Well ssh, Faisasy, and I "christened" the Outlander yesterday. Even though I purchased the car there were still a lot of questions in my head about how well it would perform getting to the ski areas. You see Denver itself isn't exceptionally "mountainess" and the dealers generally aren't going to let you take a demo ride up into the mountains west of Denver. Thus I really didn't know how well the engine would perform.
I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely held its own and could charge up the highway as well as my old Grand Am GT. It's nothing like Faisasy's bimmer, but it wasn't a slouch either. The shift points seem to be right on target and it wasn't continually down-shifting and searching for the right gear (which I had seen one reviewer state).
The parking lot at Loveland was extremely icy with some large irregular "holes" and "valleys". We hit a spot where I'm sure my old GT would have been stuck - I quickly put the Outlander into 4WD auto mode and we didn't have any problem getting through it. I'm sure there will be many times this season that will give me a chance to really test the 4WD system in it.
My backseat passengers (ssh and Faisasy both took a turn) seemed to think the ride was very good from the back seat. ssh isn't a short guy and he seemed to have plenty of room. The "middle" seats in the Outlander slide rearward 3" to allow for more leg room or the other way for more cargo room - a nice feature. My XLS version also has a 2 kid "jump" seat that pops out of the floor in the back - great for kids, not adults.
I think the mileage was fairly good, but I haven't been tracking it manually yet (still on the original first tank). It has an instantaneous readout that seemed to indicate over 20mpg for the trip. I'll pass along more info on this later when I'm sure of what I'm getting.
One of the reasons I preferred this "compact" SUV (although ssh and Faisasy were surprised it's considered "compact") is that the roof line isn't too high to get skis easily in and out of the ski rack. The split tailgate is cool, but we didn't get a chance to party this past trip. I'm sure it will get its fair share of duty as the season moves on.
Feature-wise it's easily on-par with the Acura RDX Turbo and above the Mazda CX-7. If you get it loaded the techno gadgets available will have you studying the manuals for weeks. The manuals for this thing are a solid 2" stack. I love the satellite radio, music server, HDD-based nav, DVD player, cell phone bluetooth integration, and keyless FAST-key system.
I've ordered the "protection package" for it, but I'm still waiting for the parts to come in. This includes stainless steel scuff plates for all of the door sills and rear bumper guard, mudguards for all 4 wheels, and wheel locks. I also had a clear bra installed on it since we have lots of flying rocks in Colorado.
So far so good (knock on wood). I'm not feeling any "buyer's remorse" at this point.