The Outlander is a mid-sized crossover that offers seating for seven and can be fitted with either a 166 hp, 163 lb-ft 2.4-liter engine or a 224 hp, 215 lb-ft 3.0-liter V6. A CVT automatic is standard on the base engine and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive can be optioned. The 3.0-liter is AWD only and features a 6-speed automatic transmission and offers strong performance at the cost of fuel economy. Pricing and equipment levels are good and even the base trim gets a touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera and cruise control. Navigation, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning are available on higher trims.
|ES||2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas||Continuously Variable (CVT)||Front Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$22,712||$23,495|
|SE||2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas||Continuously Variable (CVT)||Front Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$23,679||$24,495|
|SEL||2.4-liter Inline-4 Gas||Continuously Variable (CVT)||Front Wheel Drive, Four Wheel Drive||$24,645||$25,495|
|GT||3.0-liter V6 Gas||6-Speed Automatic||Four Wheel Drive||$30,639||$31,695|
by James Allen
The bank account friendly Mitsubishi Outlander is a good offering from the Japanese in the crossover segment.
The Mitsubishi Outlander may not be exciting to car enthusiasts, but for those who want a spacious new crossover with three-row seating for seven, it could actually be a pretty good option, especially for those who don't want to or have a lot to spend. The Mitsubishi Outlander is something of a hidden gem in this segment that’s often overlooked for the usual suspects like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, and it even has an advantage over those crossovers as it features a third row of seating. Now in the third generation, the Mitsubishi Outlander recently received a refresh for the 2016 model year and even though it changed the looks, the crossover is still a more conservative looking car than something like the Ford Escape that has more of an in your face styling. It’s still not bad though, the refresh gave it a more angular front-end design with a lot of chrome accents and under the skin there’s some new options too, including being able to take the all-wheel drive option in all trim levels.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has a pretty average looking interior and it’s also pretty standard in terms of trim materials and features.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has a pretty average looking interior and it’s also pretty standard in terms of trim materials and features; you may even label it as bland. That can be a good thing though because not everyone likes the futuristic looking interiors of many of the segment rivals, some people really do prefer this kind of look. It does look a lot better than the pervious version, especially with the fake wood taken out of the equation. As toned down as the new interior is, it’s still livelier than the old model. The gauge cluster looks ok and is typically Japanese, although as said, less cluttered when looking at the layout and buttons. The driver information screen located between the tachometer and the speedometer is quite small but it only relays certain information to the driver and not as much as some of the other new cars that preview navigation. There’s a deep storage compartment under the center armrest and inside there’s a 120w power outlet and a USB plug. Depending on trim levels, the driver’s seat is heated and six-way power adjustable while the front passenger seat is manual – in the SEL and GT trim the driver’s seat is 8-way power adjustable.
Rear seating in the second row is spacious, three average size adults will fit with ease.
The Mitsubishi Outlander ES features a 6.1-inch full colour touch screen display to head up the infotainment system as standard, and it comes with features like a hands-free link system and a rear-view camera. For the other three trim levels that screen increases to 7-inches. Functionality is okay, there’s nothing worth specifically mentioning about it. It’s not the best out there but also not the worst we’ve used. The dual zone automatic climate control shifter feels a little dated in the way it moves around, but it looks okay, alongside it you’ll find space that will accommodate a pair of normal sized water bottles. Rear seating in the second row is spacious, three average size adults will fit with ease. The third row, or as Mitsubishi calls it, emergency seating, is quite small and not suitable for adults. Standard audio is okay too in the three lower trims, but there is a system that’s optional in the SEL and standard in the GT that we like a lot – a 710-watt, 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate package that plays really, really well. There are three rows of seats, but the fold out third row is bet suited for kids and not adults, but the normal rear seats do offer enough space for three adults without it being a squeeze. There is ample trunk space and even the optional subwoofer doesn’t take up much space. With the third row of seats open, you’d be lucky to fit a bag of golf clubs in the available space, but when they’re still folded flat and you fold the 60/40 split rear seats flat then the cargo space opens up to give a very handy 63.3 cubic feet. While that is a lot, it’s still a bit less than the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, but they also don’t have that third row of seats.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is a pretty big crossover, there’s not really a lot of ground clearance.
Firstly, while the Mitsubishi Outlander is a pretty big crossover, there’s not really a lot of ground clearance. This is a bit off strange for a crossover that’s also available with an all-wheel drive system, but it’s not intended for off-roading. The all-wheel drive system is an option in all trim levels and with the different motor setups, and at the affordable price point for the extra option it’s worth proper consideration.
There’s even a mode that marginally improves the car’s steadiness and responsiveness during cornering.
When fitted, the all-wheel drive system will show it’s worth in snow or in wet and potentially slippery conditions, and there’s even a mode that marginally improves the car’s steadiness and responsiveness during cornering. The road handling is actually pretty decent for a crossover of this size, but acceleration is quite weak though, even with the six-cylinder powerplant. For the model refresh, Mitsubishi has stiffened up some parts of the structure and also re-tuned the suspension components in an effort to help firm up the ride a bit, which it has managed to successfully do. The Outlander, in all trims, glides smoothly along the highway.
The three lower trim level units, the ES, SE and SEL are all fitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine.
The current range of engines available for this model is limited to two. The three lower trim level units, the ES, SE and SEL are all fitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 166-hp and 163 lb-ft of torque available, and this engine is paired to a continuously variable transmission, or CVT, no matter if the crossover is in front-wheel or all-wheel drive guise. While not boasting serious power figures, the smaller engine is more than adequate to get the Outlander around, but if you do have the extra cash and want more power then yeah, go for the six-cylinder in the range-topping GT model.
This model also has in place of the CVT a more conventional automatic with six gears.
The Mitsubishi GT is fitted with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder gasoline engine, and this bigger lump offers up a much healthier 224 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. This model also has in place of the CVT a more conventional automatic with six gears. There are also paddle shifters in this model and while they’re a cool feature, they will likely be more ornamental than anything else to Outlander buyers. As you can see from the power figures, and with a body weighing over 3,000 lbs., the Mitsubishi Outlander is not a performance-orientated crossover at all. The smaller four-cylinder engine works harder than the bigger one, and this is seen in the fuel economy figures of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg for the highway. In comparison the bigger six-cylinder engine, which has never been known for being frugal, returns figures of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
All models feature s full color touch screen that heads up the infotainment system.
There are four trim levels in the Mitsubishi Outlander range and the differences between them are not as big as you’d expect, which is a good thing for those buying at the bottom of the line-up. All models feature s full color touch screen that heads up the infotainment system, the main difference here is that the lower trip levels get this in 6.1-inches while the top gets it in 8-inches. The infotainment system itself features things like Sirius online radio, the hands-free link system and a rear-view camera. You’ll find an extra menu for the audio when the crossover is fitted with the Rockford Fosgate audio system. All units have a normal-sized steering wheel that is fitted with an assortment of controls to manage the cruise control and a few other parts of the infotainment system. Other features include power side mirrors and heating for the steering wheel. Optional packages ass more – the Premium Package includes a sunroof, that superb 710-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo surround sound system, satellite radio, and a power lift tailgate while the Touring Package adds navigation, forward obstacle warning, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.
The crossover features a full 5-star crash rating from the US Government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it the best rating.
On the safety side of things the Mitsubishi Outlander will have you covered, which is something buyers of this crossover find rather important. The crossover features a full 5-star crash rating from the US Government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives it the best rating possible and have thus claimed it as one of their Top Safety Picks for 2017. There are seven dual-stage airbags in play located in front of the driver and front passenger as well as in the sides of the seats and lower down in front of the driver’s knees. All units feature hill start assist, ABS with electronic brake force distribution, active stability control, traction control and the LATCH child-restraint system. The SEL trim level lets you add optional safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and lane chance assist. The latter is standard on the range-topping GT trim.
For anyone in need of an affordable crossover with three rows (although that third row might be a tight squeeze) and built to Japanese quality standards, then they need look no further than the Mitsubishi Outlander. As said, there’s not a whole lot of ground clearance for an all-wheel drive so proper tails will be out of bounds, but for the odd small off road path and tarred roads it offers a pretty good drive. With the pricing being like it is, a brand new Mitsubishi Outlander is very much for families on a budget that want a quality car with great safety and a good level of features. The crossover competes with the likes of the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape (none of which have that third seating row) but again, is more easily attainable thanks to really competitive pricing. The bigger six-cylinder engine and the optional all-wheel drive system are nice to have but are also not necessary. This means a good car can be had on a smaller budget when you choose the entry-level option. The Mitsubishi Outlander range starts at $23,495 for the ES and rises to $31,695 for the best of the lot. With pricing like that, the Mitsubishi Outlander looks to be a real hidden gem in the market.