2013 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV Review, Ratings & Discussions | Edmunds.com

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV Review

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV

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Review of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

  • With sporty, assertive styling and a handful of unique features, the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander just keeps pace with its rapidly evolving compact crossover competitors.

  • Safety | Reliability
  • Pros

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

  • Cons

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

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander represents the final version of the current generation, as a full redesign is due late next year. For 2013, all Outlander models get heated side mirrors, while SE and GT trims get heated front seats.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Pretty solid

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

I bought this car at the very end of 2012 after my previous car was totaled and I had to make a decision pretty quick. I really hadn't thought of a CUV, but this was advertised right at 19K as a leftover 2012. I really liked to storage and room in the front and rear, and the ride seemed comfortable. Overall a much better value than just a sedan for someone who needs to haul stuff from time to time. So far (19 months in) the reliability has been excellent. No problems at all! Fuel economy is about as advertised 23/28, with better city mileage than that under some circumstances. However, if your highway speeds get up much above 70mph, the economy seems to drop off sharply.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great value, great vehicle!

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

I bought this Outlander SE AWD as a 2012 leftover. The price was $21,300, a great price for a SUV with AWD, bluetooth, and lots of nice features. Absolutely nothing has gone wrong or missed a beat in the first 15,000 miles. It has been fun to drive, reliable and relatively economical.

Cvt sucks

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

My CVT transmission seized at 137,500 miles. NO mention to change the fluid in the owners manual, just check fluid every 30k miles. Mitsubishi also fails to tell you they expect you to have the MIVEC motor valves to be adjusted every 30k miles (a $400-ish job) Due to limited Mitsubishi dealers I'd advise against buying any Mitsubishi. Also, the CVT fluid is $19.50 per quart, 6qt roughly to change fluid once. The ONLY place you can get the Diaqueen J4 tranny fluid IS at Mitsubishi. NOT worth the hassle. Odd size for the 18" wheels, hard to find & expensive to replace tires. Only 4 choices

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nice in some areas, but

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

We have leased 2 Mitsubishi Outlanders 2012- a full size 7 seater (4cyl) and Sport model. Both have 4wd systems. The value is very good, that was by far the best lease deal on any suv we could find, and they also gave us the best deal on our trade-ins we could find anywhere. We liked the overall appearance, features and the test drive experience of both cars. the fact that in one of them there are 7 seats, and it is a full 4wd makes it already quite unique. Everything is good and fun about these cars, but 3 important areas: fuel economy is way below the advertised, especially in the city. Cheap, easily stainable/scratchable plastic used. CVT transmission is noisy and slow to react.

Decent value

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

Compared lots of other models (Mazda CX-5, Buick Encore, Kia Sorrento and Sport age, more). This one won on price, warrantee (over Mazda, Buick, and other 3/36 warranties), and room/versatility/fuel economy for the price. They were all good, but this was lowest priced and came with a lot of room, flexibility and deceng mpg. Only real complaint is build quality. Kinda cheaply built. But overall, very nice so far.

2012 mitsubishi outlander gt

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Vehicle: 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander

Just bought my son his second Mitsubishi Outlander (2012 Outlander GT AWD). We bought him a 2007 Outlander LS 5 years ago and it has been bullett proof. No issues at all. We bought the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT 2 months ago and thus far I have been very impressed. Although it is the same generation as his 2007 it has numerous improvements and has not dissapointed thus far. The 2007 had a slight hesitation when taking off but the 2012 does not have the same hesitation and is very smooth on takeoff. It is rated 10 HP higher than the 2007 and like the 2007 is very quick (and economical). Very fun to drive.


Full 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander represents the final version of the current generation, as a full redesign is due late next year. For 2013, all Outlander models get heated side mirrors, while SE and GT trims get heated front seats.


The formula for a successful compact crossover is simple: plenty of space for five passengers and their stuff, lots of utility, fuel economy that makes the old Tahoe a distant memory and inoffensive, unremarkable design. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander -- the end of the line for the current-generation model -- nails much of those criteria with the exception of the last. With its sharply creased exterior styling, the Outlander was not designed to slip quietly through the school drop-off area.

Assertive styling and handling have made the Outlander a solid outside pick in years past, but we expect the redesigned model due in late 2013 to get in step with today's leading crossovers by offering greater versatility, a nicer cabin and higher fuel economy.

In the meantime, the Outlander remains a good choice for buyers with performance-oriented criteria, including sporty handling and V6 power. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander is also among the roomiest cargo haulers in its class, and it offers plenty of standard and optional features, including a rear-seat entertainment system as well as a navigation system and 40GB music server.

The Outlander's fateful flaw, however, is its cabin, which is functional in a sporty sort of way yet doesn't offer the premium aspect of the competitors in this class. The Outlander's puny, rickety third-row seat is another drawback. Although the Outlander is billed as a compact crossover with seating for up to seven passengers, you'd never put friends back there unless you wished to end the friendship. The area is cramped and the seat itself is lightweight and flimsy. Kids won't fare much better, either.

The Outlander doesn't get the attention it deserves, though. It's one of a handful of small crossovers to offer a V6 option, which increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds. Its tail/liftgate combination is surprisingly useful. And the Outlander handles more like its quick-witted Lancer Evolution relative than comparable cushy crossovers.

At the same time, the Outlander has been outpaced in a segment that evolves quickly. The Honda CR-V and Ford Escape were both recently redesigned, and the Toyota RAV4 should bow later this year with new sheet metal and hardware. The spacious Chevrolet Equinox, the handsome Kia Sorento and new Mazda CX-5 are also all worthy considerations. Overall, we like the Mitsubishi Outlander but we also think the majority of small crossover shoppers will likely be happier with one of the aforementioned rivals.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 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, heated side mirrors, LED taillamps, 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 sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

The SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, turn signals in the mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, upgraded gauges and upholstery, automatic climate control, heated front seats, sliding second-row seats, third-row seats, steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, a six-disc CD changer and the Fuse hands-free link system that integrates voice controls for iPod and Bluetooth devices.

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, satellite radio, 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, LED interior lighting, a tow hitch and harness, 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 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, plus additional driving modes.

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

The Outlander's cabin feels distinctly austere and masculine, all square lines and clean surfaces devoid of the accents and flourishes seen in rivals striving for a more premium environment. On one hand, the interior's unadorned utility complements the Outlander's more rugged, all-weather credentials. You probably won't cringe if you scuff the door panel with a Leatherman. Outlander GT models step it up a bit with soft-touch upper instrument panel and door trim, with eye-catching double-stitch accents. But folks considering one of the other, more mainstream trims will wonder why the cabin is not as nice as that seen in a Ford or Kia.

The Outlander's steering wheel tilts but doesn't telescope, something taller drivers should consider. The Fuse system allows you to make phone calls and access your iPod via voice commands, and is relatively intuitive to use.

SE and GT models come with a third-row seat that works in a pinch, but is too slight and ineffectual for regular use. Small, cramped and located uncomfortably close to the tailgate glass, this mini jump bench is also remarkably ill-padded. 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 -- significantly more than the CX-5 and Escape, slightly more than the CR-V and about even with the RAV4.

Driving Impressions

When it comes to driving dynamics, the 2013 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 athletic handling 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 delivers brisk acceleration. As an added bonus, the all-wheel-drive system ably keeps the car planted on loose road surfaces like sand and snow.


Talk About The 2013 Outlander

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Discussions See all Started By

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Winter Edition Bows, But Only As Design Exercise...

The Outlander as well as any car comes from factory with their 4 wheel aligned to correspond to standards of the type of car. Alignments are related with angles that receive names like Caster, Camber ...

I have the electrical diagram of the European Outlander version and I am able to see that the rear parking sensor has a control unit (parking sensor box) below the car instrumentation and wires run fr...


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