2012 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV

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Mitsubishi Outlander Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 168 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

  • With assertive sheet metal and sharp handling, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is the edgy alternative to the typical compact crossover.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Agile handling; useful rear tailgate/liftgate design; roomy cargo area; lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Plain interior treatment; flimsy, kid-size third-row seat; steering wheel doesn't telescope.

  • What's New for 2012

    Enhancements on the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander include an optional auto-dimming rearview mirror and a standard "Eco" indicator drive lamp. The Outlander's rearview camera system has been changed to one that displays in the rearview mirror, and the lineup of trims has been whittled from four to three.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (17 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

So far so good, could

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

I got the outlander earlier this year, I could say I love it, but I do have a few concerns, I sometimes smell burnt rubber after driving long ways, the CVT could have a better response, seems a bit on the sluggish side, but everything else I love about my outlander, the Bluetooth system, maintenance I practically do it myself, I'm going to be taking it on my first road trip soOn, I wonder how it's going to treat me on the highway.

First suv after 2-doors coupe'

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

Bought it second hand after arriving in Dubai. It is a small one compared to the others going around here. Very nimble driving at speed, but CVT transmission should be more responsive. Very comfortable and often we use it in place of the big Mitsubishi Montero we also have. The Outlander drives and feels like a car and I get most times 27mpg (highway) although mpg is not an issue here.

Horrible no confidence

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

If you need a car to get to work and family this is not the car. Continued electronic failures which prohibit the car from starting will cost you money and time. Wait an hour and try again until the next work day and a trip to the car rental. Beware the Outlander is a bad deal. The feeling of no confidence overtakes you when you attempt to start the vehicle and nothing happens, and let me tell you it is not a good feeling everyday after work to go through that. If you have kids and need to get home too, this auto may not be the best option.

So far, so good

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

We bought this Outlander new in late 2011 to replace a Saturn Wagon that was burning oil (and that we were outgrowing). Right now we have around 23,000 miles on the car. It starts and runs well. Since we are used to small engine cars this has enough power for our needs. The trunk is huge, and the radio sounds great. Seats are comfortable. Handling is superb. We get around 23 mpg overall in winter and 25-26 mpg in summer (suburban driving). Highway mpg is 28-30 mpg. The CVT is a bit growly and low speeds and RPM, but once the car is moving it is fine.

One of the best suv's

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

My girlfriend recently traded in her 2009 Lancer GT for a 2011 Outlander 4cyl AWD. Her Lancer was such a great car and Mitsubishi service is always fantastic. We recently moved into an area where we need a 4x4 so after looking at offerings from Hyundai, Nissan, Jeep, etc. we easily decided on the Outlander! We chose the 4cyl because we did the not need the power or fuel consumption of the V6. So far we are averaging reviewed specs of 23mpg city and 28mpg highway which is great for a vehicle this size! Please be aware that the 4cyl is for fuel savings and V6 is for power and towing. Choose wisely as some people seem disappointed by the lack of 4cyl power (168hp). Know what you are buying!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Mitsubishi sucks

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander

I bought a 2011 Mitsubishi outlander SE FWD grey in color in 09/2011. I have had nothing but problems! 1st the sunroof popped out of it sitting in the garage!!Mitsubishi 1st gave me the run around, and after much debate, they paid for it. Then a stress crack in the windshield. I paid for it myself because I got NOWHERE w/ mitsubishi. It runs terrible, I have to be careful getting out on the highway or I will get run over. the dealership says nothing is wrong w/ it! I can smell burning rubber, and so can everyone else! They say nothing is wrong! Now the PAINT is comming off!! Mitsubishi says its MY fault....driving conditions??? The running light FELL out going down the road,and low MPGs!!!

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

What's New for 2012

Enhancements on the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander include an optional auto-dimming rearview mirror and a standard "Eco" indicator drive lamp. The Outlander's rearview camera system has been changed to one that displays in the rearview mirror, and the lineup of trims has been whittled from four to three.


You look at the sheet metal of most compact crossovers and think of things like play dates and Little League. Not so with the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander, a pick that shares some of the bold styling cues seen in its aggressive sibling, the high-performance Lancer Evolution sedan. What's more, the Outlander's performance isn't at odds with the promise conveyed by its sporty appearance; it boasts the kind of sharp handling that's a rarity in this family-oriented class.

Fortunately, none of this comes at the expense of practicality. The Outlander is among the roomiest in its class when it comes to cargo capacity and offers the choice of all-wheel drive for those who frequently trudge through rain or snow. Ride quality is smooth and agreeable, and all the bases are covered when it comes to standard and available features. Everything from a rear-seat DVD player to a voice-activated navigation system with a 40GB music server is offered.

Perhaps the most noticeable flaw to the Outlander is its puny third-row seat. This feature adds little by way of real functionality; the area is cramped even for small children and the seat itself is distressingly flimsy and lightweight. And while some might warm to the crossover's stark, masculine cabin design, others might find it plain relative to the more visually interesting approach taken by some rivals.

Even so, the Outlander doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. This will likely be even more true this year, as two of the segment heavyweights -- the 2012 Honda CR-V and 2012 Toyota RAV4 -- have been fully redesigned. There are also a host of other excellent models vying for your attention, including the spacious Chevrolet Equinox, the handsome 2012 Kia Sorento and the turbocharged 2012 Subaru Forester. Still, the Mitsubishi Outlander stands out on the strength of its striking looks and frisky character; it's a solid pick for those seeking a less mainstream alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in three trim levels: ES, SE and GT.

The entry-level ES is equipped with a four-cylinder engine and comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, air-conditioning, cruise control, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cloth upholstery, reclining rear seats and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack.

The SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, turn-signal mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, upgraded gauges and upholstery, a six-disc CD changer, sliding second-row seats, third-row seats and steering-column-mounted paddle shifters.

All Outlander GT models are powered by a 3.0-liter V6 and come with all the above-mentioned features plus automatic xenon headlights, automatic wipers, automatic climate control, chrome accents and soft-touch dash and door trim. The AWD GT also includes an active front differential, hill start assist and an advanced AWD mode selector.

SE models are eligible for the Premium package, which adds a sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate premium sound system with satellite radio and the soft-touch interior trim. The Touring package is offered on GT models; it features most of the amenities in the Premium package and adds leather upholstery (front- and second-row seats), heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver seat.

A hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic and digital-music storage is available as a stand-alone option for all trims, as are rear parking sensors, Mitsubishi's Fuse hands-free link system, a rear entertainment system and remote engine start.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mitsubishi Outlander ES and SE are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. The GT has a 3.0-liter V6 that's good for 230 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. Four-cylinder Outlanders come standard with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the V6-powered GT uses a traditional six-speed automatic. Both have manual-shift capability.

All-wheel drive is offered as an option on the SE and GT, while the ES is front-wheel drive only. The AWD system offers different driver-selectable modes to optimize traction in varying conditions. The GT's all-wheel-drive system features an improved front differential and additional modes.

In recent Edmunds testing, the Outlander GT accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, which is respectable for a V6-equipped crossover SUV in this segment. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2WD 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander are 23 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with the four-cylinder engine, and 19/26/22 mpg with the V6. The AWD four-cylinder gets 22/27/24 mpg, while the AWD V6 gets 19/25/21 mpg.


All major safety features are standard on the Outlander, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Whiplash-reducing front head restraints are also standard.

In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, the Outlander earned the top rating of "Good." In roof-strength tests, the crossover scored an "Average" rating.

Interior Design and Special Features

With its square lines and unadorned surfaces, the Outlander's cabin has an austere, masculine feel, with fewer accents and flourishes than you'll find in some rival crossovers. Some might appreciate this lean aesthetic, but others might find the cabin too stark; additionally, there are some subpar plastics here and there. GT models are the nicest of the bunch, featuring a soft-touch upper instrument panel, and door trim with eye-catching double-stitch accents. The steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope, which may be an issue for taller drivers. The Outlander's Fuse system allows you to make phone calls and access your iPod via voice commands, and it is relatively intuitive to use.

SE and GT models come with a third-row seat that will suffice in an emergency, but this seat is too slight and ineffectual for regular use. It's small and cramped, and is located uncomfortably close to the tailgate glass; it also lacks proper padding, which results in its occupant being able to feel the seat's frame in intimate detail. On the plus side, the Outlander offers a unique flip-down tailgate capable of supporting up to 440 pounds. With the second- and third-row seats folded, total cargo space measures nearly 73 cubic feet, which is very roomy for a small crossover SUV.

Driving Impressions

When it comes to driving dynamics, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander is among the most enjoyable picks in its segment. Its handling limits are noticeably higher than the typical crossover's, its steering is pleasantly weighted and its suspension is tuned to deliver sportiness that doesn't come at the expense of comfort. While the Outlander's V6 isn't as powerful as those in the Kia Sorento or Toyota RAV4, it offers brisk acceleration. As an added bonus, the all-wheel-drive system ably keeps the car planted on loose road surfaces like sand and snow.

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