Do you want an affordable compact crossover with room for seven passengers? If so, the Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the few in this segment with three rows of seating. It’s also the best seller in the Mitsubishi line-up with its best June sales month since 2007.
The compact crossover segment is super competitive so if you don’t need room for seven, there are many great options that offer better performance and more features.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in four trims: ES, SE, SEL and GT. Starting prices range from $23,495 to $31,695. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available. The Outlander was redesigned for the 2014 model year and was tweaked for 2016.
The ES, SE and SEL trims are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque paired with a CVT. The GT gets a 3.0-liter V6 that generates 224 hp and 215 pound-feet paired with a six-speed automatic.
The Outlander has enough power as a daily driver around town. But you’ll probably wish for more power when you need to accelerate quickly, say, when merging onto the freeway or trying to pass going uphill. It stays planted when cornering. The ride is firm and you’ll notice bumps and rough roads. At least the cabin is pretty quiet with engine and road noise barely noticeable.
The Outlander can tow 1,500 pounds with the four-banger and 3,500 pounds with the V6.
Fuel economy is about average for the segment. EPA ratings for my tester are 24 mpg city and 29 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26 mpg. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The pleasant interior is surprisingly upscale with many soft-touch materials. Controls are intuitively laid out. Passengers in the first two rows of seating enjoy good leg- and headroom. The optional sunroof gives an airy, open feel to the cabin. The third row is cramped and only smaller kids will be comfortable back there.
The Outlander comes standard with remote keyless entry, rearview camera, 6.1-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth and HD radio. Higher trims have tech such as blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning and a 360-degree camera. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available, as well as Mitsubishi’s Smartphone Link which lets you sync your smartphone to the infotainment system.
The infotainment system is a bit clunky and voice commands didn’t always work with the first try. I often had to repeat contact names when trying to make a hands-free phone call.
The Outlander has 10.3 cubic feet of storage with all three rows in place, 34.2 cubes with the third row folded down and 63.3 cubes with both rows down.
It has a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The 2017 Outlander is named as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Attractive and quiet interior
Seats seven with standard third-row
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available
10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
V6 can tow 3,500 pounds
IIHS names it a Top Safety Pick+
Engine can feel overwhelmed when pushed
Third row is cramped for all but small kids
Ride can feel harsh at times
My tester starts at $27,495. The Premium Package is $1,900 and adds blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist; 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with nine speakers, power glass sunroof with sunshade and tilt and power remote liftgate. The Cargo Tray Package is $145 and adds a cargo net, cargo tray and third row floor mat. LED fog lights are $335. Delivery fee is $895 bringing the grand total to $30,770.
Room for seven passengers, a quiet ride and a pleasant, upscale interior are the best features of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. Unfortunately there are so many other options among compact crossovers that it’s tough for the Outlander to stand out.