2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

Performance


#17 out of 18 in Compact SUVs

$24,695 MSRP
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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.6

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander's performance fails to impress on most fronts. It has three powertrain options, but even the V6 is only serviceable at best. It and the plug-in powertrain are also pricey. The four-cylinder is more affordable and gets good fuel economy estimates, but it is underpowered. Mitsubishi tweaked the suspension and steering for 2019, but most rivals are still more agile and comfortable.

  • "Handling is uninspiring no matter which model you get." -- Edmunds
  • "The Outlander's handling is clumsy. The car is reluctant to turn, and requires a hefty steering input to coerce it to negotiate corners. Body lean is pronounced and sets in early, and the steering lacks feedback. These characteristics make the Outlander feel like a much larger vehicle and detract from confidence and driving enjoyment." -- Consumer Reports
  • Interior quality and driving dynamics are now competitive in the hard-fought compact crossover class, but engine performance is still lacking, even for the V6." -- Autotrader (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The standard Outlander has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower. It comes with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The Outlander GT features a 224-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base engine feels weak. The CVT drones at higher speeds, and while some critics say the Outlander accelerates quickly from a stop, most agree that it struggles to pass other cars on the highway and to haul a full load of passengers or cargo uphill. The V6 engine fares better in these areas.

According to the EPA, the Outlander with the base engine gets 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. With the V6 engine, which takes premium gasoline, estimates drop to 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

  • "The base four-cylinder engine is underpowered and noisy." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine does the job -- nothing more, nothing less. We clocked a 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds which isn't particularly swift. What's more, the sensation behind the wheel is even less thrilling than the figure suggests due to the transmission's nature. The continuously variable automatic transmission tends to cause engine revs to shoot up before any meaningful acceleration takes place. Trying to merge decisively or climb a grade ends up with you getting assaulted with unpleasant engine noise." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, backed by an excellent continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), delivers strong off-the-line acceleration and up to 30 mpg on the highway. If you need to carry a full load of passengers, the naturally aspirated 2.4 will feel a bit challenged on long grades. The 3.0-liter V6 in the Outlander GT, which mates to a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission, solves that issue while returning a laudable 27 mpg on the highway." -- Kelley Blue Book

Alternative Fuels and Charging

The Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid pairs a four-cylinder engine with two electric motors to produce a combined 197 horsepower. It has a single-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. According to the EPA, the Outlander plug-in hybrid has 22 miles of all-electric range and returns decent mileage of 74 MPGe combined city/highway.

With a 120-volt outlet, charging the battery takes between eight and 13 hours. A 240-volt outlet reduces that time to 3.5 hours, and with DC Fast Charging, you can recharge up to 80 percent of the battery in 25 minutes.

Handling and Braking

The Outlander has a firmer ride than many of its rivals, largely because its suspension fails to soak up bigger road blemishes. It also exhibits heavy body lean around corners. Front-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive comes standard in the GT and PHEV and is available in the other trims.

  • "The ride isn't as cushioned as the underwhelming handling would suggest. The Outlander handles mild bumps pretty easily, but city potholes and bigger bumps at speed upset its composure significantly. It comes down to a lack of suspension design refinement." -- Edmunds
  • "The Outlander is reluctant to corner, requiring lots of steering-wheel twirling. And with copious body lean, it's one of the clumsiest vehicles we've recently tested. The soft suspension makes the ride feel initially absorbent but can get unsettled to the point of occupants experiencing motion sickness. That's not exactly a recipe for a family friendly vehicle." -- Consumer Reports
  • On the road, we found the Outlander's ride on the firm side, its steering somewhat numb on-center and its handling acceptable, but still not on par with the Mazda CX-5." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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