The Outlander is one of the smallest crossovers on the market with a third-row seat. That fits into its mission of offering the traits value-minded families want: efficiency, comfort, and space for up to seven, even if that third-row seat is small. Buyers can opt for 4-cylinder ES, SE, and SEL models, as well as the V-6 GT, each with front- or all-wheel drive.
Changes for 2017 start with the addition of a new, more basic all-wheel-drive system on the base model. Interior updates include a 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area, front courtesy floor lamps, knit fabric sun visors, and a new center console design with a gloss black finish. The radio adds Apple Car Play and Android Auto. New safety features are added, including blind spot monitors, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alerts, and the addition of pedestrian detection to the forward collision warning system. Buyers can also now get a heated steering wheel, a multi-view camera system, and automatic high beams.
The EPA rates the Mitsubishi Outlander at 25 mpg city, 30 highway, 27 combined for the 4-cylinder with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive models with that engine get 24/29/26 mpg. The GT, with its V-6 and all-wheel drive, doesn’t do quite as well, with an EPA-rated 20/27/23 mpg.
The Outlander gets top results in every category of the IIHS tests, to achieve the insurance industry agency’s Top Safety Pick+ status. Government tests aren’t quite as good, with four stars overall for front-drive models and five five stars with AWD. For 2017, Mitsubishi offers blind spot monitors, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alerts. Also new is a surround-view camera system.
The Outlander has off-road ability—more so than most other models in this class. Its all-wheel drive system and suspension are fully up to the task of heading up most rugged gravel roads or two-tracks on the way to a trailhead.
Most of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander lineup remains powered by a 166-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that doesn’t provide a lot of motivation for a 3,500-pound vehicle. It sends its power through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The Outlander can be optioned with a long list of active safety items, including lane-departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking and—new for 2017—pedestrian detection. Those items can all be had together on the mid-range SEL, which I tested, as can three new features: blind spot monitors, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alerts.
The SEL includes leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat, power-folding mirrors, roof rails, gloss-black interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a universal garage door opener.
You can add a couple value-oriented option packages. A Premium package includes blind spot monitors, lane change assist, rear cross traffic alerts, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers, a sunroof, and a power remote liftgate. An SEL Touring package includes those features plus a multi-view camera system, automatic high beams, LED headlights, and a heated steering wheel.