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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of our lowest-rated compact SUVs. This crossover trails the competition in almost every area, including power, handling, interior quality, and passenger comfort.

Pros & Cons

  • Nonhybrid models have three rows of seats
  • Decent gas mileage and cargo capacity
  • Solid tow rating for a small SUV
  • Weak base engine
  • Unimpressive handling and ride quality
  • Interior not as upscale or modern as rivals
  • Seats aren't very soft or supportive
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2020

  • SP trim joins lineup
  • Several newly available features
  • Some feature shuffling between trims

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander's #16 ranking is based on its score within the Compact SUVs category. Currently the Mitsubishi Outlander has a score of 6.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

6.2

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 5.6
Performance: 5.6
Interior: 5.8
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Mitsubishi Outlander a Good SUV?

No, the Mitsubishi Outlander is not a good SUV. The only real advantage it offers over rivals is its standard third-row seat. Beyond that, the closest things the Outlander has to strengths are its average fuel economy ratings and cargo capacity. It’s also one of the few contenders in this class to offer a plug-in-hybrid powertrain, which allows you to drive on electric power for 22 miles.

As for weaknesses, the Outlander has plenty. None of its powertrains are impressive, and the base engine in particular is underwhelming. Many rivals have more cushioned rides and nimbler handling too. This Mitsubishi’s interior feels dated (and some argue it feels cheap as well), and competitors have more comfortable seats and cutting-edge features.

Should I Buy the Mitsubishi Outlander?

The Outlander isn't a good compact SUV, and there are many superior buying choices out there. And since the Outlander doesn't even carry a below-average price tag, you won't have to spend more to get a better vehicle.

Instead of this Mitsubishi, you should consider the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5.

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

Should I Buy a New or Used Mitsubishi Outlander?

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander, which belongs to a generation that began with the 2014 model, sees a few notable updates. However, they may not be enough to justify buying a new Outlander over an older model.

For 2020, Mitsubishi adds the new SP trim. It's nearly identical to the LE trim that's already in the lineup, but it comes with some unique styling touches. Dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats now come standard in the Outlander (they were previously options), and several features are newly available, including a heated steering wheel, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, and pedestrian detection.

Mitsubishi refreshed the Outlander’s exterior styling for 2019 and retuned its steering and suspension for improved handling and ride comfort. The 2018 Outlander gained a larger touch screen, and a new plug-in-hybrid model joined the lineup. For 2017, a 6.1-inch touch screen and a rearview camera became standard, and features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a surround-view parking camera system, and a heated steering wheel became available.

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 Outlander, 2018 Outlander, and 2019 Outlander reviews to help inform your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Outlander »

We Did the Research for You: 50 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

This 2020 Outlander review incorporates applicable research for all models of the current generation, which launched for 2014.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Mitsubishi Outlander Cost?

The Outlander has a base MSRP of $24,895, which is a bit above average for a compact SUV. There are several other trims, with the range-topping GT having the highest starting price: $33,745. That, too, is slightly above-average.

The plug-in-hybrid Outlander PHEV starts at $36,295 for the SEL trim. The only other Outlander PHEV trim – the GT – costs $41,695. There are nonhybrid versions of the SEL and GT as well.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

Mitsubishi Outlander Versus the Competition

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

The Honda CR-V is a better compact SUV than the Outlander, and it's not even close. The CR-V has more of everything: a more powerful engine, more comfortable seats, a more upscale interior, and more cargo space. It also has a higher predicted reliability rating than the Outlander, and it gets better gas mileage. The Mitsubishi has only two notable advantages over the Honda: It can seat two more people, and its base trim comes standard with a touch screen (which is included in all trims of the CR-V except the base LX). Oh, and the CR-V has a similar starting price and a lower top-trim price than the Outlander, making it a much better value.

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

The Mazda CX-5 is also a far better SUV than the Outlander. It's perhaps the most agile and fun-to-drive small crossover on the road. It also has peppy engines and delivers a smooth ride. Inside, the CX-5 looks great, and it's more upscale than the Mitsubishi. The Outlander has a tad more cargo space and a third-row seat, but those don't outweigh the CX-5's many advantages. To cap things off, these two SUVs cost about the same.

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

Outlander Interior

How Many People Does the Outlander Seat?

The nonhybrid Outlander seats seven people across three rows, while the Outlander PHEV seats five people in two rows. The first two rows have plenty of room, but comfort is merely OK, as the seats could use more cushioning and support. The third-row seats are a tight squeeze for most adults and even some children.

Outlander and Child Car Seats

This crossover has two full sets of LATCH connectors for the second-row outboard seats, as well as a tether anchor for the second-row middle seat. This system received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The lower anchors are set deep in the seats, and some of the tether anchors could be confused with other hardware.

Outlander Interior Quality

If you don't expect too much from the Outlander's cabin, you might be reasonably impressed with it, as there are some soft-touch materials scattered about. However, the overall design feels antiquated, and there are plenty of hard plastics as well.

Outlander Cargo Space

The standard Outlander, which is a three-row SUV, provides 10.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 34.2 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 63.3 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded.

The two-row Outlander PHEV gives you 30.4 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 66.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down. In both models, this Mitsubishi's cargo space is decent for the compact SUV class.

Outlander Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in this Mitsubishi include dual-zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, six speakers, a USB port, and Bluetooth. Available features include a sunroof, push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, an additional USB port, an eight-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The Outlander's infotainment system seems OK, with a standard touch screen and easy-to-reach controls. Upon closer examination, you start to see where it comes up short, as many rival systems incorporate more features and are easier to use.

Read more about interior »

Outlander Performance

Outlander Engine: 3 Uninspiring Options

The Outlander comes standard with a 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine. With this four-banger, acceleration could charitably be described as leisurely, and the Outlander feels underpowered in most situations. Some of this unimpressive performance can be attributed to the continuously variable automatic transmission that's paired with this engine, which a few critics say does the powertrain no favors.

GT models feature a 224-horsepower V6, which delivers quicker acceleration and doesn't struggle as much to pull the Outlander up hills. Still, it's hardly an impressive option. A six-speed automatic transmission comes with this engine.

Finally, there's the Outlander PHEV, which features two electric motors and a four-cylinder engine that combine to produce 197 horsepower. Acceleration is decent thanks to the electric motors, but that's about it for the good news. This model has a single-speed transmission.

Outlander Gas Mileage: Decent, but Nothing Special

With its base engine, a front-wheel-drive Outlander gets 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is solid, if unspectacular, for the compact SUV class. Ratings drop ever so slightly in all-wheel-drive models. GT models, which feature the V6 engine, earn ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The Outlander PHEV can go up to 22 miles on electric power, and it earns 74 MPG-equivalent in combined city/highway driving when running purely off its battery. Under gasoline power, the Outlander PHEV gets 25 mpg city/highway combined.

With a 120-volt household-style power outlet, charging the Outlander PHEV's battery takes eight to 13 hours. A 240-volt outlet reduces that time to 3.5 hours, and with DC Fast Charging, you can recharge up to 80% of the battery in 25 minutes.

Outlander Ride and Handling: Plenty of Room for Improvement

Many rivals handle better and ride more smoothly than the Outlander. Road imperfections will leave you feeling jostled, and you'll notice plenty of body roll when you go around corners.

Outlander Towing Capacity

Most Outlander trims have a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds, though the GT trim can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a good maximum amount for a compact crossover.

Read more about performance »

Outlander Reliability

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Reliable?

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Mitsubishi Outlander Warranty

Mitsubishi covers the Outlander with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Those are outstanding terms for the compact SUV class.

Read more about reliability »

Outlander Safety

Outlander Crash Test Results

The 2020 Outlander earned five out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover evaluations. Front-wheel-drive models received a four-star overall rating, while all-wheel-drive models earned a five-star overall rating.

The 2020 Outlander earned the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was named a Top Safety Pick. The GT trim and the SEL trim with the Touring package each received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. Without the Touring package, the SE, LE, SP, and SEL trims each received the lowest rating of Poor for forward visibility. When properly equipped, the Outlander earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention.

Outlander Safety Features

A rearview camera comes standard in the Outlander. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera system, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane change assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

Read more about safety »

Outlander Dimensions and Weight

The Outlander is 15.4 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,329 to 4,222 pounds.

Where Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Built?

Mitsubishi builds the 2020 Outlander in Japan.

Which Mitsubishi Outlander Model Is Right for Me?

The Mitsubishi Outlander comes in six trims: ES, SE, LE, SP, SEL, and GT. The Outlander PHEV, which is a plug-in hybrid, is only available in SEL and GT trims.

The SE is the lowest trim that buyers should consider because it comes with many more features than the base trim without much of a price increase. If you're going to look above the SE, the SEL trim also provides good bang for your buck, and it's the lowest trim available with features like adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera system, and a heated steering wheel.

Mitsubishi Outlander ES

The Outlander ES carries a base price of $24,895. It comes with a 166-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Standard features include a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, HD Radio, six speakers, a USB port, and Bluetooth.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000, rear parking sensors for $465, or front and rear parking sensors for $585.

Mitsubishi Outlander SE

The Outlander SE starts at $26,095. In addition to the base trim's features, the SE comes with automatic headlights, power-adjustable front seats, push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The SE also comes standard with many more driver assistance features than the base trim, including forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning.

All-wheel drive is a $2,000 upgrade. The Convenience package ($1,000) adds a sunroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. You can add rear parking sensors for $465 or front and rear parking sensors for $585.

Mitsubishi Outlander LE

The Outlander LE carries a starting MSRP of $27,295. Standard features include a sunroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and lane change assist. You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000, rear parking sensors for $465, or front and rear parking sensors for $585.

Mitsubishi Outlander SP

The all-new Outlander SP starts at $28,495. It's identical to the LE in terms of features, though it comes with some additional styling elements. As with the lower trims, you can add all-wheel drive for $2,000, rear parking sensors for $465, or front and rear parking sensors for $585.

Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

The Outlander SEL costs $27,495. It loses the standard sunroof but gains leather upholstery and a power liftgate.

The SEL trim offers several features not available in lower trims. The SEL Touring package ($2,700) adds a sunroof, an eight-speaker audio system, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera system, and a heated steering wheel. You can also add front and rear parking sensors and all-wheel drive.

The SEL is also the lowest trim available as a plug-in hybrid. The Outlander PHEV SEL carries a starting MSRP of $36,295. It comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 197 horsepower. It has a single-speed transmission and all-wheel drive, and it can go up to 22 miles on electric power alone. It comes with the same features as the nonhybrid SEL, but the Touring package is not offered in the PHEV model.

Mitsubishi Outlander GT

The Outlander GT starts at $33,745. The GT comes with a 224-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. On top of the SEL's features, the GT adds a heated steering wheel, an eight-speaker audio system, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view parking camera system, and a sunroof. In other words, it comes standard with almost every feature you can get in an Outlander. You can add front and rear parking sensors for $585.

The Outlander PHEV GT costs $41,695. Besides the powertrain, it's identical to the nonhybrid GT model.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

See 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander specs and trims »

The Final Call

In a marketplace teeming with high-quality SUVs, there's little reason to consider buying the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander. Regardless of whether you value fuel economy, athletic handling, an upscale cabin, or comfortable seating, you can find a competitor that bests the Outlander in your preferred area (and probably several others). This crossover finishes near the bottom of our compact SUV rankings for a reason, and shoppers should look elsewhere for their next vehicle.

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

  • "The Outlander is a lukewarm option in a boiling-hot compact-SUV market, with bland styling, a cheap-feeling interior, and an outdated infotainment system. Despite these faults, the Outlander does offer a standard third row of seating, a plug-in-hybrid model, and a 10-year powertrain warranty – all features that stand out in this class. But unless you consider these features to be must-haves, it is hard to recommend the Outlander over more compelling compact-SUV alternatives." -- Car and Driver
  • "The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the least expensive SUVs you can buy with a third-row seat. It also comes with an appealing set of features and offers an optional V6 engine. So far, so good, right? But if you research this Mitsubishi more closely you'll realize that it comes up a bit short. For one, the Outlander isn't particularly rewarding to drive. … And as for that third-row seat, well, it's small, even for children. If you need a three-row crossover on a budget, the Outlander might be worth a look. But in one of the most hotly contested segments, just about every manufacturer is making a competitive crossover, and most of them are more refined." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Even factoring in the expected big discounts, we'd rather have a good used SUV. And if you need a third-row seat in the small-SUV class, you'd be better off with a … Volkswagen Tiguan." -- Consumer Reports (2019)

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