NEWS

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander: Car Seat Check

17Mitsubishi_Outlander_ES_CSC_Lead.jpg 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander | Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Editor’s note: This Car Seat Check was written in October 2015 about the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander. Little of substance has changed with this year’s model. To see what’s new for 2017, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

CARS.COM — For families on a budget looking for three rows of seats, the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander might be appealing. It won Cars.com’s Most Affordable Three-Row Crossover for 2015 award, which looks at a car’s purchase price, fuel costs for five years and residual values. When it comes to child-safety seats, the seven-passenger Outlander performs well until you get into the third row — or try to. Its third-row access would be a squeeze for everyone but the tiniest of kids. Because the third row doesn’t have any Latch or tether anchors, the only car seats that can be installed back there are booster seats. We tested a 2016 Outlander GT with leather seats.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two, but boosters only

What We Like

  • The two sets of lower Latch anchors in the middle row’s outboard seats were easy to access in the seat bight. The leather cushions moved easily out of the way to expose the lower Latch anchors.
  • With the second row slid all the way back, we were able to easily install the rear-facing convertible and infant-safety seats. There was no need to move the front passenger seat forward to fit either car seat behind it.
  • The forward-facing convertible installed easily until it came time to connect to the tether anchor.
  • In the second row, the booster installed easily, and the buckle sits high enough on a stable base so kids can easily grasp it.

What We Don’t

  • There are three tether anchors near the top of the second row’s seatbacks, but it was tricky to connect to them because there wasn’t enough clearance around the tether anchor bar. The plastic housing that surrounds the anchor is too close to the bar, interfering with connection. Angling the hook allowed our tester to connect it to the tether anchor.
  • There are no lower Latch or tether anchors in the third row, which limits the kinds of car seats families can use.
  • The Outlander’s side walls in the third row jut out, taking up valuable space for the booster seat. These walls pushed the booster just enough that the seat belt buckle sat right against its base, making it difficult for our tester to buckle up; a child would also have a tough time of it. Making matters worse, the buckle is recessed between the back and bottom cushions.
  • The second-row seat folds and slides forward with the pull of a lever, but it doesn’t create enough space for good access to the third row. Smaller kids in or out of boosters should be able to get to the third row, but taller teens and adults will have a tough time.

Grading Scale

A: Plenty of room for the car seat and the child; doesn’t impact driver or front-passenger legroom. Easy to find and connect to Latch and tether anchors. No fit issues involving head restraint or seat contouring. Easy access to the third row.  

B: Plenty of room. One fit or connection issue. Some problems accessing third row when available.

C: Marginal room. Two fit or connection issues. Difficult to access third row when available.

D: Insufficient room. Two or more fit or connection issues.

F: Does not fit or is unsafe.

About Cars.com’s Car Seat Checks

Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide Classic Connect 30 infant-safety seat, a Britax Marathon convertible seat and Graco TurboBooster seat. The front seats are adjusted for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front passenger seat.

We also install the forward-facing convertible in the second row’s middle seat with the booster and infant seat in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat, and that Latch anchors have a weight limit of 65 pounds, including the weight of the child and the weight of the seat itself.

Latest expert reviews