Car and Driver posted spy shots of the latest Mitsubishi Outlander a week ago, and fans of the car are already getting excited. The newest model, which expected to go on sale in 2021, looks a little different than previous Outlanders. The original car was first released in 2014. It’s one of the most affordable SUVs on the market and, as of 2012, it’s available as a hybrid variant called the PHEV.
However, the Outlander hasn’t been a very fierce competitor with other SUVs. This could be due to its sluggish base engine, bad reliability and interior materials made from cheap plastic and cloth. Could the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander redeem itself?
What engine will the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander have?
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander came with a four-cylinder 2.4-liter engine capable of 166 hp. It gets above-average gas mileage, 25 mpg on city roads and 30 mpg on the highway. However, many reported that the engine was noisy and not very powerful. Its acceleration rate is quite poor, 0-60 in 10 seconds.
In the PHEV version, the engine gets a slightly improved 197 hp. It has an all-electric driving range of 22 miles. The newest Outlander will probably have the same hybrid powertrain as the previous model. Many speculate that it will have the same engine as the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. It’s a turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of 152 hp, though it will get more power when placed in the Outlander.
One thing that stands out from looking at the spy shots is that the newest Outlander got a little bit of a facelift. It seems to have taken inspiration from Mitsubishi’s latest concept car, the Engelberg Tourer.
This car was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. It’s a hybrid with four-wheel drive and two motors powered by a 2.4-liter engine. With a full tank and battery charge, it has a driving range of 434 miles. Its electric range is 43 miles, nearly double the range of the PHEV.
While we can’t say for certain since it’s neatly wrapped in camouflage film, the Outlander looks very similar to the Engelberg. It has different taillights, a new grille trim, and the headlights have a boxier appearance than the 2019 Outlander.
Another thing we can clearly see from the photos is that the Mitsubishi Outlander has gone from a compact SUV to a mid-size SUV. The 2019 Outlander can seat up to seven passengers and comes with standard cloth upholstery. It lacks the large cargo size of some of its competitors, with only 34.2 cubic feet of space with the third row of seats folded down.
As Car and Driver pointed out, the newest Outlander looks more spacious, particularly with regard to the third row of seats. At the Geneva Motor Show, the Engelberg Tourer was stated to have more flexible cargo and passenger space to accommodate an active lifestyle. Since the Outlander is already taking so many hints from the Endelberg, we can probably expect to see an improved luggage space.
Will the new Mitsubishi Outlander be more reliable?
The new Outlander definitely got some improvements. However, we’re still concerned about its reliability rating. Consumer Reports gave a scathing review of the 2019 Outlander, criticizing its poor engine power, bad steering prowess, and overall outdated design. J.D. Power also didn’t hold the Outlander in high regard, awarding it a 2.5 out of 5 for reliability.
However, the Outlander did receive a 5-star rating in crash tests conducted by the NHTSA. The IIHS rated it as Superior in terms of crash prevention. Overall, it’s a big improvement from the 2017-2018 models, which both had poor future reliability ratings and 3 safety recalls each.