a plug-in hybrid variant.

On the outside, the newest Outlander is immediately distinguishable from its predecessor thanks to a redesigned exterior with larger dimensions borrowed directly from the PX-MiEV II Concept.  In front, the SUV is marked by wide headlights that flow into its quarter panels, two curved lines that run from its headlights to a wide lower grille, and a thin grille opening that Mitsubishi says marks a new stylistic direction for all of its models.  Rear-end styling features the Outlander?s signature clear tail lights joined by a unique silver bar spanning the width of the SUV?s tailgate.

Inside, the Outlander offers a functional cabin that trades some of the current model?s stylistic touches for a more driver-focused approach.  Gone is last year?s simple, angled dashboard accented in faux aluminum, replaced instead by an upright dash with a center-mounted touchscreen navigation system that?s angled towards the driver.  The SUV also offers a large black engine start button wrapped in silver trim, which is integrated into a larger center console that gives the interior a more cockpit-like feel.

Interestingly, while the PX-MiEV II Concept featured a fuel efficient plug-in hybrid drivetrain, Mitsubishi announced only gasoline and diesel variants of the production-ready Outlander in Geneva.  Although we don?t expect the diesel engine to make it stateside, we think it?s possible that the newly announced 150-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline powerplant could replace today?s 2.4-liter motor, though US models will likely eschew Europe?s standard manual transmission for a new 6-speed automatic.  Despite the lack of a hybrid option, it's likely Mitsubishi is developing one - along with a range-topping V6 - that could join the crossover?s lineup after its release.

Although Mitsubishi didn?t announce pricing or an official on-sale date for the 2013 Outlander, we expect the crossover will begin arriving in dealer showrooms late this year with a starting price that?s only slightly boosted from today?s figure of around $23,000 including destination.

What it means to you: Although the new Outlander will join a crowded field of compact SUVs, its new exterior styling and larger dimensions may merit serious consideration.

See more Geneva Auto Show articles.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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