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New car buyers prioritize the importance of various features in different ways, but for a family car buyer, who is likely to consider a Mitsubishi Outlander, safety is often toward the top of their list of critical features and it has a history of hanging out at the top of its class in this area.

Most critics praise the overall reliability of the Mitsubishi Outlander, but to provide guidance to those who place a priority on safety, requires a more critical look at the overall safety of this compact SUV.

What are the crash and rollover test scores for the Mitsubishi Outlander?

When safety scores are recorded by U.S. News, Consumer Reports, Edmunds and others who provide professional reviews of automobiles, they usually look at two main organization who conduct critical analysis of safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which helps to underwrite car insurance, and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) conduct crash and rollover testing, designed to provide the hard data used to calculate safety ratings.

Safety ratings are based on two criteria: how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash (crashworthiness) and technology used to prevent a crash or lessen its severity (crash avoidance).

The IIHS uses “Superior”, “Good”, “Acceptable”, “Marginal” or “Poor” to label how a vehicle performs during testing. The 2020 Outlander received the “Good” rating for Moderate Overlap Front, Side Impact and Rear Crash Protection as well as Roof Strength Rollover and Small Front Overlap for both Driver and Passenger. In addition to these ratings, IIHS test results for headlights safety came in as “Acceptable” while the 2020 Outlander’s frontal crash prevention received a “Superior” rating.

NHTSA uses a five-star system (with 5-stars being highest) to record crash and rollover performance and their testing is a bit more extensive, including ten categories rather than eight. The 2020 Outlander NHTSA 4-stars ratings include Overall Frontal Crash and Driver Side Frontal Crash along with 2WD and 4WD Rollover Protection. Additionally, Outlander received 5-star ratings for Overall Crash and Overall Passenger Frontal-Crash as well as Overall Side-Crash and Driver and Rear Passenger Side-Crash and Side Pole-Crash.

Where most 2020 Outlander models demonstrate top-level crash test performance, the Sport earned a lower rating of “Acceptable” on the IIHS Small Overlap Front, Driver Test and a “Poor” rating for its headlights. Outlander Sport received a lower (4-star) rating on the NHTSA Overall Frontal-Crash, Passenger Test. Front crash-prevention technology is not available on Sport models, so no testing data is available for this feature.

All in all, these flaws have earned Mitsubishi’s Outlander Sport model the sixth position on MotorBiscuit’s 8 SUVs That Are More Dangerous Than You Think list.

Outlander includes a decent lineup of standard and optional safety features

Where most crash and rollover testing places a greater focus on crashworthiness, crash avoidance is a critical part of automobile safety as well. The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander has a solid list of standard safety features, which contribute to its overall safety ratings, including Airbags for driver and passenger, front and rear head airbags, and front side airbags, 4-wheel ABS and disc brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control, daytime running lights, child safety locks, and traction control.

These are common safety features in nearly every automobile manufactured in the last decade, which is one reason that Outlander has struggled to compete with other SUVs in its class. What is lacking among standard features on the 2020 Outlander are driver-assistance technologies like forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, which are only available as added options.


How Reliable Is the Mitsubishi Outlander?

Overall safety of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is adequate for families

Excepting the Sport model, the overall safety of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander has high enough ratings to meet the critical requirements of family car buyers who place a high priority on safety. Its crashworthiness and crash avoidance features of standard models will provide your family with adequate safety under most conditions, but those who want to take things a step further will have to invest a bit more money to add driver-assistance technologies.