Crossover & Midsize

How Reliable Is the Mitsubishi Outlander?

Technically, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is an award-winning car. Kelley Blue Book awarded it the 5-Year Cost to Own honor for 2020, and reliably keeping a car on the road at a reasonable cost is more important than ever. But a low cost doesn’t necessarily mean a car is a good value, and critics have already found plenty of the Mitsubishi Outlander’s features that could stand to be more reliable.

The Consumer Reports breakdown

Consumer Reports lists a range of scores for vehicles in the Mitsubishi Outlander’s class (compact SUV). The ratings range from a dismal 51 (the 2020 Jeep Compass) all the way to a stand-out 84, shared by the 2020 Mazda CX-5 and the 2020 Subaru Forester. Where does the Mitsubishi Outlander fall? A score of 54, with a two-out-of-five rating for “predicted owner satisfaction.”

The vehicle does score high in value, providing a lot of car for the price. MSRP starts as low as $24,895 for a base model, which is almost unrivaled among 2020 SUVs. However, the rest of the Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t measure up to its competitors. Consumer Reports scores each SUV on a Reliability Index of 0 through 100. In this category, the Mitsubishi Outlander came in at 43 percent.

There simply aren’t enough standout qualities on the Mitsubishi Outlander to put it ahead of its competitors, and it doesn’t make up that difference in reliability (or even in price). Most of the press the Outlander has received so far has been negative, and there’s a good reason for it. Compact SUVs are still a relatively new market, and car manufacturers are pushing their best models into the game. But it looks like Mitsubishi didn’t get the memo as the Outlander is quickly becoming outclassed.

Whether it has chosen to simply focus their efforts on next year’s Outlander or they simply didn’t expect such a negative reaction, Mitsubishi could hardly have planned for this reception. While the model does come with some of the worst reliability scores in the class, it’s not a “bad” car. But the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander feels like a major misstep.

What the Mitsubishi Outlander does right

RELATED: The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Won an Award Despite Poor Reviews

As already stated, the price is great for a compact SUV. The Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t a standout in its class, but it drives just fine. The third-row seat goes a long way toward giving it utility on the road, and it comes with standard safety features like lane warning and pedestrian detection. Mitsubishi’s vehicles have been excellent in the past, and many of their other offerings are excellent quality. Unfortunately, it seems like the Outlander may have missed the boat.

As already stated, the price is great for a compact SUV. The Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t a standout in its class, but it drives just fine. The third-row seat goes a long way toward giving it utility on the road, and it comes with standard safety features like lane warning and pedestrian detection. Mitsubishi’s vehicles have been excellent in the past, and many of their other offerings are excellent quality. Unfortunately, it seems like the Outlander may have missed the boat.

The Consumer Reports breakdown does provide an optimistic take on the Outlander’s safety features. The NHTSA overall safety rating of five stars is excellent, and every other safety rating on the vehicle is either four or five stars. While safety features are standard on today’s vehicles, the Outlander at least manages to excel in that area.

The future of the Outlander line

Mitsubishi seems to be aware of the tepid reaction to their recent Outlander offerings as they’ve already announced that 2021’s model will be a massive step forward. Mitsubishi hasn’t knocked it out of the park with the Outlander over the last few years, and it’s encouraging to see them take a big step.

We’ll have to wait for the reviews of the 2021 model to see if it’s worth recommending, but Mitsubishi may be able to turn it around. For the time being, though, the reviewers at Consumer Reports strongly dislike the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander, and we have to agree.