By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 6.0
With veteran players such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 – not to mention newer rivals like Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe – the compact crossover SUV segment is among the most competitive for automakers. Among those battling the established players is the Mitsubishi Outlander. Now in its third generation and all-new for 2014, the Outlander is a capable SUV that offers commendable fuel economy, high-tech safety features and a long warranty. The Outlander's exterior now has a more rounded, conservative look that differs from its past angular and aggressive design. The Outlander still lacks the power, refinement and name recognition of competitors, but stands out with standard seating for seven and a starting price under $24,000.
If you're looking for a smaller SUV with seating for seven and commendable fuel economy, the 2014 Outlander is worth considering. Outlanders are also noteworthy for their impressive warranty, available safety features like automatic braking and lane-departure warning, and sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that's very adept in the snow.
The Outlander isn't the most powerful or most refined crossover SUV on the market. The Kia Sorento also has seating for seven but more potent engine choices, better amenities, and a more comfortable ride than the Mitsubishi.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is all-new for 2014 with a fresh exterior and interior, improved fuel economy, and available safety features that include lane-departure warning and automatic braking. Gone is the past Outlander's innovative 2-piece tailgate design, replaced by a traditional liftgate with optional power operation.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander has two engine choices to get it moving: a 166-horsepower 4-cylinder or a 224-horsepower V6. Driving each version back-to-back, we didn't notice a startling difference when...... it came to passing power and acceleration. That's not so much a nick against the V6 and its 6-speed automatic transmission as it is a testament to how well the 4-cylinder works with the Outlander's continuously variable transmission (CVT). Still, if you regularly carry multiple passengers or need to tow more than 1,500 pounds, the V6 is the better choice. Steering is decently weighted, but the Outlander isn't much fun on twisty roads like more dynamic vehicles such as the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape. On smooth highways, the Outlander is a comfortable cruiser. The optional lane-departure warning system works well, but we quickly turned it off on twisty roads due to its sensitivity. The Outlander's sophisticated all-wheel-drive system made for surprisingly composed off-road driving.
ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES
Not long ago, systems that could warn drivers drifting into another lane or that had the ability to automatically stop a car from rear-ending another were the domain of luxury models. Both features are now available in the all-new Outlander. We tested these systems and were impressed with their responsiveness.
IMPRESSIVE AUDIO SYSTEM
We've long been fans of Mitsubishi's available Rockford-Fosgate premium audio. That system now has a welcome feature called Dolby Volume, which analyzes incoming music and evens out sound levels across devices. This way, you won't be blasted out of the vehicle when one recording is quiet and the next one isn't.
All 2014 Mitsubishi Outlanders have seating for seven across three rows. The third row is very small. When not in use it folds flat. Though not as cavernous as the past Outlander's cargo hold, space is still adequate in the more streamlined 2014 version. Folding all rear seats creates over 63 cubic feet of room. Up front, the dash and controls are clean and simple, but rather plain. The "soft-touch" dash materials are just barely that. Base ES models are even drabber, with dead spots taking the place of buttons reserved for higher trims. The available fake wood trim works, but the faux carbon-fiber accents don't.Exterior
The 2014 Outlander wears all-new and much different sheet metal than its predecessor. Though nearly the same size as the last-generation version, the new Outlander is defined by curves, not angles. Instead of sporting the sharp lines and attitude of the previous generation, the new Outlander now blends in with others in this segment. Call it the mainstreaming of Mitsubishi. Another major departure is in back. Gone is the helpful split-opening liftgate and tailgate that made loading a snap, replaced by a one-piece liftgate in the new Outlander. The tradeoff offers ease in its own right with optional power opening and closing.
The 2014 Outlander is available in three trims: ES, SE and GT. Base ES models are the least expensive and come with automatic climate control, keyless entry, a 140-watt AM/FM/CD audio system, and 16-inch steel wheels. SE and GT models come much better equipped with heated front seats, a color information screen, 18-inch wheels, a touch-based audio system, dual-zone climate control, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Those two higher trims also receive a standard backup camera. GT models come with all-wheel drive and a V6 engine in place of the 4-cylinder, rain-sensing wipers, and paddles for manual shifting. 2014 Outlanders carry Mitsubishi's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Among the more impressive options available in the 2014 Outlander are its forward-collision mitigation system and lane-departure warning, two advanced safety features that can prevent an accident. Thankfully, you don't have to buy a pricier top-end GT model to obtain these features – they are available in the mid-level SE trim, bundled in the Touring Package. The package also includes navigation, a power driver's seat, adaptive cruise control, a power sunroof, leather upholstery, and a power tailgate. Music lovers will enjoy the punch of the available 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate sound system with nine speakers and a built-in subwoofer.
Outlander ES and SE models use a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and powers either the front wheels or all four. The fuel-efficient engine runs on regular unleaded and has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The Outlander GT uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 224 horsepower and comes standard with all-wheel drive. That more powerful engine uses premium gasoline and has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. All Outlanders are equipped with automatic transmissions, either a CVT in 4-cylinder versions or a 6-speed automatic when equipped with the V6.
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 25/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 24/29 mpg (all-wheel drive)
224 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
214 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy, estimated: 20/28 mpg
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a base 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander ES is $23,820. Better-equipped SE models start at $24,620, and V6-powered GT trims start at $28,620. A top-of-the-line 2014 Outlander GT with the Touring package that includes safety features like automatic braking can reach nearly $35,000. Compared with the Outlander's closest competitor, the Kia Sorento, the Mitsubishi's starting price is more than $1,000 less. The larger Dodge Journey, meanwhile, starts around $20,000. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander. In terms of resale value, the Outlander has traditionally held up well with residuals on par with or even better than the Sorento, better than the Dodge Journey, but below 5-passenger crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V and Hyundai Tucson.
By Audhep79 on Sunday, February 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 740overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent handling in the snow/ice!"
Cons: "Premium Gas "Recommended""
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Like some of the other reviewers, I must have test driven all the crossover SUV's on the market. My main must-have was that it performed great in the snowy Colorado winters. The Honda CRV had all the bells and whistles, but handled poorly in the snow. Mazda CX-5 was too basic for the expensive price tag. Jeep Cherokee's were great, but read the terrible consumer reviews on transmission issues...etc. Looked into consumer reviews for the Mitsubishi Outlander, test drove it, and fell in love! I didn't like the lack of power in the 4cyl models, so I went for the Outlander GT V6 model. For the fantastic price, I got the upgraded sound system, power lift gate, and sunroof. Here are the Pro's and what little Con's I could find: Pro's: It handled EXCELLENT in icy/snowy conditions! I put the car in "Snow" mode and didn't even slip once (whereas I watched others slide off the road). I love the heated seats, the lack of road noise, the sound system, the smooth drive, the appearance, the uniqueness (I have yet to see another one on the road), the steering wheel controls, and the mpg that I'm getting with a V6. I could go on! Con's: For a V6, it doesn't feel like it has a ton of power still. It is economical on gas though! Also, Premium gas is recommended for max performance. I just hope gas prices don't go back up! All in all, for the price I paid, it has all the bells and whistles I wanted, and it handles excellent on the road and in bad conditions! Test it out and see for yourself"
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Frankly on Thursday, February 12, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "All the necessary equipment and very dependable"
Cons: "no roof rails on ES model"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased 9/11/14. Drove in all sorts of weather and conditions. Compared to my 2014 wife's Rav 4 and previous Forester, is equal to them in general performance and quality. The price was at least $6000 less and it does the job without excess toys. Seven air bags, good gas mileage (28-30) convenient controls, 4 wheel drive, starts easily in 10-20 below zero, and room for 5, is all I need. Glad I purchased this vehicle even though it receives lousy rating by reviewers."
7 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By JS on Saturday, January 03, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, versatility, MPG"
Cons: "Not a sports car, but that is okay"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 2015 Outlander SE AWD with no packages. Didn't want a mini-van, but wanted 7-seats (need only in a pinch to go 5 miles to movies/eat out/etc.) and good fuel economy. Looked at Dodge Journey, Nissan Rogue and Pathfinder and this. Hate the Journey's looks and handling. The Pathfinder was too big and bad on gas. The Rogue was about the same as the Outlander as far as handling, but the 3rd row was an add-on and had even less room than the Outlander. I didn't like the dash/interior of the Rogue. The 2015 Outlander is more classic and simple looking. The Rogue and the Outlander had the same driving dynamics to me (ie, 4-cyl, CVT, etc). So no really difference there. Like it lot. I like the style in and out -- better looking than Rogue, CRV, Rav4, any Subaru IMHO. Just don't expect a sports car from this or the Rogue. I have Mazda3 with a 2.5 liter and that is what I drive if I want some fun. The Outlander is for the family and works great there."
17 people out of 26 found this review helpful