Driving Home for the Holidays with Mitsubishi

I’m a firm believer that home is where the heart is, and I am lucky enough to have lots of homes by that definition <3  Two are in Baltimore: One with my dad and stepmom, and one with my sister, her husband, and my awesome niece and nephew.  I partnered with Mitsubishi to test out their new 2019 Outlander Crossover to drive home for the holidays, and our annual trip to Maryland got a major upgrade!

My husband and I have been spending Thanksgiving with my Baltimore family since our first year together (yeah, we were pretty serious pretty fast!), and it is always so amazing to sit around a big table or two with everyone once we get there.  In previous years, though, getting there was the problem: Our very first trip together as a couple was on a cheap bus that broke down (!) on the side of the highway TWICE (!!) on the way to Charm City.  The second time it sputtered out, they made us all get off the bus and stand on the shoulder of 95 (!!!) in the cold November rain (!!!!) while we waited for them to send a new bus (!!!!!).  We got to Baltimore over four hours later than we were supposed to, and I had to wake up my dad and stepmom to ask them to come get us from the mall parking lot where the us dropped everyone off (this was pre-ride sharing apps).  My then-new-boyfriend and I were exhausted and super hungry, so we decided to run across the highway to the nearest fast food spot that looked like it was open.  When we got there, we found out that they closed their seating area after midnight, and we would have to walk through the drive-through in below freezing temps.  In hungry desperation, we stood behind a line of trucks to order a few tacos.  Right before we got to the window, my dad pulled up and and we had to get in and abandon all ye taco hope.  It is hilarious now, but we were both so sad then!

This year, for our 10th Thanksgiving together (!!!!!!), all I wanted was to travel in comfort.  I actually love driving, but I’ve experienced more than my share of disappointing car rentals over the years.  As my husband can attest, I’ve often exclaimed “It is 201X!  How hasn’t technology fixed this issue yet?” while driving.  When I partnered with Mitsubishi to try the 2019 Outlander Crossover, I was so excited to check out the newest from one of my first car loves (my dream car as a teenage was the Mitsubishi Eclipse coupe 🙂 ), but I didn’t know what else to expect.  So when I found out that all my car technology woes were addressed in the Outlander Crossover, I was both surprised and incredibly happy.

The moment I got in the Outlander, I was impressed.  With a moon roof, perfectly placed cupholders, and comfortable seats that contoured to my back, I liked the interior even before I turned it on.  The big windshield and minimization of blind spots with the window placements also meant it somehow has excellent selfie lighting (not a thing I knew cars could have)!

As soon as I started the car with the keyless ignition, the big Carplay screen popped on, and it automatically connected once I plugged my iPhone in.  I am used to having my husband be my navigator on road trips, but the turn-by-turn directions and unobtrusive on-screen map let me easily route to some out of town destinations while he was at work.  (And of course I used it to go do some #inthefittingroom Stories at places I can’t usually get to on public transit!)  Traffic was ridiculous on the way back that night (it was one of the biggest travel days of the year, after all), but having my full Spotify library at my fingertips with Carplay helped to ease the pain of the stop and go crawl.

The next morning, we woke up early and got on the road to Baltimore for Thanksgiving. (Pro Travel Tip: If you don’t need to be at your destination Thanksgiving morning, consider driving the morning of instead of the night before – the highways are practically empty!)  I was so ready to see how the Mitsubishi Outlander performed on the open road, and I was not disappointed.  It accelerates smoothly and with ease, and had the most perfect suspension I’ve ever personally experienced.  The steering was comfortable and intuitive, and it was seriously a joy to drive.  My husband kept remarking about how happy I looked in the driver’s seat, and I could totally feel myself beaming from ear to ear every time the Outlander showed itself off a little more.  When describing clothes, I always note when a garment “feels great on,” and I found myself thinking the same thing about this Mitsubishi.  Who knew a car could feel great on?

Our trip to Baltimore was incredibly smooth, both driving and traffic wise (we didn’t even have to stop for gas – HELLO incredible highway MPG!), and we were in Maryland before we knew it. At this point, we were SO ready for food, so we decided to make it an official road trip with a stop at the Waffle House.  I promise I did not plan my outfit to match both the Outlander and the restaurant, but you know I couldn’t let this lucky coordination pass without a picture to document it!

Rejuvenated by cheap waffles and hashbrowns, we hit the road again, this time putting on a podcast with Carplay to switch things up for the last leg of our journey.  When we made it to Baltimore proper, we were both ready for coffee, so my husband searched for a downtown coffee shop open Thanksgiving day and seamlessly changed the destination for the on-screen directions.  As we got close to the coffee shop, we purposefully ignored the turn by turn to find a waterfront spot to see the iconic Domino Sugar Factory sign – from inside the warmth of the car, of course!  It was bitterly cold outside, but the Outlander’s automatic climate control kept us comfortably warm without ever getting too hot – another feature I really loved.

After recaffeinating, it was time to head to the big family dinner to get sleepy again (I have no illusions about turkey’s effect on me!)  Unlike stressful transit years past, this year we pulled up to my dad’s house relaxed and cheerful.  We found a perfect parking spot for the night and got right down to mingling with family by the wine and cheese.  My step mom also added a distinctly Maryland touch to the appetizer table: Crab dip!  After one bite, I ran to the kitchen to tell her this should be a new Thanksgiving tradition 🙂

We had a wonderful night of conversation and delicious food, and I was ready to fall asleep before the clock even struck 8:00 pm.  I had to hold out for the pie though!

The next morning, we decided to forgo the Black Friday madness and headed to my sister’s for breakfast instead.  It was so fun to be able to hang out in a more relaxed setting, and I loved how my awesome niece was so involved with the convo and well informed about a myriad of issues – it doesn’t seem that long ago she was a shy toddler. Later in the day, we met up with the rest of the family at a local restaurant after their annual hike (I didn’t have the right shoes for doing the whole thing!)  After lots and lots of chatting and deliberating, we decided to split up our trip back to NYC by stopping in Philadelphia for the night.  This was becoming a real road trip!

It was well after dark when we pulled into Philly, and the city was bright and sparkly in the freezing cold night air.  Getting out of our toasty Outlander was a struggle, but we parked it for the night and ride shared to the bar (never drink and drive babes!)  We ended our night out with an essential Philly tradition:  Cheese steaks.

That’s a look of pure joy right there!

The next morning, we explored Philly’s for a bit before starting our drive back to NYC.

Under the bridge and posing 🙂

The Mitsubishi Outlander’s tech features came in incredibly handy as we tried to navigate the narrow Old Town Philadephia streets.  At one point, we had to reverse down a full block of a tiny street because there was unannounced construction at the end.  The Outlander has the classic backup camera feature on the Carplay screen, but it also has a top view camera that frankly still boggles my mind.  The view shown on that screen looks like there is a drone hovering over the car – it is so accurate and I really don’t know how they do it, but it made parallel parking (usually a real pain point for me) an absolute breeze.

We cut our Philly exploration short when we checked the weather after noticing rapidly darkening skies and saw a major rainstorm creeping up on the city.  Hoping to outrun it, we immediately got on the road.  We were mostly successful in avoiding the storm, but we still got caught in a few sudden deluges, which was when I learned about one of my very favorite Outlander features: Perfect automatic windshield wipers!  The first time rain started hitting the windshield, my hand instinctively reached toward the lever before I realized that the wipers were already on.  Not only did they start on their own, they adjusted amazingly to the ever-changing intensity of the rain.  As someone who HATES fiddling with the wiper speed (too slow and you can’t see; too fast and you get that horrible squeaking sound), this innovation made me incredibly happy (if you saw my enthused raving on IG Stories about it, you know just how much).

By the time I had to give my precious Outlander Crossover back to Mitsubishi, I was fully in love with it.  It is spacious, comfortable, handles beautifully, and it has excellent gas mileage both in the city and on the highway (and not just for a crossover!).  It is also the first time a bigger vehicle didn’t feel cumbersome to me.  All of its features felt thoughtful, and the tech innovations answered my long-standing car amenity prayers.  If you are looking at a new car, I highly recommend giving the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander a test drive!

This post is in partnership with Mitsubishi USA.  All thoughts and opinions my own, as always!