Mildly updated after a more thorough redesign last year, the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander continues as a moderately priced choice for consumers looking for a small SUV with three rows of seats. And even though that third row is really only suitable for small children, the extra capacity could be a deciding factor for large families shopping on a budget. In addition, the Outlander also is available with a V6 engine, something many of its competitors lack. But even with those advantages, in some areas the Mitsubishi lags behind its competitors in the red-hot compact SUV market.
The 2016 refresh included revamped exterior styling, an upgraded interior, some chassis tweaks and updated electronics. Changes for this year include a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system and a standard rearview camera. Optional equipment now includes auto high-beam headlights, a suite of advanced safety technology, a 360-degree camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. In addition, all-wheel drive is now available on the base ES model.
The interior is definitely the Outlander's strongest selling point. In addition to seven-passenger seating, buyers will like the quality materials, clean design, available driver-assist features and decent cargo capacity. One sticking point may be the infotainment system's user interface, which is not as easy to use as that of most of the Outlander's competitors.
The standard powerplant for the ES, SE and SEL trim levels is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque and comes linked to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The GT model comes with a standard 3.0-liter V6 that puts out 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The GT is equipped with standard all-wheel drive, a feature that is optional on the first three trim levels.
On the road, the Outlander handles well enough for a vehicle in its class, but most drivers will probably find engine performance to be subpar compared to the competition. Neither engine is particularly lively, and the four-cylinder version is both underpowered and noisy. As a vehicle for city commuting, the Outlander could work fine, but there are likely better choices for highway travel or serious off-road use.
Fuel economy is another area where the Outlander is a little below average for its class. The base two-wheel-drive model with the four-cylinder engine is EPA-rated at 27 mpg combined (25 city/30 highway). The GT trim, with all-wheel drive and the V6 engine, is rated at 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway).
The base ES model comes fairly well equipped with such features as heated side mirrors, alloy wheels and dual-zone automatic climate control. But only the higher trims offer such features as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a premium sound system. And only the top-of-the-line GT gets the V6 engine. Whatever your needs, let Edmunds help you find the right 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander for you.