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We had our bags packed and the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL awaiting our arrival at the Miami airport. We were excited to get on the road for our family adventure in the Florida Keys. My parents thought we were a little crazy to travel with a baby, but we were feeling desperate to escape the dreary Minnesota winter and enjoy some fun in the sun with our girls. #DriveMitsubishi
The girls did great on the plane, yessss, and were excited to see what color our Mitsubishi Outlander SEL would be. I was hopeful it would fit our gear!
We easily fit our luggage, jogging stroller included, in the back and set out on the long drive south to the Keys.
We liked the ease of the power tailgate which you can control with the key fob as well as buttons on the tailgate exterior and interior.
As a mom often juggling an infant seat, diaper bag and stroller, I love the idea of being able to open and close the tailgate with the push of a button.
We attempted to use the vehicle’s navigation system to find our way out of Miami. After some time waiting for the system to stop “calculating” we thought perhaps the parking garage was causing a miscommunication. Even after leaving the concrete structure the GPS wasn’t able to connect. We eventually gave up and turned to our iPhone’s navigation as the roads surrounding the airport were confusing. Although the navigation system in the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL eventually picked up several miles from the airport, it continued to glitch giving us the “calculating” message. When it was attempting a route, it seemed vastly different from that of our iPhone.
I should note that it eventually found a successful route once we were over an hour into our drive. The navigation seemed to do fine on the small roads once within the Keys. On our drive back to the airport, we again faced frustration as the navigation took us on the small, stop and go roads through a business district instead of via the turnpike. When we were able to eventually get onto the turnpike, the navigation system kept trying to prompt us back off of it instead of automatically adjusting to the new route we had chosen. If we didn’t have our iPhone as a back-up navigation we would have been in serious trouble getting out of Miami or returning to the airport solely depending on the Outlander navigation system.
After our long drive south, we were happy to arrive at our destination with two happy girls. They were both comfortable in the back seat of the Outlander and napped for much of the drive. I appreciated the dual zone climate controls for the refreshingly warm temperatures in Florida. Although we had to laugh when we saw several people driving with jackets, hats and gloves in the 70 degree weather. We had just left wind chills of -42 degrees! Shorts and tank tops were more appropriate for our family.
Although the Outlander SEL is built for the space needs of a family, it’s stylish looks surpass that of the minivan I left at home.
Much more than a traditional mid-cycle design “refreshing” that consists of minor aesthetic updates, the new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander has been redesigned and reengineered to stand out in the competitive small crossover segment with its powerful and dynamic appearance and refined driving experience. Combined with Mitsubishi’s reliability and safety standards, the 2016 Outlander is an unmatched value.
The new 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander features a bold new exterior design, an eloquent yet functional interior space, and over 100 engineering and design improvements to the platform for better structural rigidity, ride quality and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
We were happy to sit back and relax with this beautiful view to welcome us. Although we enjoyed the time canoeing and kayaking through the mangroves and canals, we had hopes of an escape to the beach as well.
We loaded up the Outlander in search of the sand and found it easy to pack everything we needed in the back including our jogging stroller, camera bag, cooler and several swim bags.
I appreciated the direct access to a USB charging port in the arm rest between the front seats. My husband noted that the only thing missing was a place to easily set your phone once plugged in.
With our phone charging while we drove, we also easily connected to the FUSE hands-free link system allowing our favorite music while we set out on our adventure.
The Mitsubishi Outlander SEL features a rear camera which appears in the main dash display. Although I could perhaps learn to drive using this camera, it’s not something I found easy to use with confidence in only a few days. The image seemed clear and easy to see on the display which was helpful with the large hedge in the driveway of our guest house.
Although we chose to caravan with my parents due to the nap time needs of our littlest one, the Outlander has a rear seat that flips up to accommodate seating for up to seven. The rear seats are split, allowing you to add one seat at a time and still gain the added storage. If both rear seats were in use it left you with little to no storage however. I could see using this at home if we were driving other kids to and from sporting events or play dates but not necessarily as an everyday seat for our family as you needed to access the rear seating via the middle row.
We found our way to a beautiful beach in Marathon, Florida after our visit to the Dolphin Research Center.
After months in winter boots we were excited to dip our toes in the ocean and walk along the sandy shoreline looking for shells.
On one of our final days my dad and I set off with my oldest daughter to find a small hiking trail on Big Pine Key called the Blue Hole, a fresh water/salt water pond where you sometimes see wildlife. We enjoyed the beautiful weather, just right for driving with the sunroof open! My daughter was excited to see the trees above us.
My dad, who spends two months of the year in Florida and drives his smaller, all-wheel drive hatch back down from Minnesota each year, commented on how much he enjoyed the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. My parents have been considering a different vehicle that allows a more vertical seating position so their legs don’t tire being extended forward so much on the long drive. He also mentioned that it would have more room to pack what they needed for their two month stay in the Keys. When he asked about the purchase price he, and my husband, were pleasantly surprised that it was quite affordable starting at $22,995.
It was a particularly windy day so there were several birds coasting in the breeze far above our heads as we drove.
The Blue Hole didn’t disappoint as we found an alligator lingering just below the observation deck and saw one of the largest iguanas I’ve ever seen just down the path.
We greatly enjoyed our family’s escape to the sun and sand, and the comfort of the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. It met our needs perfectly for our trip. With the addition of our youngest daughter at an age that requires a lot of gear and a puppy who often travels along with us, it’s not quite the size we require for our daily family living. It’s certainly something I’d consider as the girls get a little older and travel with a duffle bag instead of a van load. Are you looking for a new vehicle? Consider the Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. #DriveMitsubishi @mitsucars
Disclosure: Mitsubishi provided me with the use of their vehicle during my time in Florida. All thoughts and opinions are my own.