The Mitsubishi Outlander is a seven-passenger SUV at a reasonable price. Once you add that third row, SUVs can get expensive fast, but the Outlander keeps the price more affordable. Optional all-wheel drive and strong safety ratings add to its appeal.
Third rows aren’t typically used all the time. They’re used in a pinch when there are a couple extra kids in tow. The third row in the Outlander is best for exactly that situation. It isn’t particularly comfortable, but the kids aren’t going to care.
First and second row seating is much better, although the second row is still stiff. Long road trips will likely wear on those passengers, but up front things are roomy and comfortable with good adjustability for drivers of all heights.
There are several different powertrain choices starting with a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. This base engine is found in the ES, SE, and SEL trims. Our tester was the GT, which has a 3.0-liter, V6 engine with 224 horsepower and 215 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission while the V6 gets a 6-speed automatic.
Performance is not the Outlander’s strong suit. Even with the more powerful V6 engine, the Outlander is slow to get moving. It’s not so much an issue driving in the city, but on the highway it is frustrating trying to get up to speed and merge with the rest of traffic.
As for cargo, there’s 10.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 34.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 63.3 cubic feet behind the first row. The Outlander can tow up to 1,500 pounds with the base engine, but that more than doubles to 3,500 pounds with the V6.
What is the Outlander’s strong suit is safety. This is the smallest three-row crossover you can buy and it received an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ rating. That’s the highest rating the organization offers. The Outlander achieved not only a top Good rating in all crash test, but a Superior for available front crash prevention technologies.
In addition to the more powerful engine, the GT has a 710-watt, nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system that produces good sound quality. A heated steering wheel, automatic LED headlights, and LED fog lights are also standard on this trim. If you opt for the GT Touring package, then you also get forward collision warning with emergency braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control.
The GT comes standard with a 7-inch display screen, dual USB ports, and Bluetooth. There’s also Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are found on all but the base ES trim. Hands-free Bluetooth connectivity and steering wheel controls help keep distractions to a minimum.
Pricing on the base Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $23,495. Our tester was the top trim GT with the Grand Touring Package ($1,500) and came in at $33,195. Those on a budget will be pleased with how much they get for their dollar.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander offers the versatility of a three-row SUV. The downside is mediocre engine performance, but great safety ratings, all-wheel drive, and affordable pricing make it a good option for the value-conscious buyer.