2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Review: New Model Can't Come Soon Enough

It would be naive to say that the SUV market in the USA has got some healthy competition going; it's more like an all-out war-zone with each car company fighting for every inch of market share, and the sad truth of the matter is that the Mitsubishi Outlander has been outgunned by the competition. It feels underpowered and wallowy, and is just not special enough in a market filled with exciting offerings. The range of naturally aspirated engines fails to inspire, and the handling and driving experience is worrying. Mitsubishi has gotten a few things right, though; it's quite economical, safe, and affordable. With a new Outlander looming around the corner for 2021, we think it's best that the current model be put out to pasture.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 5 /10
  • Performance 5 /10
  • Fuel Economy 6 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 6 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 4 /10
  • Reliability 4 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
5.8
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New 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 Outlander?

Mitsubishi treated its Outlander SUV to a mild visual refresh in 2019, and 2020 sees even more updates, despite the fact that an all-new version is on its way. Notable changes include the addition of Mitsubishi's advanced All-Wheel control system on all four-wheel-drive vehicles. The new SP trim adds a bit of bling to the LE trim, and all models above the ES now get auto-forward braking, lane departure warning, and auto high-beam assistance. These models also get a newly developed eight-inch infotainment screen. All 2020 Mitsubishi Outlanders get power-adjustable seats with lumbar control, extra USB ports in the rear, and redesigned second-row seats. Red Diamond also joins the color palette.

Pros and Cons

  • There's a standard third row
  • Impressive standard warranty
  • Good standard feature list
  • All-wheel drive is available across the range
  • It's not that bad to look at
  • The base engine doesn't cut it
  • The interior feels slightly cheap
  • The infotainment system feels outdated

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
ES
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$24,895
SE
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$26,095
LE
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$27,295
SEL
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$27,495
SP
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
$28,495
See All 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The 2020 Outlander handles exactly as you'd expect a tall-riding SUV would: you get excessive body roll when entering and exiting sharper corners, which is especially concerning because of its narrow body. Despite being at the receiving end of a refined suspension and steering setup in 2019, the Outlander still displays handling characteristics of SUVs of old. Over small bumps, the Outlander will maintain its composure and soak undulations with relative ease but hit more serious stuff, and the Mitsubishi feels like it won't stop bouncing around. Not cool. To add to the Outlander's woes, the steering is overly soft, and there's virtually no feedback coming out of the steering wheel, which is unnerving when you're driving at highway speeds. Off-road, the Outlander's wobbly stride is more forgivable, but out on the road, competitors such as the Kia Sorento and Nissan Rogue do a much better job.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander A Good car?

In an age where every second car manufacturer is jumping onto the SUV bandwagon, it takes more than just the good-old college try to be competitive in the US. Mitsubishi has decades of experience in building tough and reliable SUVs, but in this new age, buyers depend on more than good ground clearance numbers and sturdy cloth seats. The Outlander received a minor update in 2019, and 2020 saw the addition of a couple of new features as well, but behind the fresh face lies an SUV that's showing its age. The 2.4-liter engine found in lower-trim models is woefully underpowered and struggles when pulling along a full load, but gets good gas mileage and should be bulletproof. The ride and handling is another issue we simply can't get past; it's wallowy, wobbly and uncommunicative - not something you want in a family SUV. The interior is also showing its age and makes use of hard plastics and glossy bits and pieces that just don't cut it anymore. Its saving grace is its affordable price tag and good safety record.

Check out other Mitsubishi Outlander Styles

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Comparisons

Kia Sorento Kia
Nissan Rogue Nissan

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander vs Kia Sorento

Kia has taken the American car market by storm in recent years, and it's easy to see why: their cars are good to look at, they're packed with features, and they drive good too. The 2020 Kia Sorento plays into that ethos perfectly. We should start with the Sorento's most disappointing feature; it's base engine. As with the Outlander, Kia's 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine is underpowered and underwhelming. With 185 hp and 178 lb-ft, the Sorento is more powerful than the Outlander, but struggles all the same. You'll have to get the 3.3-liter V6 engine if you're serious about getting around. Fuel consumption ranges from 22/29/25 mpg city/highway/combined in the base model, down to 18/24/20 mpg in the AWD V6. On the road, the Sorento displays car-like driving characteristics, which is far removed from the sloppy experience we had in the Outlander, and the interior and infotainment setup are also more modern. The Sorento scored a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the IIHS and its pricing starts at $26,990. We'd happily pay the extra money for the Kia.

See Kia Sorento Review

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander vs Nissan Rogue

The Nissan Rogue is an affordable contender to the Outlander that will appeal to younger buyers. It offers similar power levels, with its 2.5-liter four-pot mustering 170 hp and 175 lb-ft of torque, and, although it doesn't offer a big V6 or turbo alternative, it still manages to get the job done, and the lack of power is made up for by a gas mileage figure of 26/33/29 mpg city/highway/combined. The exterior styling hasn't seen an update in quite some time, but it still looks more compelling than the muted Outlander, and its more compact dimensions will appeal to younger and smaller families. On the road, the Rogue handles and drives better than the Outlander, despite suffering from unresponsive and overly light steering. Inside, the Rogue is clearly a better car than the Outlander; its styling design and build quality is sure to win you over. The Rogue has a good list of standard features and shares a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS with the Outlander. If it was our choice, we'd go with the Nissan every time.

See Nissan Rogue Review

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Popular Comparisons

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