Making its US debut in 2003, the Outlander has still established itself as a popular choice in the highly competitive compact-crossover segment.
Modern versions feature snazzy bodywork, impressive handling and third-row seating as standard.
If you would like to know more about the best and worst model years, continue reading.
Table of Contents
Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Mitsubishi Outlander Are:
The best Mitsubishi Outlander model years are 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2013, 2012, 2006, and 2005. The worst model years of the Outlander are 2016, 2015, 2011, 2010, 2004, and 2003. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.
What Are The Best Years For The Mitsubishi Outlander?
Listed below are the Outlander models that deserve to be viewed as the best of the best…
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander
Although not visually different from the 2019 model year, the 2020 Outlander comes with an updated all-wheel-drive system known as the “Super All Wheel Control” for every all-wheel-drive variant.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 3.7 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year an 81 out of 100.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander, Edmunds review:
“I absolutely love my Outlander SE. The interior is elegant and classy, The seats are supportive and comfortable. The infotainment system works better than the one in my Chevy did…”
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander, Kelley Blue Book review:
“This PHEV is essentially an EV, if you can keep it charged most of the time, with dual motors. Roomy interior, solidly built all around. This is an ideal car for someone who is not driving on highways all the time. Love having the 4wd lock mode which sets this apart from most other hybrids and evs.”
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander
Aside from the significantly more comfortable front seats, there were also several electronic updates that were much-needed to keep up with competitors.
These include illuminated window controls, rear-seat climate-control air conditioning, and an electronic parking brake (EPB).
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.3 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year a 78 out of 100.
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander, Edmunds review:
“I drove an Outlander in Africa through thick mud, deep sand, giant potholes, rocky roads and never got stuck. I traveled long distances through desolate areas and never broke down. Those experiences proved to me that this is a true off-roader…”
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander, Kelley Blue Book review:
“I don’t agree with the expert reviews. I have owned many cars from BMWs, Honda’s, Subarus, dodges Nissans and Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the most reliable, stylish and quiet suv filled with good technology. I enjoy great mileage and a smooth ride. The car does well on long family trips…”
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
The 2018 Outlander model introduced the PHEV, also known as the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in America.
As for the other standard models, only a handful of minor exterior and interior updates were added, which is a good thing, given that the 2017 Outlander was considered to be one of the most reliable model years.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.4 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year an 80 out of 100.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander, Edmunds review:
“I was extremely skeptical of this vehicle and after so much research was heading to the Honda CRV instead. My wife has a friend that is a salesperson for a Mitsubishi store and after I test-drove this vehicle I was not thrilled about it — but now that I own one, it was the best decision I ever made. This car is loaded with technology features…”
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
The 2017 model year introduced a bigger, better, and more intuitive 6.1-inch infotainment system, capable of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for a smoother experience.
The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.2 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year a 77 out of 100.
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander, Edmunds review:
“I have the 2017 GT V6. This SUV is made 100% in JAPAN, so the quality is excellent.The so called “experts” claim that the GT model is a gas guzzler which I can assure you IT IS NOT, I’m getting 28 to 29 miles per gallon hwy and about 23 city. Compare the rest of the V6’s out there and you’ll find that actually this does way better than most…”
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander, Kelley Blue Book review:
“This has been a very good vehicle. Love the leather seats and seat warmer option..”
2012 and 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander
There is a reason why there are still several 2012 and 2013 Outlanders on the road. These two model years are highly reliable, have decent engine power, and have reasonable fuel economy.
The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.2 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year a 79 out of 100. The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.6 out of 5.0 on Kelley Blue Book. JD Power, on the other hand, gave this model year an 74 out of 100.
2012 Mitsubishi Outlander, Kelley Blue Book review:
“I pray they keep manufacturing parts so I can continue to drive it for more years to come. I have been the first and only owner of mine and I have been extremely happy with it.”
2005 and 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander
Although significantly dated, finding a 2005 or 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander in great running condition will definitely provide you with the needed power both on the road and off.
The 2005 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.7 out of 5.0 on Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book gave this model a score of 4.6 out of 5.0. The 2006 Mitsubishi Outlander secured a 4.7 out of 5.0 on Edmunds.
2006 Mitsubishi Outlander, Edmunds review:
“We traded in our minivan for our Mitsubishi Outlander. We were impressed by the 100,000 mile warranty, 5-year roadside assistance, all the standard features, and the great gas milage. The ride is nice, it has plenty of pep for our conservative driving style. The vehicle seems well made, solid, and comfortable…”
2005 Mitsubishi Outlander, Kelley Blue Book review:
“I’ve put so many miles on this car. She’s really been a trooper! After almost 300,000 miles, we’ll be parting ways due to suspension issues. No problems under the hood, no leaks, NEVER left me on the side of the road. I would drive this car another 200,000 if I could do the work myself…”
Consumer Scores For Best Mitsubishi Outlander Years
Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Mitsubishi Outlander model years from reputable vehicle websites:
|Model Year||Edmunds’ Consumer Rating||Kelley Blue Book’s Consumer Rating||JD Power’s Consumer Rating|
|2020 Mitsubishi Outlander||3.7 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||81 / 100|
|2019 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.3 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||78 / 100|
|2018 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.4 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||80 / 100|
|2017 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.2 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||77 / 100|
|2013 Mitsubishi Outlander||NA||4.6 / 5.0||74 / 100|
|2012 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.2 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||79 / 100|
|2006 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.7 / 5.0||NA||NA|
|2005 Mitsubishi Outlander||4.7 / 5.0||4.6 / 5.0||NA|
What Are The Worst Years For The Mitsubishi Outlander?
The Mitsubishi Outlander has also been on the receiving end of several complaints and issues due to its myriad problems or defects.
The models listed below are the versions of the vehicle that you might want to steer clear of.
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander
Owners have reported issues with the powertrain and transmission, citing that they have experienced acceleration hesitation, slipping, and transmission service warning lights at as early as 45,000 miles.
Compared to other model years the 2016 Outlander was particularly problematic, and has received the 2nd most complaints out of all the model years.
The 2016 Outlander had a total of 16 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 175 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
According to CarComplaints.com, the main problems of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander are the following:
- Transmission failure
- Paint chips, scratches very easily
- Excessive noise while driving
2015 Mitsubishi Outlander
A lot of owners reported having the transmission warning light illuminated, requiring constant trips to the car dealership for check-ups and servicing. In some cases, the entire transmission system had to be replaced.
The 2015 Outlander is the most problematic model year to date according to NHTSA data.
The 2015 Outlander had a total of 12 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 210 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
According to CarComplaints.com, the main problems of the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander are the following:
- Paint chipping
- Rough idle
- Bad AC compressor
- Brakes failed
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander
Owners of this model year reported a lot of different worrisome sounds and lights coming up during long-distance trips. Acceleration failure was also an issue, with the SUV’s RPMs running lower than normal sporadically.
The 2011 Outlander had a total of 6 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 90 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
According to CarComplaints.com, the main problems of the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander are the following:
- Transmission failure
- Rear hatch will not open
- Squeaking seats
- Check engine light on
2010 Mitsubishi Outlander
A few owners had issues with the engine belts and pulleys, which resulted in random engine failure, random spurts of acceleration, and other safety risks on the road.
The 2010 Outlander had a total of 4 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 71 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
According to CarComplaints.com, the main problems of the 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander are the following:
- ABS pump failure
- Paint chipping
- TPMS stem valve failure
2003 and 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander
A few owners reported engine problems, particularly when the car is left idling (with the engine still running) for extended periods of time, such as when waiting at a traffic stop.
Other complaints indicated premature corrosion and rusting of suspension systems, specifically the rear suspension and cross member.
The 2003 and 2004 Outlander models had a total of 3 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 215 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
According to CarComplaints.com, the main problems of the 2003 and 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander models are the following:
- Cracked, leaking lenses
- Problems starting
- Water leak from AC
What Years Have The Most Complaints?
There are several Mitsubishi Outlander model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. Listed below are complaints and problems listed for each model year:
|Model Year||Complaints (CarComplaints.com)||Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)|
|2022 Mitsubishi Outlander||5||116|
|2021 Mitsubishi Outlander||0||1|
|2020 Mitsubishi Outlander||0||24|
|2019 Mitsubishi Outlander||1||35|
|2018 Mitsubishi Outlander||16||62|
|2017 Mitsubishi Outlander||12||90|
|2016 Mitsubishi Outlander||16||175|
|2015 Mitsubishi Outlander||12||210|
|2014 Mitsubishi Outlander||22||84|
|2013 Mitsubishi Outlander||2||63|
|2012 Mitsubishi Outlander||2||30|
|2011 Mitsubishi Outlander||6||90|
|2010 Mitsubishi Outlander||4||71|
|2009 Mitsubishi Outlander||7||54|
|2008 Mitsubishi Outlander||6||72|
|2007 Mitsubishi Outlander||10||154|
|2006 Mitsubishi Outlander||2||25|
|2005 Mitsubishi Outlander||3||24|
|2004 Mitsubishi Outlander||2||69|
|2003 Mitsubishi Outlander||1||146|
What Problems Do Mitsubishi Outlanders Have?
Based on the information we have gathered online, here are the most common issues that you may encounter with a Mitsubishi Outlander:
- Premature brake wear
- Paint chipping
- Transmission failure
What Are The Best Alternatives To The Mitsubishi Outlander?
The Mitsubishi Outlander is considered as one of the better compact SUVs in the market. However, cars.usnews.com was unable to acquire sufficient data to provide a rating. Take a look at the vehicles that fall under the same vehicle segment below.
|Make & Model||Score||MSRP||Fuel Economy (MPG)|
|Honda CR-V||8.8||$26,400 – $36,200||City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 32 – 34|
|Hyundai Tucson||8.8||$25,800 – $36,800||City: 24 – 26 / Highway: 29 – 33|
|Mazda CX-5||8.7||$25,900 – $38,650||City: 22 – 24 /Highway: 27 – 30|
|Ford Bronco Sport||8.4||$28,165 – $34,590||City: 21 – 25 /Highway: 26 – 28|
|Subaru Forester||8.3||$25,395 – $35,495||City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 28 – 33|
|Mitsubishi Outlander||8.2||$26,095 – $42,695||City: NA /Highway: NA|
|Nissan Rogue||8.2||$26,850 – $38,130||City: 28 – 30 /Highway: 34 – 37|
|Toyota RAV4||8.1||$26,525 – $36,465||City: 25 – 27 /Highway: 32 – 35|
|Volkswagen Tiguan||8.0||$26,490 – $37,320||City: 21 – 23 /Highway: 28 – 30|
|Kia Sportage||7.9||$25,990 – $36,790||City: 23 – 25 /Highway: 28 – 32|
|Jeep Cherokee||7.7||$29,995 – $39,345||City: 18 – 23 /Highway: 24 – 31|
|Chevrolet Equinox||7.6||$26,300 – $33,100||City: 25 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 31|
|GMC Terrain||7.5||$27,900 – $36,600||City: NA /Highway: NA|
|Jeep Compass||7.2||$26,785 – $34,210||City: NA / Highway: NA|
|Jeep Wrangler||7.2||$30,295 – $79,995||City: 13 – 22 / Highway: 17 – 29|
|Ford Bronco||NA||$29,300 – $49,475||City: 16 – 20 /Highway: 17 – 22|
|Ford Escape||NA||$26,510 – $36,630||City: 23 – 28 /Highway: 31 – 34|
|Mazda CX-50||NA||$26,800 – $41,550||City: 23 – 24 /Highway: 29 – 30|
|Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||NA||$25,795 – $29,295||City: NA /Highway: NA|