2020 Mitsubishi Outlander
At the top of Mitsubishi’s lineup, the Outlander is the largest, versatile, and most practical vehicle the brand sells. It is also Mitsubishi’s only vehicle with a plug-in hybrid system.
While the Outlander PHEV gets all of the headlines and the accolades, most consumers have a choice of non-hybrid models that actually fits most budgets. This has been the Outlander’s mission since the current body style arrived for the 2014 model year.
As its competitors are offering newer, shinier options, we wanted to know how well the Mitsubishi Outlander has held up over time. And, is it still a strong value proposition for families?
The 2020 Outlander sports the “Dynamic Shield” design language that gives it a personality that some other competitors do not have. The grille and headlamps are handsome, leading to a tall, sturdy, and stylish design throughout. Second- and third-row passengers will love its large and, wide opening doors for everyone to climb on board. The tailgate opens wide and tall to make loading and unloading easier.
Our Limited Edition model adds a set of 18-inch gloss black wheels, and a black grille with dark chrome finishes. Set to the Red Diamond paint finish, our tester stood out offering both style and assertion in a single package.
Inside, you are treated to an accommodating cabin for its size. The instrumentation is straightforward with a comprehensive cluster of dials and a small center TFT screen for trip information, fuel, and temperature gauges. The sightlines are lower, but quite good overall. The new 8-inch infotainment screen at a high position for a quick glance, augmented by redundant controls on the steering wheel. Cruise control, along with adjustable distance sensing, appear on the steering wheel. With paddle shifters mounted on the column and logical stalk controls, Outlander drivers have a lot at the tips of their fingers to make driving pleasurable.
Front seating is huge. Many bodies will find comfort with mild bolstering on the cushion and seatback. Our LE tester offered a combination of “soft touch seating surfaces” in black – a mix of leather and suede – with red stitching accents. The second-row seats are multi-adjustable with good third row access through its large rear doors. You can also adjust the second row for leg room and recline. Third row space can accommodate two children, or simply folded down for better cargo utilization.
Cargo space starts from 10.3 cubic feet with all three rows up, expanding all the way to the back of the first row for a total of 61.0 cubic feet for the S-AWC model.
Our LE tester is powered by the standard 166-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Connected to a continuously variable transmission and Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel-Control (S-AWC) driveline, the overall performance and operation is very smooth and responsive. We observed an average fuel consumption of 26.3 MPG.
The S-AWC system is controlled by a button on the center console, offering a choice of a few modes for the all-wheel drive system to work in. In snowy and icy conditions, Snow mode works very well. On drier pavement, there is an AWC Eco mode that saves performance while switching between front and all-wheel control.
Driving the Outlander is a good experience, with its absorbent suspension that takes on rougher roads without a lot of feedback into the cabin. It handles very well in many conditions, including snow.
At the wheel, on-center feel is better than before. The Outlander offers a tighter turning radius than most of its competitors. Brakes are solid with good stops in normal and panic situations. The pedal feel is outstanding with great response to the wheels.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander lineup has a starting price of $24,895 for a basic ES model with just front-wheel drive. Our LE tester came with a sticker price of $31,220. A V6 engine is available on its top trim level, the GT with S-AWC.
When we were looking at the Outlander’s competition, we found that customers were looking at all sorts of choices that are either based on a third-row offering or in comparison to size. With that said, we found that the Outlander matches well with the Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Rogue, and Dodge Journey – all of these compact-class SUVs offer third-row seating. Size-wise, the Outlander also matches well with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, Chevrolet Blazer, Jeep Cherokee, and Honda CR-V.
What attracts consumers to the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is its overall value. With its solid performance, traction, and accommodation, this is the one SUV you should consider.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors