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If a vehicle gets a bad review, it must be a bad vehicle. Right? Well, not exactly. Sometimes a vehicle gets a terrible review from critics, but it’s actually a great buy.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander fits this description perfectly. Consumer Reports gave it a low score but still considers it a great buy. So how does that happen, exactly? 

This score can’t get much lower

Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander an overall score of 55. While this was hardly the lowest scoring SUV on the list, that’s not exactly promising for anyone looking to buy a new vehicle.

The reliability rating is a solid three, which means it’s right in the middle of the pack. The predicted owner satisfaction rating, on the other hand, is just 2 out 5. That’s not exactly promising by any means.

The road test was what really brought the score down. Consumer Reports gave the Outlander a score of 59 due to the fact that almost everything on the Outlander ranked a three out of five, making it merely average.

Consumer Reports was not pleased and gave the Outlander a scathing review. The review site stated,

“Despite recent updates, the Outlander feels old enough to have been cast in a Friends episode. Compared with the rest of its class, the Outlander is ranked near the bottom.”

Some of the complaints Consumer Reports had was that the Outlander is a nightmare to turn. It also shakes so hard that many passengers complain of getting motion sickness. Add in an engine that Consumer Reports stated could “emit a nasty howl befitting a Soundgarden reunion,” and there’s not much to love on the Outlander.

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate enough, but just barely. It can start and stop on command, and that’s about it. For anyone looking for a powerful vehicle, the 2021 Outlander is not it. 

Why is the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander considered such a good buy?

One of the biggest things the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander has going for it is the third-row seating. The SUV segment is heating up, and three-row SUVs are especially popular. Unfortunately, these SUVs also not cheap. That’s where Mitsubishi brings in the value.

The ability to buy a third-row SUV that is actually affordable seems like a win-win. And it could be, if you’re only sitting kids back there. The third-row is described as only being suitable for anyone 5′ 3″ or shorter. Still, for anyone with little ones, this is a suitable vehicle until they hit a growth spurt.

It also offers some decent safety features. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, anti lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and daytime running lights all come standard.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander is the perfect SUV for anyone on a budget

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the cheapest SUVs on the market. It starts at $24,895 and tops out at $41,695. For anyone who is watching their purse strings closely, this is a bargain.

It’s definitely got its flaws, but for anyone looking for a decent enough vehicle, and if they want something new, the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t a terrible investment.

There are obviously better choices out there, such as the Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, and the Honda CR-V. All of these vehicles got higher scores, cost around the same amount, and have stellar reputations. Consumer Reports considers their value to be subpar, however, so it really boils down to your personal preferences.

In spite of the great price, Consumer Reports still isn’t sold on the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander. In fact, the review site recommends you skip the Outlander completely, and buy a used SUV. It might not be brand new, but you’ll be able to buy a superior vehicle for about the same price.


How Reliable Is the Mitsubishi Outlander?