New for 2020: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t get many changes to the metal. But there are some improvements underneath that help make this one an even stronger value for buyers who want a low price, big space, and loads of active safety features. Previously, the safety suite was available on the Outlander’s higher trims only. As of 2020, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, and auto high beams are now standard ES trim upwards. The second row of seats has been re-sculptured for better comfort. Plus, the optional 8.0-inch infotainment gets a new interface and revised controls.
Mitsubishi’s signature has long been value-priced vehicles and one of the longest warranties in the business. That 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain offering is a tough one to ignore, no matter where you were originally shopping.
But that doesn’t mean that’s all the Mitsubishi Outlander has going for it. This seven-seater comes with four- and six-cylinder engines. And if you only need seats for five you can get a plug-in hybrid that is still the only one of those available in the class.
Plug-in buyers also get access to a new Premium Interior package that adds diamond-quilted leather. On GT, a new Mitsubishi Power Sound System replaces the old Rockford-Fosgate-branded system. It should offer better audio quality than the old one. Though, it trades that model’s subwoofer for some extra cargo space in the back.
The Outlander starts from $24,895 for a front-drive 2.4-liter ES model and runs all the way to $42,095 for a PHEV GT with the Premium Interior pack.
Pros/ PHEV / Warranty / New Infotainment
Cons/ Aging interior
Bottom Line/ Your only choice for a PHEV midsize crossover, loaded with active safety gear and a great warranty
Table of contents
Mitsubishi Outlander Powertrain
The base engine for 2020 is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 166 hp and puts out 162 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to a CVT gearbox and can be had with front or all-wheel drive. That engine is offered on all regular Outlanders except for the GT, and the PHEV gets a different four.
For the GT, a 3.0-liter V6 making 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque is the only choice. Along with it, you get a six-speed auto and standard all-wheel drive. Take the PHEV and you get a 2.0-liter four that puts out 117 hp and 137 lb-ft on its own. All the gas engines are happy with regular gas. The benefit of the PHEV, though, is the pair of electric motors, Both offer 80 hp for a total of 160, with the front motor adding 101 lb-ft to the mix and the rear getting 144. Power for those comes from a 12.0 kWh Li-Ion battery. It is enough for 22 miles of electric range and offers electric four-wheel drive. Plus, it can charge to 80 percent in as little as 25 minutes on the right fast charger.
Mitsubishi Outlander Fuel Economy
With a wide range of engine options, there is a wide range of fuel economy estimates. Or at least there are different sets of numbers, though they’re not far off. Get a front-drive 2.4 and you can expect 25 mpg city, 30 highway. Picking the AWD option is just about painless at the pumps offering 24/29. Get the 3.0L V6 and expect to get 20 mpg city, 27 highway. The PHEV offers a 22-mile electric-only range. Once the battery runs dry you can expect 25 mpg combined. The gas and electric combined rating is 74 MPGe.
Mitsubishi Outlander Features And Pricing
ES 2.4: Starts at $26,090
Even on the base ES trim, Mitsubishi gives buyers 18-inch alloys, LED running lights, and body-color bumpers. There are also variable intermittent wipers, which are still surprisingly uncommon at this price point. Likewise the tinted rear glass, another useful add-on. Inside are a color info display and power lumbar support for the driver, a tilt-telescope wheel, and a 7.0-inch infotainment system. Remote entry is standard too, as is auto up/down for all four windows. They heat the front seats even for buyers of the most basic Outlander.
SE 2.4: Starts at $27,290
The SE trim of the Outlander adds fog lights and automatic headlights, both helpful when things get dark. Improving the exterior looks are body-colored side mirrors with turn signal repeaters. Rain-sensing wipers are included along with a larger 8.0-inch infotainment system that gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as well as SiriusXM. Driver and passenger both get eight-way power-adjustable seats with soft-touch seating surfaces and a leather-wrapped wheel.
An auto-dimming mirror is handy as are keyless entry and push-button start. Plus, SE has automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, and auto high beams. An optional Convenience package adds a power sunroof, power-folding mirrors, and very important blind spot warnings with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alerts.
LE 2.4: Starts at $30,490
LE trim adds mostly accent pieces like gloss black trim for the bumpers and doors, as well as the roof rails and the window switches. But it also does get the Convenience Package’s sunroof and active safety features.
SP 2.4: Starts at $29,690
SP is a more sporting trim, coming with all of the black accents of the LE, but it also gets front and rear air dams, black door handles, and black badging on the hood. Like LE, it has black-painted 18-inch alloys.
SEL: Starts at $28,690/$37,490
SEL grade is the first time the PHEV model shows up on the options list. Gas and PHEV models are similarly equipped, and they don’t get the black trim from LE and SP. Instead, they offer chrome on the outside, including the window moulding. Inside they come with leather seating, a power remote liftgate, and silver carbon-look accents for the instrument panel. LED fog lights are standard. An optional Touring pack adds LED lights for the high and low beams. Heated steering wheel, the Mitsubishi Power Sound System, a multi-view camera, and radar cruise control are also available. The Touring Pack isn’t available on PHEV.
GT: Starts at $34,940/$42,890
Finally, at the top of the Outlander heap is the GT, which comes with the V6 or with the PHEV driveline. It gets the LED lights, power sunroof, multi-view camera, and heated wheel. Radar cruise control is standard and rounds out the model’s active safety suite. The only option here is to get the quilted leather seats and gloss black interior accents that come with the Premium Interior Package.
Mitsubishi Outlander Recommended Trim
The Outlander in 2.4 SE offers all the best features of the Outlander. That extra-long warranty, and a starting price of just $26,095. Even adding AWD for $2,000, keeps you well under $30,000, making this seven-seater a great value for the dollar. But at $36,295, the SEL PHEV is tough to ignore, too. If you can charge at work, there’s a good chance you can use zero fuel commuting. For many people, even one charge a day is enough for that. Accomplish that and the fuel savings should come quickly. On top of the lack of pump pain, the PHEV is quicker and more fun to drive.
Mitsubishi Outlander vs Volkswagen Tiguan
As the Outlander, the Volkswagen Tiguan is available with the third row of seats in a small exterior footprint. Unlike the Outlander, the third row is extra, so though their starting MSRPs are similar, you must add $1,300 to get 4Motion AWD to the $24,945 base price – no third row with front-drive on any trim – then another $595 to get the extra seats. The Tiguan offers just one engine choice, a 2.0L turbo-four that makes 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque with an eight-speed automatic.
The engine gearbox combo should help it return 25 mpg combined for FWD and 23 for AWD models. While the Tiguan might cost a bit more than the Outlander, and not offer the same lengthy warranty, Volkswagen offers a much more premium experience inside as well as options like a digital dashboard that Mitsubishi can’t match. It’s also a much more involving experience for the person behind the wheel thanks to VW putting a little more emphasis on driving enjoyment.
Mitsubishi Outlander vs Dodge Journey
The $23,495-starting Dodge Journey offers more space than the Outlander, for less money. It also offers Dodge’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system that’s one of the best systems around for user experience.
But for 2020, Dodge has greatly simplified the trim levels of the now-aging Journey. Gone is the powerful V6 and so the sole engine choice is a 173 hp 2.4L inline-four that’s home to the last four-speed automatic on a new vehicle in the country. It’s also only available with front-wheel drive, but thanks to the extra size and that gearbox, expect just 21 mpg combined. The Journey offers plenty of space and a low starting price, but the Outlander will likely be a better choice long term thanks to better fuel economy and that long warranty.
Mitsubishi Outlander vs Kia Sorento
The last of this small group of compact three-row crossovers, Kia’s Sorento offers a wide range of trims from basic to luxury. But that comes at the most expensive base price in this group, starting from $26,990 and a loaded-up model crosses the $40,000 mark. Kia offers two engines here, a 3.3L V6 offering 290 hp and 252 lb-ft in top trim models and a 2.4L four that makes 185 and 178 respectively in the lower trims. Four-pots get a six-speed automatic and V6s come with an eight-speed, and Kia lets you pick front or all-wheel drive on every trim but the base L. That one’s front-drive only.
In the Sorento, you’ll find a whopping 26 cubic feet more passenger space than the Outlander, and the max cargo value is higher in all configurations, including with the back seats in use. A front-drive 2.4L Sorento is rated for 25 mpg combined, with a V6 AWD model expected to hit 20.
|Price Range /||$24,895 - $41,695|
|Engine /||2.4-liter inline-4 / 3.0L V6 / 2.0L inline-4, Two Electric Motors|
|Fuel Economy /||25/30/27 20/27/22 22 mile range, 74 mpge|
|Drivetrain /||CVT, 6AT, FWD/AWD|
Our Final Verdict
If you want a small-sized seven-seater, there aren’t many choices out there. But that doesn’t make the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander a sacrifice. The new infotainment should be a benefit to most buyers, so will be the extra active safety features on lower trims. That warranty is a massive draw for the Outlander, and all Mitsubishis, and the fact that you can get this one as a plug-in hybrid, even if that one only seats five, puts it in a completely different league than the competition.