"The (2010 Mitsubishi) Outlander XLS got pushed around -- badly. Its rear end swung out of sync several times...keeping the Outlander upright and moving in a straight line ... proved far more difficult than I would have ever imagined. The experience taught me several lessons. One, too many automotive advertisements don't deal with reality. All of the on-air braggadocio about how well one car or another could run in snow or other bad weather is braggadocio -- and dangerous braggadocio at that." - Warren Brown, Washington Post Car Columnist on Sunday, February 7, 2010.

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

Mitsubishi! > Cars > Models > Outlander > 2010 Outlander

Remodeled only recently, 2010 Outlander, unlike Eclipse, Endeavor, and Galant, is a modern compact SUV (crossover CUV) in Mitsubishi's offering. Besides the 2010 Lancer, this is the one Mitsubishi Motors seems to be counting on from saving its sales from total collapse in 2010 and beyond. Attractive exterior and modern safety features lead to its appeal

Fierce Competition: Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, GMC Terrain, Subaru Forester...

Unfortunately for the Outlander, it has no qualities to stand out in a fiercely competitive field of compact SUVs. CRV and RAV4 (beware of RAV4's sticky accelerator recall problem though) with their excellent reviews and resale values pose serious threat and so do many others like 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid, Nissan Xterra etc. Outlander's lowest trims start at around $21,000 MSRP, but Honda CRV and others start around that price that and offer so much more! Past models of Honda CRV have been winners of several awards from Kelley Blue Book, IntelliChoice and Car and Drive and are considered to have excellent resale values. (RAV4 is something to watch for as Toyota's recent quality is under concern but its past models have won awards too.)

Cheap Plastic Interior, Sluggish Engine, and Tight Third-Row Seats

ES and SE trims offer a 2.4-liter 168-horsepower engine which should be adequate for most driving but some drivers might find it somewhat sluggish. For them more powerful engine options are available on XLS, GT (6-cylinder 230-horsepower MIVEC engine) and rumored Sport models that sell for higher prices. They may be not as refined as better-brands' engines though.

More serious is the perception of cheap subpar plastic materials mentioned by many professional critics. Consumer guide complained about 'number of interior creaks and groans.' 'Cheap', 'low-grade' are the attributes mentioned when reviewing Mitsubishi Outlander's interior.

To Mitsubishi's credit it offers third-row seats but the critics seem to be underwhelmed by it. Kelly Blue Book called it 'the smallest in its category' and if you have tiny children these seats might suffice though Edmunds warns that 'considering the seat's flimsy construction we'd think twice about putting them (little children) back there."

Some reviewers were satisfied with the ride quality calling it sporty but some found it to be 'jumpy', with 'body roll' and 'not as sporty as' xxxx makes. Nothing that a firm grip on the steering wheel won't cure though. Be firm.

Safety, Reliability, Resale Value

Modern cars are much safer than cars of a few years ago and 2010 Outlander is no exception. While some Mitsubishi models have had poor safety record, Outlander in our view is on par with the Honda CRV and any other vehicle in its class. IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) found its roof strength to be Acceptable, a notch below Good rating but its main competitors don't fare better on this test.

When it comes to how reliable they are going to be or what their resale values are going to be a few years down the road, they are Mitsubishis after all and don't expect miracles there. If you are a good mechanic and plan to keep this baby for say 10 years or more, these issues shouldn't matter much. It's worth noting that 2007 Outlander and 2008 Outlander have been subject of NHTSA recalls regarding faulty brake lights that could result in a crash.

Unique Positive Features of 2010 Outlander

Finally, we visited Mitsubishi Motors 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review page to find something positive about their offering. We did find some and present them here.

Dog-friendly Feature: We clicked the Comfort tab and then put our mouse over Flap-Fold Tailgate and read the following:
"Open Wide. Sometimes you have passengers with unique needs. Outlander's low load height, split tailgate, and impressive cargo capacity are designed to provide easy access and plenty of space for your dog...and all his gear. So it should come as no surprise to pets everywhere that Outlander was given five-paw rating and was named a best small SUV by dogcars.com." No comments.

Pressing Safety and Warranty tab we saw 10-year/100,000-mile Limited Warranty. Impressive but we wondered who will honor that warranty if Mitsubishi Motors left USA for good (just a guess) before that.

Just below that we noticed IIHS Top Safety Pick. Curious because we thought NO Mitsubishi vehicle made to IIHS's Top Safety Pick of 2010, we clicked and found out that it was for 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander and not for the 2010 model. A little misleading we thought.

2010 Mitsubishi Outlander Review Summary

We think 2010 Outlander is worth a look but sure to check out other brands especially The CRV and Ford Fusion. Left Lane News mentioned that "After spending a week in Mitsubishi's Outlander, we discovered that its shinning attribute is a 10-inch subwoofer. I'm afraid to say it's a bit downhill from there." Ouch! We won't be that harsh on it being charitable by nature. In our humble opinion, at around $12,000 this SUV should be a decent buy.

Outlander recalls
Outlander Complaints by Model Year

Last Update: January 26, 2010