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MSRP: $23,945 - 40,295

Rankings & Research

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander ranked #17 in Compact SUVs. Currently the Mitsubishi Outlander has a score of 7.1 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 7.3
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is a compact SUV with 3-row seating for seven. It lags behind most of its rivals in terms of quality and performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Low price for a 3-row SUV
  • Respectable fuel economy

 

  • Middling seat comfort
  • Slow, unrefined base powertrain
  • Coarse ride quality

 

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander a Good SUV?

The Mitsubishi Outlander comes with one of the longest new-car warranties on the market, and it earns commendable crash test ratings. It’s also one of few compact SUVs that offers third-row seating; this is a lot of vehicle in a small package. That said, the Outlander comes up short in most other ways. Its engine power and handling are underwhelming, and its interior quality, seating comfort, and cargo space are all so-so compared to the competition.

Should I Buy the Mitsubishi Outlander?

The 2018 Outlander is worth considering, but only if you’re on a tight budget. Next to the Dodge Journey, it’s the least expensive seven-seat SUV on the market. If you can afford to spend a bit more, you’ll find far better options in this class. These include the seven-seat Volkswagen Tiguan and the five-seat Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.

Compare the Outlander, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mitsubishi Outlander?

The Outlander's current generation began with the 2014 model year, and there have been regular updates ever since. The 2016 model gained refreshed exterior styling and an updated navigation system. The 2017 model year saw the addition of a touch screen and rearview camera as standard features, and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and blind spot monitoring became available. The 2018 Outlander gains a larger touch screen as standard and is now available as a plug-in hybrid.

To research some other models in this generation, check out our reviews of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. If you decide an older model is right for you, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander »

We Did the Research for You: 41 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the Mitsubishi Outlander in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 41 professional Outlander reviews. This 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which spans the 2014 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

The Best Cars team – a division of U.S. News & World Report – has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007. With more than 75 years of combined automotive experience, our editors, writers, and analysts rank a wide variety of new and used cars and issue three annual awards: Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands. To keep our recommendations unbiased, we decline expensive gifts from carmakers, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Mitsubishi Outlander Cost?

Prices for a new Mitsubishi Outlander are typical for a compact SUV. Its entry-level trim, the ES, retails for $23,945. For 2018, the Outlander is also available as the SE ($24,945), the LE and SEL ($26,145), and the GT ($32,245). The Outlander PHEV (plug-in hybrid) is available as the SEL ($34,595) and GT ($40,295). These are only suggested retail prices and not necessarily how much car shoppers are paying. For great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our new car deals page.

Mitsubishi Outlander Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Outlander or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is one of our highest ranked compact SUVs for many reasons. Premium materials and handsome styling impart a high-class feel, giving it a nicer interior than the Outlander. You’ll also enjoy two rows of spacious seats, peppier engine performance, and a smoother ride quality. The CR-V’s cargo room is among the best in the class as well. With a starting price of around $24,000, the CR-V’s price is just a couple hundred dollars above the Outlander’s. As long as you don’t need seven seats, the CR-V is the far better pick.

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Outlander or Mazda CX-5?

You don’t need to sacrifice fun behind the wheel when buying an SUV, and the Mazda CX-5 is proof of that. The CX-5 is a highly ranked compact SUV, due in no small part to its precise steering and a well-tuned suspension. This SUV also treats passengers to a smooth, quiet ride, and for a base price just above that of the Outlander, you’ll also get a high-quality interior.

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Outlander or Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a subcompact SUV that’s basically a smaller version of the Outlander. It only has a five-person capacity but a lower starting price by about $3,500. If you’re really on a budget, you might consider this cheaper Mitsubishi. But you’re better off skipping it because of its lower crash test scores, anemic base engine, and low-rent interior.

Compare the Outlander, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Outlander Interior

How Many People Does the Outlander Seat?

The Outlander is a seven-seat SUV, with cloth seats and three rows among the standard features. Notably, Outlander PHEV models only have five seats. Upgrades such as leather seats and heated front seats can add a touch of luxury. Seating comfort is adequate (but not phenomenal), and the third-row seats are more cramped than most. 

Outlander and Car Seats

The Outlander only has LATCH attachments in the second row, with hardware consisting of two sets of lower anchors and three tether anchors. The hardware is mostly easy to use, though the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that the lower anchors are deep in the seat cushions, and some tether anchors can get mixed up with other hardware.

Outlander Interior Quality

The Outlander's interior doesn't feel particularly posh, but Mitsubishi includes enough midgrade materials to keep the cabin from feeling cheap. Pick an Outlander SEL, which comes with leather seats and upgraded trim, for more of a premium experience.

Outlander Cargo Space

The Outlander is one of the few compact SUVs with a third-row seat, but part of the concession for adding extra seats is the loss of some cargo space. With every seat folded there's 63.3 cubic feet of room – a tad below average for this class. There's a decent amount of cargo space with the second row in place (at 34.2 cubic feet), and the 10.3 cubic feet available behind the third row is enough to accommodate a small grocery store run.

Outlander Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Every Outlander comes with an infotainment system consisting of a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, and Bluetooth. The interface is simple, and the accompanying controls are within easy reach. If you like your smartphone's music, podcast, and navigation apps, we recommend picking a trim level higher than the base model. These trims come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Outlander Performance

Outlander Engine: 3 Choices to Pick From

The Outlander's standard powertrain is made up of a 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. (All-wheel drive is available.) The setup doesn't get good reviews. Acceleration is slow, loud, and sometimes erratic. From a budget standpoint, however, it's a better buy than the upgraded engine. It comes in the lower-priced trim levels and saves you money at the gas pump. The optional power plant – a 3.0-liter V6 engine – has stronger pull, a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. It comes only in the Outlander GT.

The third option is the Outlander PHEV. This plug-in hybrid pairs a four-cylinder engine with two electric motors, a single speed transmission, and all-wheel drive. Its performance slots neatly between the other two options; it gets up to speed with sufficient pep, but it’s not quick by any measure.

Outlander Gas Mileage: Good for City Driving

The Outlander's four-cylinder engine gets 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. That's above-average fuel economy for a compact SUV, and it's especially good for a 3-row SUV. With the V6 engine, the Outlander GT gets 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway.

The Outlander PHEV has an all-electric driving range of 22 miles. If you’re driving farther and the battery pack starts to run low, the Outlander’s gas engine starts up to recharge the pack and assist the electric motors. This provides the SUV with 310 miles of driving range between fill-ups. The SUV achieves 25 mpg combined city/highway when running in this mode. When parked, you can plug in the Outlander to recharge its batteries. A full charge takes between eight and 13 hours with a 120-volt outlet, 3.5 hours with a 240-volt outlet, or just 25 minutes using a DC fast-charging station (up to an 80 percent charge).

Outlander Ride and Handling: Unremarkable

The Outlander's ride quality is not as cushy as some, with an undue number of bumps disturbing occupants and too much body movement. Other handling traits (like steering) are civilized but not very exciting.

Read more about performance »

Outlander Reliability

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Reliable?

The 2018 Outlander has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Mitsubishi Outlander Warranty

The Outlander comes with outstanding coverage consisting of a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Outlander Safety

Outlander Crash Test Results

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Outlander a 2018 Top Safety Pick. The SUV earned the top score of Good in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Outlander a perfect five-star rating for side impact safety, as well as four stars for front and rollover crash safety. Front-wheel-drive models received a four-star overall rating, while all-wheel-drive models received five stars.

Outlander Safety Features

Every Outlander comes with a rearview camera. Available safety features include a multi-view camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and active lane change assist.

Read more about safety »

Which Mitsubishi Outlander Model Is Right for Me?

Mitsubishi offers the 2018 Outlander in five trims. The ES, SE, LE, and SEL come with a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive. Adding all-wheel drive costs $1,500 in the ES and $2,000 in the SE, LE, and SEL trims. The V6-powered Mitsubishi Outlander GT comes standard with all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid Outlander PHEV is available in SEL and GT trims only.

For one of the best values in the lineup, look to the Outlander LE or SEL. For about $2,200 more than the base trim level, you’ll get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which dramatically boost your entertainment options), as well as the helpful blind spot monitoring system. 

Mitsubishi Outlander ES

The base Outlander ES ($23,945) comes with a 7-inch touch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, cruise control, and a rearview camera.

Mitsubishi Outlander SE

Notable features of the $24,945 Outlander SE include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite radio, dual USB ports, a proximity key, push-button start, and heated front seats.

Mitsubishi Outlander LE

The $26,145 Outlander LE trim adds blind spot monitoring and a sunroof.

Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

The Outlander SEL trim (also $26,145) drops the sunroof, but adds rain-sensing wipers, leather seats, and a power remote liftgate.

Mitsubishi Outlander GT

In addition to its standard V6 engine and all-wheel drive, the top-of-the-line Outlander GT ($32,245) has a sunroof, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system, a heated steering wheel, and a multi-view camera. The Outlander PHEV GT trim also comes standard with the Touring package (optional in all other SEL and GT models). The package includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer offers on our best car deals and incentives page.

See 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander specs and trims »

The Final Call

The bulk of the 2018 Outlander's high points relate to the fact that this compact SUV comes with three rows of seats. That means it's less expensive to buy and fuel than most seven-seat vehicles. Bolstering its value is one of the best warranties on the market. The Outlander comes up short in many ways, however. Interior quality, engine performance, and ride comfort struggle to keep up in this competitive class. Though these elements are passable, it's worth it to consider a pricier but higher-ranked 3-row SUV instead.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Indeed, the Outlander is one of just a few vehicles in this price range to offer a third-row seat. You get a lot of features as part of the deal, too. Now for the fine print. The Outlander isn't particularly exciting to drive; it's also not the most modern, fuel-efficient or comfortable vehicle in its class. That third-row seat is pretty small and difficult to access. If you're looking for an all-weather-capable three-row crossover on a budget, the Outlander is probably worth a look. But these days, just about every manufacturer is making a competitive crossover, so we recommend shopping around before settling on the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander." -- Edmunds
  • "What We Like Decent 4-cylinder fuel economy; standard 3-row seating; strong optional V6; pleasant interior What We Don't Forgettable 4-cylinder acceleration; third row is strictly for kids" -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "You'll Like This Car If... March to the beat of your own drum? A 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is about as far from everyday as a 7-passenger SUV can get. With proven off-road credentials, a feature-rich cabin and a great warranty, there's really very little to argue with. You May Not Like This Car If... If you're not one for rolling the dice, the Outlander's rather small dealer network may be a deal breaker. The Dodge Journey has a bigger 3rd-row seat and more powerful base and 6-cylinder engines, while the CR-V, Rogue and Santa Fe all hold better resale values." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 31, 2019

Low Sales: Though the Mitsubishi Outlander sold 18.1 percent better than it did during 2017, sales were dead last in the compact SUV class last year along with its sibling the Eclipse Cross, and by a significant margin. Many shoppers looked past this crossover in favor of the other options in the segment. The Toyota RAV4 outsold the Outlander more than 10 to 1 last year.

Research more buying advice »
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