Our experts help you decide whether a new or used Mitsubishi Outlander is the best value.
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The Mitsubishi Outlander is a compact SUV that was first introduced in 2003 and has been through many body redesigns and powertrain changes in its almost 20 years. Mitsubishi is now owned by Nissan and the Outlander shares the Rogue’s platform and other mechanical features. You can read more about this popular compact SUV in our New vs Used: Nissan Rogue comparison, but for now we’re focusing on the Outlander.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has gotten mixed reviews over the years— it came up short in our 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Review, and it beat out the GMC Terrain in our 2022 GMC Terrain vs Mitsubishi Outlander comparison—but now we want to know which is a better choice: a new or used Mitsubishi Outlander. Today we’ll look at a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander and a brand-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander to see if shelling out thousands more is worth it in the end.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander has three available powertrains. The base engine is a 166-horsepower 2.4 liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), while the top-level GT trim is powered by a 224-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 engine and paired with a conventional six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is an option and standard on the GT.
Outlander’s SEL and GT trims have the option of a plug-in hybrid which features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors with a combined 117-horsepower. The Base engine of the 2018 Outlander gets above average fuel economy with the four-cylinder, FWD getting 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The four-cylinder AWD drops slightly to 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The V6 AWD will get you 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Plug-in hybrid AWD models get 74 MPGe and 25 mpg combined city/highway.
The 2022 Outlander has only one powertrain option: a 181-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive is the standard configuration, but all-wheel drive is an option. The 2022 model has no V6 engine or PHEV options, so the fuel economy is comparable to the 2018 four-cylinder models. It gets an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, and the all-wheel drive only drops the highway rating to 30 mpg.
The V6 engine on the 2018 GT model is much quicker than the four-cylinder and PHEV models and it will get you around town and on the highway, no problem. No matter which powertrain you choose, the Outlander’s ride and handling are sorely lacking. The ride is quiet, but cornering results in excessive body motion thanks to an overly soft suspension, and you’ll be feeling every bump and dip along the way.
The Outlander is completely redesigned for 2022 and with that comes some favorable changes to its handling capabilities. The steering is controlled and weighted well, and body roll is almost nonexistent in curves. Like older models, the new Outlander still struggles to accelerate, and getting up to highway speeds is a chore for this crossover SUV.
The 2018 Outlander comes standard with a third row (PHEV models have only two rows) offering seating for up to seven people. The first two rows are spacious and can easily accommodate adults, but the third row is tight and better suited to children. Seats could use more cushioning and interior materials are comprised of mostly low-quality fabrics and hard plastics.
Opting for the top-level trims will get you leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel. The 2018 Outlander is average in its class for cargo space and has 10.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 34.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 63.3 cubic feet with both rows folded down.
The 2022 Outlander gets slightly taller and wider creating more space for passengers and cargo. It’s one of the only compact SUVs with a third row, but we still consider the third row more suited for kids, and only in a pinch as it is tight. Passengers in the first two rows have more leg and hip room than previous models and the seats are well-cushioned and very supportive.
The cabin materials are significantly nicer as well with surfaces trimmed in quality upholstery and soft-touch plastic. This newest model has more cargo space than any other compact SUV with 11.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 33.5 cubic feet when the third row is folded, and 79.7 cubic feet when both rows are folded.
You can find a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander on carsforsale.com for around $13,000 to $16,000, while plug-in hybrid models, higher trims, and low-mileage models will be slightly more. 2018 models are available in five trims: ES, SE, LE, SEL, and GT.
All 2018 Outlander models come standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, six speakers, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, dual USB ports, satellite radio, proximity keyless entrée, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated front seats are standard on SE models, while the LE trim gets a sunroof and blind spot monitoring.
The SEL trim adds leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a power liftgate. The top-level GT trim gets a heated steering wheel, a multiview camera, and an upgraded sound system. The plug-in hybrid Outlander comes with adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. Non-hybrid SEL and GT trims can also get those safety features with the Touring package.
A new Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $26,095 and increases to $42,695 with the highest trim level. 2022 models are available in five trims: ES, SE, SE Launch Edition, SEL, and SEL Launch Edition.
All Outlander models come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, two USB ports, Bluetooth, push-button start, remote keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.
All models also come with an impressive lineup of standard safety features including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, lane departure warning, and a rear seat alert.
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The SE trim gets synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 9-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, navigation, four USB ports, proximity keyless entry, a smartphone charging pad, a hands-free power liftgate, and more safety features including front parking sensors, automatic windshield wipers, a surround-view parking camera system, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and road sign recognition.
The SE Launch Edition gains a 10-speaker Bose stereo, a digital gauge cluster, and a panoramic sunroof, while the SEL gets leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, and tri-zone automatic climate control. The SEL Launch Edition gets all-wheel drive, a heated steering wheel, rear sunshades, a 10-speaker stereo, a head-up display, and a panoramic sunroof.
Need a crash course in the latest tech and safety features? See our article, Top 10 Car Features to Know, to understand what is available and how it all works.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has gone through its share of changes over the years, and it seems that the updates to the 2022 model are some of the most favorable yet with a more upscale and comfortable interior, a smoother ride, and loads of standard safety features.
More powertrain options are calling our name, though, and we feel that more power and a PHEV option outweighs all the added safety and convenience features on a new model. We’d seek to find a deal on a used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. That will save you thousands up front all while getting the most standard safety features and continuing to save at the pump for years to come.