The Mitsubishi Outlander is one of just a few mainstream compact SUVs available with seating for up to seven. Unlike the Volkswagen Tiguan, which has an option for a third row, every Outlander gets seven seats. It's also the only compact SUV with a plug-in hybrid option—at least until the Toyota RAV4 Prime arrives. To accommodate the plug-in hybrid's battery pack, the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid lacks a third row.
We found in a 2016 First Drive that the optional V-6 isn't the engine to get because doesn't add any feeling of excitement or urgency. Its standard 2.4-liter I-4, on the other hand, is quiet while cruising, and the lighter weight up front makes the Outlander easier to maneuver. However, it works hard to get the Outlander up to speed. The Outlander's handling drew ire for its lack of stability and tendency to hop around over bumps. Its steering, while weighted fine, doesn't really tell you what the front wheels are doing. At least its interior is well-insulated and stays relatively hushed even on the highway.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander comes standard with a 2.4-liter I-4 rated at 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. GT models get a 3.0-liter V-6 with 224 hp and 215 lb-ft. Four-cylinder models come with a CVT while the V-6 is paired to a six-speed automatic.
EPA fuel economy figures with the standard 2.4-liter are 25/30 mpg city/highway for FWD models and 24/29 mpg with AWD. The AWD-only V-6 model is EPA rated at 20/27 mpg.
Should you want more efficiency, consider the Mitsubishi Outlander's plug-in hybrid variant. Coupling a 2.0-liter I-4 to two electric motors, the SUV can travel up to 22 miles on a single charge or 310 miles on a full charge and full fuel tank. EPA fuel economy ratings are 25/26 mpg (once the electric range is depleted).
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS testing, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander received the 2019 Top Safety Pick award. It received a Good score on all crashworthiness tests, except headlights where it got an Acceptable rating with the optional LED headlights and Poor with the standard halogen units (Good is the highest score). On the collision mitigation tests, the 2020 Outlander also received a Superior rating of the vehicle-to-vehicle category and Basic on the vehicle-to-pedestrian test (Superior is the highest rating). The 2020 Outlander Plug-In Hybrid received the same scores as its gas-only sibling except on the head restraints & seats category where it got an Acceptable score.
On all but the base trim, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams are standard. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the LE and higher grades. Adaptive cruise control is standard on the GT trim and optional on the SEL as part of the SEL Touring package.
With all seats up, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander had 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space. Capacity increases to 34.2 cubic feet with the third row down or 63.3 cubic feet with the second- and third rows folded. Don't expect much legroom in the third row, which stands at 28.2 inches. The first and second rows are more generous, at 40.9- and 37.3 inches respectively.
Plug-in hybrid models have 30.4 cubic feet with all seats up and 66.6 cubic feet with the rear seats down. Legroom in the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid is similar, at 40.9 inches up front at 37.9 inches out back.
When properly equipped, the gas-only 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander can tow 1,500 pounds with the base four-cylinder or 3,500 pounds with the V-6.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander comes standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen on the base ES model. On SE and higher trims, you get an 8.0-inch unit as standard along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. A six-speaker audio system comes standard on all models except the GT, which gets a Mitsubishi Power sound system. The SEL trim is also available with the upgraded audio system if you opt for the SEL Touring package.
Exterior: LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, and 18-inch alloy wheels
Interior and Convenience: Cloth upholstery, heated front seats, 7.0-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, front USB port, and keyless entry
Exterior: Automatic headlights and body-colored side mirrors.
Interior and Convenience: Eight-way power front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two rear charge-only USB ports, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and keyless start.
Exterior: Gloss black front and rear bumper accents, black side mirror covers, power-folding side mirrors black roof rails, Limited Edition badge, sunroof, and black 18-inch alloy wheels.
Exterior: Black hood badge, black door handles, and Special Edition badge.
Exterior: Chrome window surrounds, silver roof rails, and a power liftgate.
Interior and Convenience: Leather upholstery
Exterior: LED headlights and LED fog lights.
Interior and Convenience: Heated steering wheel, eight-speaker Mitsubishi Power sound system, and 360-degree camera system.
The additional standard features found on the GT trim are available on the SEL trim via the SEL Touring package. Power-folding side mirrors, the sunroof, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are available on the SE trim as part of the SE Convenience package.