By Allyson Harwood
KBB Expert Rating: 7.1
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV may not be a well-known commodity, but when compared to the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Dodge Journey, it stands up surprisingly well. With a choice of 4- or 6-cylinder engines, two all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems and a host of cutting-edge safety and infotainment features, Mitsubishi’s Outlander crossover SUV proves both competent and affordable. With a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the Outlander’s coverage is nearly double that of the Subaru Outback, but identical to the Kia Sorento. A small dealer network may limit your buying options, but if you’re looking for a 7-passenger SUV with real off-road chops and, on the V6 GT trim, a 3,500-pound tow rating, a 2017 Outlander may be in your future.
March to the beat of your own drum? A 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is about as far from everyday as a 7-passenger SUV can get. With proven off-road credentials, a feature-rich cabin and a great warranty, there’s really very little to argue with.
If you’re not one for rolling the dice, the Outlander’s rather small dealer network may be a deal breaker. The Dodge Journey has a bigger 3rd-row seat and more powerful base and 6-cylinder engines, while the CR-V, Rogue and Santa Fe all hold better resale values.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017, Mitsubishi's Outlander SUV gains a number of upgrades. There’s a simplified AWD system on base models plus new features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, a heated steering wheel, auto high beams and a multi-view camera system.
Mitsubishi’s 2017 Outlander SUV is one of the few vehicles we’d recommend with its 4-cylinder engine over the optional V6. The 2.4-liter’s 166 horsepower is managed by an excellent CVT...
... automatic transmission, delivering surprisingly strong off-the-line acceleration and fuel economy up to 30-mpg highway. Unfortunately, those who tow or haul a full passenger complement won’t be impressed by the 4-cylinder’s passing power or uphill climbing ability. For these situations, the V6’s extra 40 horsepower and 53 lb-ft of torque are indispensable, although the V6’s 6-speed automatic doesn’t manage the extra power as well as the CVT. The V6 also comes with the more advanced AWD system and, unlike the 4-cylinder, requires premium fuel. 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.
Mitsubishi’s 2017 Outlander is equipped with one of the best CVT automatics we’ve ever tested. Efficient, quiet and responsive, it squeezes every drop of power from the 2.4-liter engine while returning impressive fuel economy.
ADVANCED SAFETY FEATURES
Along with the available adaptive cruise control, the 2017 Outlander offers rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and lane-change assist.
The Mitsubishi Outlander comes standard with seating for seven, who will enjoy an even nicer cabin for 2017. Controls are easy to use, and attractive dark bamboo-like accents give the interior a more premium feel, as does the new black gloss finish on the center floor console. The materials are nice, the design is clean and the interior is pleasantly quiet. Flipping and folding the second row is now easy, thanks to a system of straps and levers. That offers easy entrance to the very small third row. Fold down both rows and you create over 63 cubic feet of cargo space.
Last year’s makeover carries over into 2017, with the Outlander displaying an aggressive nose and rear for a look that is unique, but isn't universally loved. The angular nose, while definitely fitting into the Mitsubishi family, also hints at the looks of the Lexus NX SUV. Cool features like the electric windshield-wiper de-icer that helps keep ice and snow from building up on the wipers, a shark-fin antenna and power-folding side mirrors add an upscale feel.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in four trims: ES, SE, SEL and GT. Base ES models come with automatic climate control, keyless entry, 6-speaker touch-screen audio, rearview camera, Bluetooth, heated side mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels. The SE adds fog lights, dual climate control, heated front seats and push-button start. The SEL comes equipped with leather seats and a power driver's seat. GT models add S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) and a V6 engine, a power liftgate, a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate audio system, auto on-off headlights, power-folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and paddles for manual shifting.
Among the more impressive options available in the 2017 Outlander are its forward-collision mitigation system, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning, three advanced safety features that can help 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 SEL trim, bundled in the Touring Package. The package also includes navigation, rain-sensing windshield wipers, windshield-wiper de-icer, the Rockford-Fosgate audio system, power-folding side mirrors, auto on-off headlights, a power tailgate, a heated steering wheel and power sunroof.
Outlander ES, SE and SEL models use a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and powers either the front wheels or all four (FWD, AWD). The SE gets a new, simplified AWD system, while all others use Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) setup. The 2.4-liter 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 S-AWC. 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.
2.4-liter inline-4 (ES, SE, SE S-AWC, SEL, SEL S-AWC)
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg (FWD), 24/29 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter V6 (GT)
224 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
215 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a base 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander ES starts just under $24,400. Better-equipped SE models start below $25,400, the SEL starts at nearly $26,400 and V6-powered GT trims start closer to $32,600. A top-of-the-line Outlander GT with the Touring package and every option can reach nearly $40,000. Compared with the Outlander's closest competitor, the Kia Sorento, the Mitsubishi's starting price is nearly $2,000 less. The larger Dodge Journey, meanwhile, starts around $22,250 -- but a third row of seats costs extra. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2017 Outlander. In 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 Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.