2008 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mitsubishi Outlander Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 168 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander

  • An attractive small SUV that offers an entertaining driving experience and distinctive features, the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is a strong candidate for young families not willing to give up style for versatility.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Agile handling, sporty styling with useful rear tailgate/liftgate design, wide range of features, lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Limited access to desirable options, a few low-grade plastics, kid-size third-row seat is flimsy and hard to fold.

  • What's New for 2008

    To complement last year's standard V6 engine, a new four-cylinder engine debuts for the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. It's offered on the base ES and new-for-2008 SE trim level and comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Other changes include the discontinuation of the sliding second-row rear seat feature on ES and LS trims (it's still on the XLS) and an update to the optional navigation system that provides additional carpool-lane routing.

Full 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

What's New for 2008

To complement last year's standard V6 engine, a new four-cylinder engine debuts for the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. It's offered on the base ES and new-for-2008 SE trim level and comes standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Other changes include the discontinuation of the sliding second-row rear seat feature on ES and LS trims (it's still on the XLS) and an update to the optional navigation system that provides additional carpool-lane routing.


"An Outlander? What's that? Is it like a Highlander or something?" This is a likely response when you tell an uninformed friend that you just bought a 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander. But don't let his dim state of automotive enlightenment throw you off. While it may not be well-known, the Outlander is actually one of the best small crossover SUVs currently available.

Like just about every other model in this segment, the Outlander is comfortable, available with all-wheel drive and has enough storage and cargo space to satisfy both individuals and small families. The Outlander deserves a Girl Scout Fun Patch, however, thanks to its sporty handling and steering, and stylish, distinctive-looking exterior. It also has a unique flip-down tailgate and is available with the latest techno gadgets like Bluetooth, keyless ignition and a hard drive-based navigation and music server system.

The Outlander was fully redesigned last year and receives additional changes for 2008. Most significant is the addition of a new four-cylinder model. Available with front-wheel drive or AWD, the Outlander ES 2.4 is powered by a 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine matched to a CVT. As expected, the four-cylinder isn't as powerful as the V6, but it improves fuel economy and helps lower the vehicle's MSRP.

Mitsubishi is hoping the new ES 2.4 model, as well as the loaded four-cylinder SE model, will broaden the Outlander's appeal. They will, though by how much is uncertain. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are still the all-stars of this segment and deservedly so, given the Honda's stellar refinement and the RAV4's potent and fuel-efficient V6. Meanwhile, you'll run out of fingers and toes if you try to count all of the SUVs out there matching the Outlander in general price and size. Of that bunch, though, we think the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is an excellent choice, and it comes highly recommended. You'll just have to correct your friends when they think you've bought a Toyota.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A small SUV, the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in four trim levels: ES, LS, SE and XLS. The entry-level ES is equipped with a four-cylinder engine and comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, cruise control, a trip computer, full power accessories and reclining rear seats. The LS boasts a V6 engine and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, a roof rack, keyless ignition, an auxiliary audio jack, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, additional 12-volt power points and a cargo cover. Most of the LS's standard features are available on the ES via the Convenience Package. The SE retains the standard four-cylinder engine but adds such niceties as 18-inch alloy wheels, a 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The top-of-the-line V6-powered Outlander XLS also rolls on 18-inch alloys and adds a third-row seat (increasing seating capacity to seven), automatic climate control, a six-disc CD changer, fore and aft adjustment for the second-row seats and Bluetooth.

Most factory options for the Mitsubishi Outlander are available in packages reserved for the XLS trim only. The most interesting of these is the Navigation Package, with a nav system that runs off a 30GB hard drive, some of which is available for owners to store and play digital music files. There's also the Sun and Sound Package, which combines a nine-speaker, 650-watt Rockford Fosgate stereo and satellite radio with a sunroof and a 115-volt power outlet. XLS buyers can also get the Luxury Package, which provides xenon headlights, leather upholstery, front seat heaters and a power driver seat.

The Outlander can be fitted with the Entertainment Package as well, which includes a rear-seat entertainment system. One can also order Bluetooth and the navigation system as stand-alone accessories on all trims.

Powertrains and Performance

The Outlander ES and SE come with a 168-hp 2.4-liter engine, connected to a CVT. The LS and XLS trims have a 3.0-liter V6 good for 220 hp and 204 pound-feet of torque. V6 models sold in California emission-level states produce slightly less power (213 hp) but earn a top PZEV tailpipe emission rating. Four-cylinder Outlanders come standard with a CVT, while V6 models have a more traditional six-speed automatic. Both have manual-shift capability.

All Outlander trims are available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The AWD system offers an unusual amount of flexibility for this class. Twist the console dial to "2WD" and power goes only to the front wheels to save fuel. Choose "4WD Auto" and at least 15 percent of engine torque is routed to the rear axle at all times, and when you're accelerating on packed snow or other slippery surfaces, the rear wheels can accept up to 60 percent of the power. Choose "4WD Lock" and the system sends a greater percentage of torque to the rear wheels -- up to 60 percent under full-throttle acceleration. This is a bit misleading, as "lock" typically indicates a fixed 50/50 split between the front and rear wheels.

EPA fuel economy estimates for 2008 V6 models are average for this segment -- expect 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway on front-drive Outlanders and 17/24 mpg on AWD models. Properly equipped, Mitsubishi's compact SUV can tow up to 3,500 pounds.


All major safety features are standard on the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. (On the seven-passenger XLS, the airbags extend further back to cover the third row.) Whiplash-reducing front head restraints are also standard. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal-offset crash testing, the new Outlander earned the top rating of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Outlander's interior is attractive looking and of solid build quality, though a few of the plastics and controls feel a bit low-grade. One disappointment is the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. We are fond of the available hard drive-based navigation and music server system. Its interface is a bit non-intuitive, but overall it's one of the most comprehensive and useful systems on the market for a vehicle in this price range. For 2008, Mitsubishi has added a first-of-its-type feature that allows drivers to tailor their navigation directions based on carpool lanes.

The Outlander XLS comes with a third-row seat, but the seat's effectiveness is debatable. There's room for children only (and small ones at that), but considering the seat's flimsy construction we'd think twice about putting them back there. A thick piece of mesh fabric substitutes for a traditional padded seat bottom, and the seatback is very close to the rear tailgate. The third row folds flat into the floor, but a confusing muddle of pull-straps makes the procedure more complicated than necessary. In terms of cargo room, a little less than 73 cubic feet is at your disposal with the second- and third-row seats folded. We particularly like the Outlander's dual-opening rear hatch, as the upper portion provides convenient access to groceries, while the lower portion (built into the rear bumper) drops down to form a tailgate capable of supporting 440 pounds.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander is more fun than you might expect, as its well-tuned chassis gives it sporty reflexes around corners and transmits considerable feedback to the driver. The steering is nicely weighted, and the brakes feel strong and progressive. Ride quality is just as important as handling in a small SUV, though, and the Outlander is indeed comfortable and well-mannered when cruising.

As of this writing, we have not yet tested the new four-cylinder model and its CVT. The 3.0-liter V6 is a little shy on low-end torque, but once revved up, it moves the Outlander along sufficiently and smoothly. Shifts from the six-speed automatic are crisp and well-timed, and the XLS model's paddle shifters are surprisingly effective and fun to use.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 years and no issues

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

Owned the Outlander now for 4 years and we love it ! We bought the LS and added leather. We run nothing but Mobil 1 in it and follow all maintenance schedules. Average 23mpg in the city and 25mpg on the highway running 70mph and loaded. Aside from a bit loud road noise we like everything else on the car. If Mitsubishi had added a bit more insulation this would be a perfect vehicle. We use this as our 2nd vehicle so it only has 35k miles so far.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

It's different

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander LS 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

Pros: looks nice, Fairly good Mileage Many cons: When excellerating from stop , can not do it smoothly. You have to push harder on the gas peddle and then the front wheel hop takes over and you are all over the road. Front wheels spin out all the time when starting from stop. Told this is normal with Outlander. I have gone thru 2 sets of tires now (Rotate every 6000 miles to try to save them), but 3rd set is needed and only have 70000 miles on Outlander. (Last SUV Santa Fe had 70000 miles on 1st set of tires). I canít let my 17 year old drive it because of the wheel hop. Also radio is nuts. You turn on and 5 to 10 seconds later it comes on. You go from AM to FM or Vice versa, it takes 5 to 10 secondes to change over. (Was also told that is normal). As you ease into a turn and begin to accelerate the steering wheel will not begin to return by itself you have to pull it back and sometimes jerk it back . (Also told this is normal) . Will have to get rid of shortly to get soemthing My 17 yr old can drive. He has no problem with our other cars just this one. (told it was normal)= Dealer

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

We bought the Outlander in late 2007. The car has not had any problems so far despite the fact that it has been in major accident. I have read most of the reviews pointing to the fact that the interior has problems with the plastic parts and there is poor paint job, which is susceptible even to minor scratches and dents. Well it is absolutely true. Nevertheless, this is the great car and a great helper. We moved several times and overloaded it with furniture and other household items. It did well. Anyway the Outlander does not claim to be a luxurious SUV and saves you a lot of money over the time.

1 of 9 people found this review helpful

Bad paint on mitsubishi outlander!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

I have had this car for 2 years and can accurately review it now. I have several complaints. 1-The paint and body quality is terrible.It looks like I've been in a hail storm from the side. I have had cars for 6 years that didn't have as many dings and marks as this car does. It's a mess. 2-I have found there to be large blind spots on the bottom front windshield corners. I have, on many occasions, just missed pedestrians or cars coming from the opposite corner. The corner joining metal and the rear view mirrors create too large of a blind spot. 3-The interior being black on the red model. The other choice was light cream (on and SUV?). It is the hottest car I have ever been in.4-Gas mileage

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Great overall suv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl 6A)

Bought my deep blue metallic with 3 miles on it, 2.5 years and 66,000 miles later this is absolutely a great vehicle. Seats do get a little uncomfortable after a bit of driving. Set the cruise and I get about 27 on highway and 19 around town, V6 front wheel drive, that's pretty good. I call it my Pack Mule, fold the rear seats forward and there's plenty of room to load everything from a set of bunk beds to a six foot ladder. Done all the preventative maintenance and it's never missed a beat

Liked it so much i

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander SE 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl CVT)

Great flexibility, good gas mileage! I have a 90 lb. Doberman who loves to ride in the back! Very dog friendly! I don't think I have paid anything in maintenance with my dealer sending free oil change certificates and rotating my tires for free! Great sound system, hands free phone. very comfortable seating with good support. I am getting about 23 mpg with mostly city driving.

Talk About The 2008 Outlander

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander Discussions See all Started By

In September, at Frankfurt Motor Show, Mitsubishi will unveil the 2008 Outlander SUV....

Recently purchased an 2008 Outlander, and so far have put 143 km on it. A great vehicle to say the least. So I noticed an engine noise after pulling into my garage. You have to turn off the radio, ...

Hi, I have an 2008 Outlander VRX (3.0 V6 Auto), SatNav, Sound bought in Australia - have done 10,000kms. Anyway i have two issues i am hoping someone can help with......

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411