How Long Do Mitsubishi Outlanders Last? (Solved & Explained)

Launched in 2003, the Outlander is Mitsubishi’s flagship model.

It’s one of the few 7-seater SUVs in its class courtesy of the folding third-row back seats.

It’s definitely got practicality on its side, and the latest model boasts a snazzy cabin and sci-fi bodywork.

If you’re considering the Outlander for your next vehicle, you might be wondering about its average lifespan.

We’ll cover that in this article, read on to find out…

Here is the short answer to how long the Mitsubishi Outlander last:

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a robust compact crossover SUV that can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles when kept up to date with basic maintenance and service intervals. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, it can deliver 13 to 17 years of service before requiring uneconomical repairs.

How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Mitsubishi Outlander?

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a highly durable SUV, that has many long-term satisfied customers.

Testament to this is the fact that first generation Outlanders can still be found on the roads today – this is quite impressive, considering they have been around for nearly two decades.

Across forums we came across plenty of owners that have hit high numbers in their Outlanders, some have even reported reaching well over 300,000 miles on the original transmission.

Whilst high mileages like this can be achieved, they shouldn’t necessarily be expected, and a conservative estimate for the Outlanders lifespan will fall in the 200k – 250k region, providing it’s been well looked after.

Even the Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) variants have proven to be reliable vehicles, and many have gone past 100,000 miles with no issues. 

Looking at lots of different owner reviews, the general consensus is that the Outlander is a relatively low-maintenance vehicle. 

Many are happy to report that they’ve only had to fork out for consumables and wear items like oil, fluids, filters, belts, tires and brake pads even after reaching the 100,000-mile mark.

Keep in mind driving habits will also play a large role in the longevity of the Outlander, and although it’s an SUV, it’s not designed for extreme off-roading.

Such activities will put a lot of strain on the vehicle and should be avoided, as will overworking the engine or being too aggressive with the gas and brake pedals.

The life expectancy of your Outlander will be cut short if you avoid:

  • Using quality parts
  • Service appointments
  • Routine oil changes
  • Tire rotations
  • Driving smoothly

New Outlanders also come with a transferable 5-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Do Mitsubishi Outlanders Rust Easily?

The Mitsubishi Outlander is on par with other vehicles in its class when it comes to rust and corrosion issues. Despite a number of rust-related recalls, complaints of rusting aren’t overly common. 

It has received some negative reviews regarding paint quality though and some owners recommend getting a 3M paint protection film whilst others suggest weekly washes and waxing every 2-3 months.

A large number of Outlanders made from 2003 to 2013 have been recalled due to excessive rust on the front subframe which can cause the lower control arms to detach. 

However, this only affects models sold in areas that use salt on their roads during the winter. 

Vehicles that have spent most of their lives in warmer climates and away from the coast should not be affected by these corrosion problems. 

Tips to protect your Outlander from rust:

  • Regularly wash and dry your car: This includes its underside (especially during the winter) to remove the salt, dirt and grime that causes rust. We recommend having a detail shop wash everything underneath at the end of each winter.
  • Repair paint damage and scratches: Exposed metal will oxidize. If it’s beyond a DIY fix, speak to your local body repair shop.
  • Garage: Store your Outlander in a garage to protect it from harsh weather and bird droppings.
  • Waxing: Wax your car twice a year. Not only will this make your Outlander look better, it also gives a protective coating against rust.
  • Rustproofing: If you’re planning on keeping your Outlander for a very long time, you might want to consider a rustproofing treatment; popular choices are Krown and Rust Check.
  • Ceramic Coating: A popular choice for those who want to add an extra layer of protection to the paint job.

Mitsubishi offers a 7-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion warranty. If you’re concerned about excessive rust on your Outlander, it’s best to let the dealership take a look before it gets worse.

Related: 6 Most Common Problems of the Mitsubishi Outlander (Explained)

What is High Mileage for a Mitsubishi Outlander?

A Mitsubishi Outlander with over 120,000 miles is considered a high mileage vehicle. 

It’s already way past its bumper-to-bumper warranty, and just slightly over its powertrain warranty. 

At this point, you’ll be fully responsible for any issues or manufacturing defects you’ll encounter.

However, a 120,000-mile Outlander isn’t necessarily a money pit as long as it’s been properly maintained and the previous owners have kept up with its regular service intervals.

A well-maintained, high-mileage Outlander can actually offer a lot of value for your money. 

Mitsubishis don’t have very good resale values in the used market so you can always pick them up for a relative bargain.

And considering they’re quite reliable and easy to maintain, you can enjoy a newer vehicle with lots of life left in it for a reasonable price.

When buying a used Outlander, consider the following:

  1. Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide evidence of this.
  2. Get a second opinion. Take it to an independent auto diagnostic clinic or have it inspected by a mechanic.
  3. Check the CarFax. This doesn’t guarantee anything but it will provide a clearer picture of wear-and-tear. Ensure it has minimal damage, if any. Review the information to make sure if something happened such as engine- or transmission-related.
  4. Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually means more wear-and-tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
  5. How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, you should evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending a bit extra on something more reliable.

How Long Do Mitsubishi Outlander Last Compared to Similar Car Models?

In this section we’ll compare the Outlander to some of its rivals.

Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 is a mid-size SUV that’s only slightly larger than the Outlander and can also seat 7 passengers.

The predicted mileage of the CX-9 is 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, which is the same as the Outlander.

  • RepairPal gave the CX-9 and Outlander reliability ratings of 4/5 which is considered above average. 
  • Annual average repair and maintenance cost for the CX-9 is $539 which is almost the same as the Outlander’s $519.
  • Kelley Blue Book consumer reliability ratings scores the CX-9 a 4.9/5.0 vs. 4.6/5.0 for the Outlander.
  • J.D. Power scores the CX-9 at 78/100 for quality and reliability while the Outlander achieved a slightly higher 82/100.

The CX-9 costs almost twice as much as the Outlander but it’s also more luxurious.

They’re fairly even when it comes to reliability and maintenance costs, and they’re both quite stylish vehicles. 

The final decision will ultimately come down to how much value you put on the CX-9’s refinement, or if the Outlander is good enough for your needs.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Mazda CX-9 Last?

Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is the best selling compact SUV in the United States. It’s slightly more expensive than the Outlander and also lacks the extra third-row seating.

The RAV4 is backed by Toyota reliability and can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 16 – 20 years, which is a bit more than the Outlander’s expected lifespan.

  • RepairPal gave the RAV4 and Outlander similar reliability ratings of 4/5 which is considered above average. 
  • The RAV4 is slightly cheaper to maintain with an average annual repair and maintenance cost of $429, compared to $519 for the Outlander.
  • Kelley Blue Book consumer reliability ratings scores the RAV4 at 3.3/5.0 which is significantly lower than the 4.6/5.0 it gave to the Outlander.
  • J.D. Power scores the RAV4 at 80/100 for quality and reliability while the Outlander achieved a slightly higher 82/100.

Although the RAV4 has a longer lifespan and lower maintenance costs, the Outlander seems to enjoy a slight edge as far as consumer satisfaction is concerned. 

Overall reliability for both vehicles should be roughly the same, but resale values for the Toyota will be much better.

Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has a strong reputation for ruggedness, durability, and off-road prowess. Pricing for both vehicles is about the same.

Subaru’s Forester can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, the same as the Outlander.

  • RepairPal gave the Forester an above average reliability rating of 3.5/5 which is lower than the Outlander’s 4/5.
  • The Forester is more expensive to maintain with an average annual repair and maintenance cost of $632, compared to $519 for the Outlander.
  • Kelley Blue Book consumer reliability ratings scores the Forester at 4.5/5.0 which is about even to the Outlander’s 4.6/5.0.
  • J.D. Power gave the Forester and Outlander similar ratings of 82/100 quality and reliability.

The Outlander is definitely the more practical choice if you need more seating capacity, while Forester is better for camping and adventuring duties. 

The choice will really depend on your lifestyle and what you’re looking to get out of your vehicle.

Be sure to check out our article: How Long Do Subaru Foresters Last?

Comparison Chart

OutlanderCX-9RAV4Forester
Annual Repair Cost$519$539$429$632
Reliability Rating4/54/54/53.5/5
KBB Consumer Rating4.6/54.9/53.3/54.5/5
J.D. Power Rating82/10078/10080/10082/100
Lifespan (miles)200k-250k200k-250k250k-300k200k-250k

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Reliable?

We can safely say that the Mitsubishi Outlander is a reliable vehicle. After being in the market for almost two decades, all generations of the Outlander have shown that they can provide a dependable ride.

Based on owner recommendations, the only thing you really have to keep on top of is the CVT transmission fluid changes to ensure that it lasts just as long as the rest of the vehicle.

Here are a couple of stats that back up the Outlander’s overall reliability:

  • RepairPal ranks the Outlander 8th out of 26 compact SUVs and gave it an above average reliability rating of 4/5.
  • The Kelley Blue Book consumer rating index gives the Outlander a very respectable reliability rating of 4.6/5.
  • JD Power gave the Outlander a consumer quality and reliability rating of 82/100.
  • In 2017 WhatCar voted the Outlander as the most reliable large SUV and Mitsubishi was voted the runner-up most reliable brand

Reliability Compared to Other SUVs

ModelReliability 
Subaru Crosstrek4.5 / 5.0
Honda CR-V4.5 / 5.0
Toyota RAV44.0 / 5.0
Nissan Rogue Select4.0 / 5.0
Hyundai Tucson4.0 / 5.0
Kia Sportage4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Outlander4.0 / 5.0
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Cherokee4.0 / 5.0
Mazda Tribute4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Compass4.0 / 5.0
Kia Sorento4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Rogue4.0 / 5.0
Honda Element4.0 / 5.0
Jeep Patriot4.0 / 5.0
Ford Escape4.0 / 5.0
Subaru XV Crosstrek4.0 / 5.0
Nissan Xterra4.0 / 5.0
Chevrolet Captiva3.5 / 5.0
Nissan Murano3.5 / 5.0
Subaru Forester3.5 / 5.0
GMC Terrain3.5 / 5.0
Chevrolet Equinox3.5 / 5.0
Fiat 500L3.5 / 5.0
Jeep Wrangler3.5 / 5.0
Volkswagen Tiguan3.0 / 5.0
Avg. Compact SUV4.0

The Best and Worst Years for Mitsubishi Outlander

Given the Outlander’s long history in the market, there are bound to be problematic years as well as excellent ones.

Worst Model Year

According to Car Complaints, the 2018 Outlander was the worst model year due to the high costs of repairs and more problems at lower mileage. Its worst problems were related to issues with interior accessories.

The 2014 Outlander received the most complaints overall, most of it related to electronics and interior issues.

The most common reported Outlander issues are:

  • Premature brake wear
  • Paint chipping
  • Low tire pressure warning issues

Best Model Year

The best model years for the Outlander are the most recent models from 2019 onwards as these have the fewest reported complaints. 

Our top pick would be the 2022 model thanks to its revamped exterior design and improved driving agility.

At the start of each new Outlander generation complaints are higher, and then taper off towards the end of the generation (something to bear in mind if buying used).

This shows that Mitsubishi is continually fine-tuning production and quality to deliver a better product.

Model Year and Number of Complaints

Here are the total number of complaints for each Outlander model year from the Car Complaints database.

Model YearNo. of Complaints
20220
20210
20200
20190
201810 (Worst year)
201711
201611
201511
201416
20131
20122
20115
20103
20097
20086
200710
20062
20053
20042
20031

What About Recalls for These Models?

The Mitsubishi Outlander has had 132 recalls across all model years spanning close to 2 decades.

It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge to the consumer.

You can check if your Outlander has been subject to a recall campaign by entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into the NHTSA’s recall website or Mitsubishi’s own recall web page.

Here are the total number of recall campaigns for every model year of the Mitsubishi Outlander:

  • 2020: 1
  • 2019: 3
  • 2018: 4
  • 2017: 4
  • 2016: 9
  • 2015: 10
  • 2014: 7
  • 2013: 14
  • 2012: 10
  • 2011: 14
  • 2010: 10
  • 2009: 13
  • 2008: 12
  • 2007: 9
  • 2006: 1
  • 2005: 1
  • 2004: 4
  • 2003: 6

Mitsubishi Outlander Model Year List

First Generation:

  • 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander

Second Generation:

  • 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

Third Generation:

  • 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander

Fourth Generation:

  • 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Are Mitsubishi Outlander Expensive to Maintain?

According to RepairPal, the Outlander’s maintenance and repair costs $519 per year.

In comparison, the average for all compact SUVs is $521 while the average across all the vehicles in its database is $652.

You can find a full breakdown of tune-up and repair costs here.

ModelAvg. Annual Repair CostFrequency of
Unscheduled Repairs (per year)
Probability of
Severe Repairs
Subaru Crosstrek$4920.17%
Honda CR-V$4070.39%
Toyota RAV4$4290.310%
Nissan Rogue Select$4360.310%
Hyundai Tucson$4260.310%
Kia Sportage$4620.211%
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport$4980.310%
Mitsubishi Outlander$5190.311%
Jeep Cherokee$4200.212%
Mazda Tribute$5230.311%
Jeep Compass$5260.311%
Kia Sorento$5330.311%
Nissan Rogue$4670.312%
Honda Element$4910.610%
Jeep Patriot$5960.312%
Ford Escape$6000.311%
Subaru XV Crosstrek$6310.411%
Nissan Xterra$5140.314%
Chevrolet Captiva$5850.313%
Nissan Murano$5070.514%
Subaru Forester$6320.413%
GMC Terrain$5580.317%
Chevrolet Equinox$5370.318%
Fiat 500L$6400.217%
Jeep Wrangler$6940.316%
Volkswagen Tiguan$7300.912%
Avg. Compact SUV$5210.311%

How Long Do the Brakes Last?

The Outlander’s stock brake pads can last up to 60,000 miles if you mostly drive on the highway and leave a lot of room for the car ahead. 

This lifespan can drop significantly to 20,000 to 30,000 miles if you do a lot of stop-and-go traffic in the city. 

  • You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
  • Brake pad replacement, which includes parts and labor, can cost anywhere between $150 – $300 per axle.
  • Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.
  • A sporty driving style will lead to faster deterioration of brakes, a slow and steady style will help them last longer.

You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Mitsubishi Lancers Last?

How Long Do the Tires Last?

The stock tires on a Mitsubishi Outlander usually last up to 50,000 or 3 to 5 years, however they can wear out much sooner. This is dependent on various factors such as driving habits, climate, and road conditions.

  • Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
  • If you have to drive on rough or flooded roads, or go off-roading, your tires will take more of a beating.
  • Check your tire pressures every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
  • Have a mechanic check your wheel alignment every 6 months

How Long Do Mitsubishi Outlander Engines Last?

An Outlander’s engine will last at least 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years before needing major repairs or an overhaul. This can vary drastically depending on maintenance and the overall care of the vehicle.

If you take good care of your Mitsubishi and make sure the timing belt and water pump are replaced when it’s due, you may even exceed its expected lifespan.

How Long Do Mitsubishi Outlander Batteries Last?

The Outlander’s battery usually lasts between 3-5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on factors such as climate, driving habits, the type of battery, and more.

The batteries on new Outlanders are also guaranteed for the first 2 years.

When it comes to the Outlander PHEV, its battery pack is guaranteed to last at least 8 years with no less than 70% of its original charge capacity.

The battery pack itself is also covered by a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

  • Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
  • Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
  • Storage: Keep your Outlander stored indoors away from extreme changes in temperature.
  • Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.

How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?

The Mitsubishi Outlander uses iridium-tipped spark plugs which are designed to last until the vehicle’s 105,000 major service interval.

Your dealership will usually inspect the spark plugs during routine maintenance to catch any premature wear and possible engine issues. 

Signs of a fouled spark plug include:

  • Reduced gas mileage
  • Lack of acceleration
  • Rough idling
  • Hard starts
  • Engine misfires

What About Insurance Cost?

The average cost of full comprehensive coverage for a Mitsubishi Outlander is $1,624 per year or around $135 per month. In comparison, its segment rivals cost an average of $1,523 per year to insure.

Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best possible deal for your Outlander.

Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Mitsubishi Outlander

  • Adopt smooth driving habits.
  • Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
  • Use quality parts and fluids.
  • Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
  • Regularly wash your Outlander to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust developing.
  • Check your Outlander’s engine oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels and top them up when required.
  • Keep your Outlander in a garage to help protect it from the elements.
  • Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your Outlander needs and what quantity, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.

Resources

https://www.mitsubishicars.com/outlander/2022

https://repairpal.com/reliability/mitsubishi/outlander

https://www.kbb.com/mitsubishi/outlander/2020/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2020/mitsubishi/outlander

https://www.kbb.com/mazda/cx-9/2020/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2020/mazda/cx-9

https://repairpal.com/reliability/mazda/cx-9

https://repairpal.com/reliability/toyota/rav4

https://www.kbb.com/toyota/rav4/2020/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2021/toyota/rav4

https://repairpal.com/reliability/subaru/forester

https://www.kbb.com/subaru/forester/

https://www.jdpower.com/cars/2021/subaru/forester

https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g15380025/best-small-compact-suv-truck/