The Outlander is a three-row compact crossover from Mitsubishi. It’s not top of mind for most drivers but it’s a decent vehicle and a vast improvement over older models. The 2023 Outlander has an upscale interior, comfortable ride, ample cargo space, good fuel economy, and lots of standard features and tech, all at a relatively low price. The only real drawback is lackluster performance.

Base Price: $35,945
As Tested: $39,865
Horsepower: 181
Mileage: 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

The Outlander got a makeover for the 2022 model year. For 2023, two new trims are added: Ralliart and 40th Anniversary.

The Outlander is a cousin to the Nissan Rogue. Mitsubishi and Nissan have the same parent company, so both crossovers share the same platform and many features. However, the Rogue only seats five passengers in two rows of seating, while the Outlander has room for up to seven in three rows. In fact, the Outlander is one of only a few compact crossovers with three rows.

There are nine trims: ES, SE, SE Special Edition, SEL, Special Edition, Black Edition, SEL Black Edition, Ralliart and 40th Anniversary. Starting prices range from $27,595 to $39,995. Front-wheel drive is standard on the ES, SE, SE Special Edition, Black Edition, SEL, SEL Black Edition, and all-wheel drive is available on all of these trims for $1,800. All-wheel drive comes standard on the Ralliart and 40th Anniversary trims.

There’s one powertrain, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic.

There’s enough power for everyday driving situations, but performance is rather lackluster. Don’t count on being able to speed up quickly for merging and passing. The suspension is fairly stiff so you’ll notice bumps and rough roads. On the positive side, the Outlander has nicely weighted steering and stays composed when cornering. Let’s be real – when you’re behind the wheel of a three-row crossover, you’re probably not expecting sports car-like handling.

When properly equipped, the Outlander can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Fuel economy is good for the class. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel drive models do a bit better at 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/27 mpg combined.

The Outlander has a nice cabin with many upscale touches. This is a huge improvement over older Mitsubishis that were known for their low-rent interiors. Front seats are supportive and comfortable. The second row is fine for a couple of adults. The third row is very tight and suitable only for small kids.

Standard features include a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, seven-inch digital instrument cluster display, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, voice recognition, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include proximity keyless entry, surround-view camera system, head-up display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tri-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather and suede upholstery, real leather or semi-aniline leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, four-way power-adjustable passenger seat, driver’s seat memory settings, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, 10-speaker Bose premium stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, two rear USB ports, rear-window manual sunshades, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a panoramic sunroof.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-change assist, blind-spot monitoring, pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, driver-attention monitoring, and rear-seat alert.

Available driver assistance technologies include lane-keep assist, lane-centering assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and front parking sensors.

The infotainment system is user-friendly. Menus are logically laid out, and physical buttons and knobs make it easy to adjust audio, climate and map functions. Graphics look good and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands.

The Outlander has limited cargo space with all three rows in place – just 11.7 cubic feet. There are a healthy 33.5 cubes with the third row folded, and a ginormous space of 79.7 cubes with both rows folded.

The good:

Composed handling

Attractive, upscale cabin

Lots of standard and available features and tech

User-friendly infotainment system

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Relatively low price for the class

The not-so-good:

Underwhelming performance

Cramped third row

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $35,945. The SEL Touring Package is $2,200 and includes a heated steering wheel, 10.8-inch head-up display, Bose Premium Sound System with 10 speakers and power panoramic sunroof. The Accy tonneau cover is $200. The Welcome Package is $175 and includes carpeted floor mats and portfolio, touch up paint pen, and center console tray mat.

Bottom line:

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the few compact crossovers that has three rows of seating and room for seven passengers. It’s much better than older models with a nice cabin, lots of standard and available features and tech, decent fuel economy and composed handling. The only negatives are meh performance and a cramped third row. Otherwise, it’s a decent offering, especially for budget-conscious buyers.

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