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2004 Mitsubishi Outlander

$1,083 — $7,795 USED
Sport Utility
5 Seats
23-24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Compact dimensions
  • Carlike demeanor
  • Seat comfort
  • Highway ride

The Bad

  • Engine noise
  • Visibility
  • Ride on rough surfaces

What to Know

about the 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander
  • More powerful engine for 2004
  • Youth-oriented character
  • Sportronic transmission
  • Unibody construction
  • FWD or AWD

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Even though Mitsubishi already had a pair of sport utility vehicles, marketers recommended a third model for the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Youthful buyers had been gravitating toward smaller SUVs, and because Mitsubishi caters to that end of the age spectrum, the compact Outlander SUV was introduced for the 2003 model year. It is smaller than the company’s Montero and Montero Sport and remains the smallest Mitsubishi SUV even as the new Endeavor debuts for 2004. A fully independent suspension is intended to give the entry-level Outlander a carlike ride.

The 2004 Outlander gets a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.4-liter engine, which produces 160 horsepower and 162 pounds-feet of torque; that represents a 20-hp increase from last year’s model. The new engine features the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and Lift Electronic Control (MIVEC). An engine immobilizer is installed on 2004 models. LS and XLS trim levels are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Exterior
Built on a unibody frame, the exterior of the four-door Outlander has a bold character. The two-tone body blends painted metal with gray bumpers and chip-resistant urethane side sills. Built on a 103.3-inch wheelbase, the Outlander stretches 179.1 inches long overall.

Color-keyed door handles are standard. Mitsubishi says the clear-lens taillights on the XLS “add a dosage of urban chic and tuner styling.” The tubular roof rack, which is standard on ...
Vehicle Overview
Even though Mitsubishi already had a pair of sport utility vehicles, marketers recommended a third model for the Japanese automaker’s lineup. Youthful buyers had been gravitating toward smaller SUVs, and because Mitsubishi caters to that end of the age spectrum, the compact Outlander SUV was introduced for the 2003 model year. It is smaller than the company’s Montero and Montero Sport and remains the smallest Mitsubishi SUV even as the new Endeavor debuts for 2004. A fully independent suspension is intended to give the entry-level Outlander a carlike ride.

The 2004 Outlander gets a more powerful and fuel-efficient 2.4-liter engine, which produces 160 horsepower and 162 pounds-feet of torque; that represents a 20-hp increase from last year’s model. The new engine features the Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing and Lift Electronic Control (MIVEC). An engine immobilizer is installed on 2004 models. LS and XLS trim levels are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

Exterior
Built on a unibody frame, the exterior of the four-door Outlander has a bold character. The two-tone body blends painted metal with gray bumpers and chip-resistant urethane side sills. Built on a 103.3-inch wheelbase, the Outlander stretches 179.1 inches long overall.

Color-keyed door handles are standard. Mitsubishi says the clear-lens taillights on the XLS “add a dosage of urban chic and tuner styling.” The tubular roof rack, which is standard on the XLS and optional on the LS, can be adapted to carry bikes, surfboards and skis. The XLS features fog lamps, privacy glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler and color-keyed outside mirrors. A sunroof is optional.

Interior
The Outlander holds five people. Reclining, 60/40-split rear seats fold flat into the floor. A knee-height cargo floor conceals the spare tire, and the rear liftgate is hydraulically assisted. Cargo space totals 60.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Standard LS equipment includes air conditioning, a 140-watt CD stereo, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The XLS adds a white-faced instrument cluster, see-through headrests and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Under the Hood
For 2004, Mitsubishi’s new MIVEC 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes 160 hp and 162 pounds-feet of torque, vs. 140 hp in the Outlander’s initial season. The four-speed Sportronic transmission can operate either automatically or with manually selected gear changes.

Safety
Side-impact airbags come in a Luxury Package for the XLS. Antilock brakes are also optional.

Driving Impressions
Moving to the smaller end of the SUV spectrum, Mitsubishi has taken the expertise derived from years of producing larger models and turned out a respectable, if essentially ordinary, compact model. Other than delivering a choppy ride on imperfect pavement and excessive engine blare on hard acceleration, the Outlander isn’t a bad choice.

Early criticism suggested that the Outlander was comparatively slow and suffered hesitation on startup. Actually, its acceleration is acceptable even though low-speed passing power falls short of energetic. The Outlander’s steering feel is reasonably good. The seats are comfortable and have good support, but the headrests impair rear and over-the-shoulder visibility.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com;
Posted on 8/27/03

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
13 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.2)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Very high class n reliable.

by alwayschiln from Cleveland on July 7, 2018

The 04 Outlander won me over im happy I chose this car, havnt had any problems with it. My next car will be a newest Outlander. Read full review

(4.0)

Car in a pinch

by brian from Elkhorn, WI on January 29, 2018

Reasonable price and condition for a back and forth to work car. If I were the original owner of this car, I would still be the owner of this car. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Mitsubishi Outlander has not been tested.

Latest 2004 Outlander Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Outlander received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker