Crossover & Midsize

This is Why the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander ‘Struggles to Compete’ with other SUVs

Mitsubishi continues to try upping its game to offer an appealing SUV to compete with other automakers in its class. In previous years, they’ve rolled out poor or average offerings and haven’t quite found the magic formula to bump up their sales figures.

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is coming out, and buyers want to know if this is the year to look out for. Have they finally given consumers what they want? Consumer Reports tested the new model and here’s the good and bad they found along with their thoughts on whether you should buy it.

Where the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander failed to impress

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on display in Los Angeles
The Mitsubishi Outlander | FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Consumer Reports listed quite a few problems they had with this SUV. One of the biggest ones dealt with the third-row seat. According to the manual, you need to be 5’3″ and under to use them. Adults, in most cases, wouldn’t be able to fit into the third-row seats, so you should designate them for children. However, you must plan on using booster seats, as there are no latches to install infant/toddler car seats back there.

The biggest turn off for them was the handling of this SUV. It didn’t handle corners well, nor was the ride particularly impressive. In fact, they felt that the suspension was okay at first but would start to become nauseating instead of a smooth one like competitor vehicles have.

The engine and CVT didn’t seem to match well either. Acceleration in the Mitsubishi Outlander would cause an annoying howling noise from the motor. Overall, they felt the handling was just too clumsy to be worth the money.

What Consumer Reports feel it got right

Despite all the pitfalls Consumer Reports listed for the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander, there were a few things they felt the automakers got right with this SUV. The braking, for instance, was a pleasant surprise. They felt that the braking pedals had a very good response. But, braking took a little too long on wet surfaces. Also, the 24 MPG fuel economy rating they gave it was good even though it didn’t stand out amongst its competitors. They felt it could be worse, though.

Another positive element they gave the Outlander was with access. Mitsubishi made it possible to enter the vehicle easily for the first two rows of seats. The seating wasn’t bad either. While they didn’t care for the cushions, they liked the head and legroom that the first two rows of seats provided its passengers. The safety ratings impressed them as well since they received a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS – the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Front and side crash tests earned a 5-star rating from them.

Is the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander recommended for those wanting an SUV?

The Mitsubishi Outlander seems to be a pretty average SUV in its class. There’s not much to make it stand out amongst the crowd and draw you to purchase it. The Top Safety Pick rating that it received from the IIHS, would be the only thing persuading you to consider the Outlander for your next vehicle. Maybe, if they improve the outdated interior materials, handling, suspension system, and steering for future models, this could be recommended.

But, as it stands, it looks like Consumer Reports recommends you look elsewhere if you’re in the market for an SUV. The Mazda CX-5 and the Subaru Forester received much higher ratings than the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander did.

If you’re shopping for an SUV, it’s recommended you continue to look and pass this one up, at least for now. Go for one that’s will give you more bang for your money and won’t cause you more headaches than it’s worth.