The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander is a keenly priced compact crossover with three rows of seating. The rearmost row is best for kids, but that’s probably fine for 95% of families doing the school run. And most rivals only have seating for five.
The Outlander also comes with a fair amount of standard equipment for the price, achieves bearable fuel economy and even offers a version with a V6 engine, which is another rarity in this class.
This isn’t the most modern compact crossover and Mitsubishi dealers are thin on the ground, but don’t let the Outlander’s low profile scare you away. Instead, allow the test drive to be your guide.
A plug-in hybrid version, the 2019 Outlander PHEV, is reviewed separately.
What’s New for 2019?
The exterior is enlivened by a few cosmetic tweaks that include a new wheel design. Mitsubishi has also made improvements to the suspension (for both ride and handling), front seats (more comfort and support) and sound insulation. The spare wheel has been replaced by a tire repair kit. The all-wheel-drive system receives a new graphic display. All trims gain rear air vents and an electronic parking brake with Auto Hold. SE, SEL and GT trims have power-adjustable front seats and a rear USB port. SEL and GT trims now offer premium leather upholstery. And cabin quality in general rises somewhat. See the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander models for sale near you
What We Like
- Decent 4-cylinder fuel economy
- Standard 3-row seating
- Strong optional V6
- Pleasant interior
What We Don’t
- Forgettable 4-cylinder acceleration
- Third seating row is strictly for kids
The main engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 166 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy with front-wheel drive is 25 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving, which is pretty decent for a crossover. Even with optional AWD, this engine achieves a respectable 24 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.
The Outlander GT version has a 3.0-liter V6 that develops 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. AWD is the sole setup, as is a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is a strong point at 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/22 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander is offered in ES, SE, LE, SEL and GT trims. The ES has the option of AWD, costing $1,500, although it’s less sophisticated than the system in the higher trims that has an active front differential and costs $2,000. Both versions also bring windshield wiper de-icing. The GT comes solely with AWD.
The ES ($25,790) starts with 18-in alloy wheels, hill start assist, heated side mirrors, LED daytime running lights/taillights, full power accessories, electronic parking brake with Auto Hold, a color driver information display, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, slide/recline second-row seating, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air vents, 60/40 split/fold second-row seats, 50/50 split/fold third-row seats, a rearview camera, voice control, Bluetooth, a 7-in infotainment touchscreen and a 6-speaker CD audio system with HD radio and a USB port.
The SE ($26,790) brings fog lights, color-keyed side-mirror housings with LED turn-signal indicators, keyless entry/ignition, upgraded gauges, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, leatherette/fabric upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, heated front seats, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration and dual USB ports.
A Convenience package for the SE includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross-cross-traffic alert, lane-change assist, power-folding side mirrors and a powered glass sunroof with a sunshade.
The LE ($27,990) has the contents of that Convenience package as standard, and some mainly black cosmetic touches like roof rails and alloy wheels.
The SEL ($28,090) is the point where leather upholstery comes into the cabin, along with a self-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights, a powered remote lift gate and rain-sensing wipers.
An optional SEL Premium package brings full LED headlights/fog lights, a powered glass sunroof and sunshade, heated steering wheel, a multi-view camera system, and a 710-watt/9-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system.
The SEL Touring package consists of the Premium package plus navigation, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. These last four items form the optional GT Touring package.
The GT ($34,290) has the V6 engine, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, chrome exterior trim, silver roof rails and the contents of the SEL Premium package.
All Outlanders can be ordered with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and blue LED interior lighting. ES trim is not eligible for front and rear parking sensors.
Cargo space behind the third seating row is 10.3 cu ft. Behind the second, it’s 34.2 cu ft. With both rows folded flat, it’s 63.3 cu ft. The 34.2 is fine by class standards, but that last number is a bit below average. Check it out at a dealership to see if this is adequate. There’s also some underfloor storage.
Standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, hill start assist and seven airbags (front, front side, driver knee and full-length side curtain).
A lane-departure warning system and adaptive cruise control with frontal collision mitigation (including automatic braking) are also offered.
In government crash testing, the AWD Outlander received five stars out of five overall, including four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts. Strangely, the FWD Outlander dropped to four stars overall.
In the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test program, the Outlander earned the top Good rating in every major category and being named a Top Safety Pick Plus.
Behind the Wheel
Soft-touch materials are abundant in the cabin, complemented by crisp gauges (especially in the SEL and GT). Remarkably, even the base ES gets standard automatic climate control, although the barely pricier SE has enough desirable extras to make it an obvious upgrade.
Seat comfort is acceptable for everyone, except for any kids stuck in the cramped third row. That’s not strictly a complaint. A lot of parents will be grateful just to have those two extra places if needed. The second row deserves special mention for its sliding/reclining seats and generous legroom. Overall, this cabin is well thought out and nicely executed.
The base 4-cylinder engine is uninspiring, although the same could be said for most base engines in this class. More troubling is the CVT’s tendency to maintain a high engine speed during acceleration, producing an intrusive drone. The V6, by contrast, is a joy, providing eager thrust along with a cool little snarl above 4,000 rpm. The V6 uses a conventional 6-speed automatic instead of the CVT, which only helps its cause from a performance standpoint. The handling is safe and secure even during spirited driving.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Honda CR-V — Build, reliability, cargo space, and resale values are all extremely good. Only two rows of seating, though.
2019 Mazda CX-5 — Stylish, sporty and fuel-efficient. It’s strictly a 2-row vehicle, however.
2019 Nissan Rogue — Has the option of three rows. Nice interior, dull drivetrain.
An SE version with the Convenience package hits the right balance between equipment and cost. If buyers wanted to spend more money, they may find one of the rivals more attractive. But it’s hard to beat a 7-seater compact crossover at these prices. Find a Mitsubishi Outlander for sale