Mitsubishi Outlander: Tough Enough for Iceland?

The Mitsubishi Outlander is an affordable way to get into an SUV with copious cargo volume. However, my time with the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander left something to be desired in the other-worldly landscape of Iceland. So, what’s wrong with the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander, is the 2023 Outlander any better, and is it at least tough enough to handle your trips in rugged countries like Iceland?

Is Iceland too rugged for the Mitsubishi Outlander?

While the Mitsubishi Outlander offers PHEVs in older model years and an affordable entry point into SUV ownership in later models, it’s not quite tough enough to tackle Iceland. With 126 horsepower, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is underpowered and isn’t sure-footed enough for a challenging countryside.

Of course, most tourists will stick to sections of the Þjóðvegur 1 (route 1) or the “Golden Circle,” a veritable amuse-bouche of Iceland’s natural wonders. For a trip like that, the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander is sufficient. Considering the 55 mph speed limit around the country, the underpowered Outlander will perform just fine on paved surfaces and gravel roads. 

However, the 2023 and 2022 Outlander offer more powerful options. For instance, the 2023 Outlander PHEV packs 248 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. That torque is necessary to keep your vehicle free and unstuck on Iceland’s F-roads. Also, with over 30 cubic feet of cargo volume and seating for up to seven, the newest Outlanders have enough space for a family considering an Icelandic vacation. 

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander a 4WD?

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander offers full-time all-wheel drive (AWD), and the newer, post-facelift models have standard front-wheel drive (FWD) with optional AWD. However, the Outlander’s “4WD lock” function simulates the locking of a center differential. 

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander, unlike the 2023 model, produces very little power and torque.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is more at home in LA than Iceland’s F-roads | Mitsubishi

While that’s fine for most paths and gravel roads, it’s insufficient for offroading. If you want to take a vehicle offroad with confidence in a country like Iceland, you should check out something with a traditional 4WD application, including a locking differential. 

Is Mitsubishi Outlander a reliable car?

The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander boasts above-average reliability. According to RepairPal, the Mitsubishi model gets a score of 4.0 out of 5.0, or above average. Moreover, the Outlander places 8th out of 26 in the SUV segment. As a result, the Outlander is a reliable SUV option among competitors.

Better yet, RepairPal says the Outlander has an average annual repair cost of around $519. That amount makes it cheaper than many other popular SUVs to maintain and repair. 

The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander is more powerful than the 2021 model year, so it would probably handle Iceland's rugged terrain.
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi
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What are the most common problems of the Mitsubishi Outlander?

Fortunately for owners with a late model Mitsubishi Outlander, the vehicles have very few common problems. However, no vehicle is problem-free. For instance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that the 2021 Outlander Sport has a software issue that, if unmitigated, could stall the engine. 


At the end of the day, the 2021 Outlander just isn’t tough enough for Iceland’s rugged landscape and F-roads. The Mitsubishi model is hopeless to compete with old-school 4WD setups like that in a Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender, or Suzuki Jimny. Of course, the newer models produce much more torque, so they should perform better when traversing Iceland’s countryside.