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Outdated and outclassed, the Outlander struggles to compete. Its high point is a standard tiny third-row seat, rare in this class. Though the ride is absorbent, it is also buoyant and doesn't feel tied down. Handling is clumsy, with slow steering response and lots of body lean in corners. The base 166-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder is mated to a CVT that amplifies the engine's howl when you ask for power. Acceleration is leisurely at 10 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, though its 24 mpg overall is competitive. Top-tier GT trims get a 224-hp, 3.0-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. Forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning are available on some trims. The upcoming plug-in hybrid will cost more than $40,000.

Road Test

Mitsubishi is trying to push its way onto your shopping list by virtue of the Outlander's standard third-row seat (rare among small SUVs), its temptingly low $23,845 base price, and some big discounts on the showroom floor. That might make the Outlan...

Highs

  • Lots of utility for the money
  • Has a standard third-row seat, unusual for a small SUV

Lows

  • Ponderous and unrefined to drive
  • Tepid acceleration accompanied by lots of racket from the engine

Best Version to Get

We'd skip the low-scoring Outlander altogether. At the very least, side-step the base ES model, since it lacks a backup camera. We'd go for the SEL for its leather seats and power driver's seat. Hefty discounts mean that the top-trim Outlander often sells for less than a mid-grade competitor...

Specifications

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
  • Basic: 5 year/60,000 miles
  • Powertrain: 10 year/100,000 miles
  • Rust through: 7 year/100,000 miles
  • Roadside aid: 5 year/-1 miles
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (0 hp)
  • 2.4-liter 4 (166 hp)
  • 3-liter V6 (224 hp)

Ratings

Safety
Performance
Comfort / Convenience
View Full Test Results