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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander (Ditsi Mitsi) > Gas Mileage Extremes


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Osburn, Idaho
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Gas Mileage Extremes

By alwaysakid

Filed under: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander (Ditsi Mitsi)

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My car of choice for long road trips is the 2001 Toyota Celica. But this time I took the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport to see how it does on a long trip, mainly because my wife had hurt her ribs and it was hard for her to get in and out of the low-sitting Celica.
So, we drove to western Montana (an annual excursion) in the Mitsubishi this time.
This is my synopsis of how the Outlander did in comparison to past trips in the Celica. And the biggest surprise was the gas mileage.
The Celica is much more fun to drive because it handles so well. And while I thought the four-wheel-drive might come in handy in some areas of Montana, in the end we never went anywhere that the Celica couldn't have handled. And driving over the mountain passes is a blast in the Celica, but became a chore in the Outlander.
The disadvantage of the Outlander's height affecting its handling was only a small part of why it isn't so much fun going over the passes. The biggest reason was because the cruise control was grossly inefficient over the passes.
In driving the Outlander on the Interstate highway, I usually put it on cruise control. And on the way west I found my gas mileage varied from 18 MPG to 24 MPG. But when I quit using the cruise control, the gas mileage improved to 26 MPG in the mountains because I managed the speed so that the RPMs never went over 3100 even if it meant losing 5-10 MPH while going up the hills. With the cruise control on, the RPMs often went up to 4500.
We did hit some head-winds on the way out, which I'm sure was a factor, since like many SUVs this car has a large profile to push through the winds. But the cruise control didn't start accelerating the car until it had already started upgrade and was losing momentum. The trick to efficiently driving over hills is to avoid losing any momentum.
On the trip home, we had a strong tail wind and I did not use the cruise control unless the terrain was flat. We got 25-31 MPG. That's an amazing difference in my mind.
The car is rated at 28 MPG on the highway. I've never owned a car before that exceeded it's manufacturer's MPG rating. And this car did it on more than one tank of gas!
My conclusion is that this car is very well made for efficient operations by a 4x4, but it's cruise control design sucks. And while it is more comfortable for long drives than many other cars I've owned, it still does not live up to the bar set by my Celica (which doesn't lose hardly any gas mileage when the cruise control is on).
The Celica is still my first choice for long trips, but I wouldn't mind taking the Outlander again, either, now that I know when not to use the cruise control

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Cars > alwaysakid’s Garage > Blog > 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander (Ditsi Mitsi) > Gas Mileage Extremes

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