With seating for seven, the highest crash-test ratings and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is an affordable compact SUV perfect for families on a tight budget. A new plug-in hybrid version brings appeal to those seeking an efficient SUV and helps separate the Outlander from better-known rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue.
You'll Like The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander If...
Families looking for a small SUV that seats seven, has earned a Top Safety Pick+ safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, offers a class-leading warranty, a long list of safety and infotainment features and has a starting price under $25,000 will like the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander. It’s also one of the few compact SUVs to still offer a V6, and the only one available as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
You May Not Like The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander If...
Although the new 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander offers seating for seven, its 3rd-row bench is extremely small and doesn’t really accommodate adults. Also, Mitsubishi’s reliability ratings aren’t exactly class-leading, and the very popular Honda CR-V and Nissan Rogue have traditionally held their values much better than the Outlander.
For 2018 a 7-inch touch screen and a rearview camera are standard on every Mitsubishi Outlander. Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Remote Power Tailgate have been added to the SEL trim. The Outlander GT gets a standard multi-view camera and heated steering wheel. New to the lineup is the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid, which comes with all-wheel drive and can travel up to 22 miles on electricity alone.
All models of the new 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander except for the PHEV come standard with seating for seven. Seat comfort is very good, the materials are nice, the design is clean and the interior is pleasantly quiet. Controls are easy to use, and attractive dark bamboo-like accents give the interior a premium feel, as does the new black-gloss finish on the center floor console. Flipping and folding the second row is easy thanks to a system of straps and levers and it offers easy entrance to the very small third row. Fold down both rows and you create over 63 cubic feet of cargo space. The plug-in hybrid Outlander has two rows and seating for five, as the rear area of its subfloor houses one of its two electric motors.
Simple and understated, the design of the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t stand out in a class that includes the more aggressively styled Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Still, the Mitsubishi’s look is clean and attractive, with a BMW-like character line down it flanks and an angular nose that hints of the Lexus NX SUV. Cool features include the electric windshield-wiper de-icer that helps keep ice and snow from building up on the wipers, while power-folding side mirrors and standard 18-inch wheels and tires add an upscale feel. The Outlander’s lack of a clumsy roof rack also adds to its sleek profile. The new Outlander PHEV is distinguished by distinctive badging and what looks like an additional fuel door on the right side that hides the charge port.
With 166 horsepower, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander has about the same amount of power as a Nissan Rogue, but quite a bit less than a Honda CR-V. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine is backed by an excellent CVT automatic transmission, and delivers surprisingly strong off-the-line acceleration and up to 30 mpg out on the highway. Unfortunately, those who haul a full complement of passengers and cargo won’t be impressed by the 4-cylinder’s passing power or uphill climbing ability. For these situations, the GT model’s much more powerful V6 and 6-speed automatic transmission are indispensable. The V6 also offers more grunt off the line and comes with the more advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. Unfortunately, unlike the 4-cylinder, it requires more expensive premium fuel. On the road, we found the new Outlander’s ride on the firm side, its steering somewhat numb on-center and its handling acceptable, but still not on par with the Mazda CX-5.
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of a base 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander ES starts just under $25,000. The more recommendable SE models start only $1,000 more. The Outlander LE and SEL begin just over $27,000, and the V6-powered GT trims starts closer to $32,500. The new Outlander PHEV begins around $35,500 for an SEL model and $41,000 for a GT. However, these plug-in hybrid models are eligible for up to $5,836 in federal tax credits. Compared with the Outlander's closest competitor, the Kia Sorento, the Mitsubishi's starting price is nearly $2,000 less. The larger Dodge Journey, meanwhile, starts around $22,250 -- but a third row of seats costs extra. Before buying, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2018 Outlander. In resale value, the Outlander has traditionally held up well with residuals on par with or even better than the Sorento, better than the Dodge Journey, but below 5-passenger crossover SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.
The standard 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in five trims: ES, SE, LE, SEL and GT. The Outlander PHEV is offered in two trims: SEL and GT. Base ES models come with a 7-inch touch screen, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, Bluetooth, heated side mirrors and 18-inch alloy wheels. A better choice is the SE, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, dual USB ports, heated front seats and push-button start. We also recommend the LE model, which includes a sunroof and safety features like blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The SEL is the same price as the LE, and while it doesn’t have a sunroof, it does add an 8-way power driver’s seat, leather interior, power tailgate and auto-dimming rearview mirror. GT models include S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) and a V6 engine, a Rockford Fosgate audio system, auto on-off headlights, power-folding mirrors, rain-sensing wipers and paddle shifters. In addition to their advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain and all-wheel drive, the Outlander PHEV models include DC Quick Charging capability and, in the GT model, AC power outlets the rear seat and cargo areas to power electric devices.
Among the impressive options available in the 2018 Outlander are its forward-collision-mitigation system, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning, three advanced safety features that can help prevent an accident. Thankfully, you don't have to buy a pricier top-end GT model to obtain these features -- they’re available in the SEL trim, bundled in the Touring Package. The $4,000 package also includes rain-sensing windshield wipers, windshield-wiper de-icer, the Rockford Fosgate audio system, power-folding side mirrors, auto on-off headlights, a power tailgate, a heated steering wheel and power sunroof. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on ES, SE and SEL trim levels.ouring Package. The $4,000 package also includes rain-sensing windshield wipers, windshield-wiper de-icer, the Rockford Fosgate audio system, power-folding side mirrors, auto on-off headlights, a power tailgate, a heated steering wheel and power sunroof. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option on ES, SE and SEL trim levels.
If this system determines a frontal collision with another car or pedestrian is imminent, it will warn the driver and automatically apply the brakes to reduce the severity of the collision or avoid the impact all together. This system is optional on the SEL and GT trim levels.
MULTI-VIEW CAMERA SYSTEM
Mitsubishi offers a long list of active and passive safety systems on the new 2018 Outlander, including this smart system, which provides an overhead bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surrounds. The unique perspective shows you what’s behind the vehicle and makes parking the SUV a lot easier.
Under the Hood
The 2018 Outlander ES, SE, LE and SEL models use a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 166 horsepower and powers either the front wheels (FWD) or all four (AWD). The ES gets a simplified AWD system, while all others use Mitsubishi’s Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) setup. The 2.4-liter engine runs on regular-grade gasoline and has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds. The Outlander GT uses a 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 224 horsepower and comes standard with S-AWC. That more powerful engine requires more expensive premium gasoline and has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds. All Outlanders are equipped with automatic transmissions, either a CVT in 4-cylinder versions or a 6-speed automatic when equipped with the V6. The Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors. It’s a sophisticated system that enables you to run on electricity alone up to 22 miles, or by using the electrified powertrain in conjunction with the gasoline engine. With such a system, the gas engine automatically kicks on when the batteries are depleted. Total range slots in at 310 miles. Recharging the battery can take around 8 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet or roughly half that on a 240-volt line. Additionally, there’s DC Fast Charging that lets you charge to 80 percent capacity in 25 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the gasoline engine’s 117 horsepower rating -- the combined gasoline/electric powertrain put out substantial torque figures.
166 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/30 mpg (FWD), 24/29 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter V6 (GT)
224 horsepower @ 6,250 rpm
215 lb-ft of torque @ 3,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg
2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine + twin AC synchronous motors (PHEV)
117 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm (gasoline engine only)
137 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA fuel economy: 25 mpg combined/74 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent)
With seating for seven, the highest crash-test ratings and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is an affordable compact SUV that’s perfect for families on a tight budget. One of the few small-crossover SUVs available with a third row, the new Outlander is offered in five trims, each available with all-wheel drive. Additionally, a new plug-in hybrid model makes it the only SUV in its class to offer such an electrified powertrain. Prices start under $25,000 for a front-wheel-drive base ES model with a 166-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and rise to around $33,000 for a GT with a stronger V6. The new Outlander competes with the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Dodge Journey, Kia Sorento and Toyota RAV4. (The smaller Outlander Sport is reviewed separately.)