2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

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$21,370

starting MSRP

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Two-person third-row seat folds flat
  • Aluminum roof to lower center of gravity
  • Host of amenities standard
  • Many safety features standard

The bad:

  • Pending full review

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Seats seven
  • Odor-defeating headliner
  • Available hard drive can store music files

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander review: Our expert's take

By David Thomas

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Mitsubishi has been underachieving since it came to the U.S. It’s a distant third or fourth behind Toyota and Honda in almost every segment, and its redesigned Outlander compact SUV is no exception. While the Outlander has a splendid power plant and some nifty features, it doesn’t deliver the quality of the new Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V. It does manage, though, to deliver a lot of utility for relatively little money — and sometimes value outweighs any other deficiencies.

Exterior
The new wave of Japanese compact SUVs all look surprisingly similar. Compare the profile of the new Outlander with the RAV4 and you’ll have a hard time figuring out which is which. The Outlander has a few interesting design elements, like fender flares and jewel-like taillights. None of the looks, though, are knock-’em dead, especially not the 16-inch wheels on my LS tester. The top-of-the-line XLS trim comes with standard 18-inch wheels. It seems every new Japanese SUV — besides the Mazda CX-7 — is playing it safe in the design department these days, and the Outlander follows the pack.

Interior
Here’s where the Outlander takes a step back from the competition. Besides the super-soft odor-repellent seat fabric, everything inside looks and feels cheap to the touch, mostly thanks to the plastic used. Korean manufacturers are rapidly catching up to the frontrunners (Toyota and Honda) in the import market, and Mitsubishi is not stepping up its interior quality with the rest.

The design itself is attractive, with amber lighting on the gauges and stereo. Unfortunately, that lighting on the sound system disappears in even moderate sunlight. Other companies with similar-colored displays — like Mazda and BMW — somehow manage to keep their information visible in those situations.

The ergonomics are also so-so. The center armrest is too small and too far rearward, despite its sliding top. My test vehicle had an upgraded stereo — a chest-thumping number — yet the dials that controlled it were minuscule and hard to locate without diverting too much attention from the road. Usually, a set of steering-wheel buttons helps, but the Outlander’s were too easy to confuse; I adjusted the station instead of the volume — and vice versa — almost every time.

The best elements of the interior were the comfortable seats and that soft fabric. Mitsubishi says it’s made to repel odor, but we didn’t have enough time with the vehicle to introduce any harmful aromas to test it out.

Going & Stopping
Besides the price, the best part of the Outlander is its 220-horsepower V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. Launches from a stop are immediate, and power comes in a steady stream. Cruising at high speeds (the Outlander seems to feel more at home at 75 mph than at 65) is effortless, and the engine barely registers a strain under 80 mph. Merging onto the highway and passing other motorists is unusually enjoyable for this type of vehicle.

The automatic transmission is almost as smooth as the new CR-V’s, while the engine provides considerably more power. The combination is far superior to the RAV4 despite the Toyota’s higher horsepower figure, and the Outlander is a better highway companion overall. There are optional paddles shifters, but my test vehicle only had an auto-stick feature, which ruined an otherwise superb automatic. After a few tests I never went back to it.

Around town, I quickly became a fan of the steady braking as well. The CR-V probably bests it in this department, but the Outlander is no slouch. I found myself taking note of the Outlander’s stopping ability time and again during a week of constant stop-and-go driving in downtown Chicago. This is an attribute that would make the Outlander very easy to live with on a day-to-day basis.

Ride & Handling
Again, this compact SUV shines when it comes to performance. Mitsubishi designed the new Outlander with an aluminum roof, and the light metal gives it a lower center of gravity, allowing it to handle more like a car. That’s one attribute shoppers increasingly request in SUVs. Indeed, the Outlander handles steeply banked highway onramps with superb control and minimal body lean, giving the driver a sense of confidence not found in many SUVs — compact, car-based or otherwise.

The ride was also car-like. Bumps were softly muted and road noise was minimal. Wind noise is noticeable at highway speeds, but it seemed to be generated by the large side-view mirrors, not the main body’s aerodynamics. It didn’t intrude on the cabin enough to disturb conversation.

Available with an optional manual four-wheel-drive system, the Outlander is one of the more affordable four-wheel-drive SUVs on the market. A large dial sits between the two front seats, and a quick turn activates either four-wheel drive or four-wheel-drive lock for slow going.

Cargo
The Outlander has a cargo area of 36.2 cubic feet, or 72.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded forward. It has an optional third-row seat, but it’s a not-so-useful novelty thanks to its miniscule size and tough set-up. I doubt many buyers will opt for it. Instead, active folks will enjoy the tall space in back for bikes and other gear, as well as a nifty rear liftgate that has an extension for easy loading.

The rear seats fold forward, like the new CR-V, but unlike the Honda they do so with the touch of one handle, not by using two separate straps. This easy system is much preferred, but not as nifty as the RAV4’s handles, which are accessible from the cargo area and the backseat.

There are five cupholders for the front passengers and four for the rear. That means you can go on a long road trip without having to stop for more drinks. (Of course, you may have to stop for other reasons first.) The cargo compartments are nothing to write home about, but I’ve found that most new cars come with so much storage I would never be able to fill them with useful objects.

Safety
The new Outlander comes with a variety of standard safety features, including antilock brakes, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system and side curtain airbags.

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Service nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tested the new model. The previous generation earned IIHS’ highest rating in the frontal test, Good, but the lowest result, Poor, for the driver in the side-impact test. That test was conducted without the then-optional side airbags, which are now standard. Even without those airbags, the rear passenger received top results in the same side-impact test. The redesigned Outlander has significant structural and feature changes, and I expect higher ratings for the new model.

Features
There aren’t a lot of standard features to rave about here. There is a rear heater floor vent, but in 30-degree weather the Outlander took a while to warm up. The rear seats recline and slide forward and back for more legroom. My tester came with three 12-volt jacks, including one in the cargo area. The base ES only comes with one of these jacks; it seems like kind of a silly upgrade. The Outlander should just come standard with all three or split the difference with two.

Far and away, the best part of my test Outlander was the $1,740 Sun and Sound option package, which included a power sunroof and 650-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer, an auxiliary jack for MP3 players and satellite radio. The system sacrificed clarity for power and bass thump, but for rock, rap or any other music that sounds better the louder it gets, this will be a winning choice.

Outlander in the Market
I’m not sure how the Outlander will fare in the competitive compact SUV market. If Mitsubishi plays it up as an affordable and utility-laden four-wheel-drive vehicle, to combat more expensive offerings from Subaru, Honda and Toyota, it could do very well, though the company won’t be able to say it beats them on any point outside of value and perhaps performance. The Outlander will most likely be the choice of new buyers not already loyal to a brand like Toyota or Honda, and who are looking to save some cash while still getting a lot of vehicle.

Send David an email  

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.4

Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Best car we ever owned

We had this car for 10 years, my wife drove it for 7 years & then my son drove to college for another 3 years. and still running good. Consumer Report rated best of the best for the year of 2007. Well maintenance will keep the car running. So far no leaks or oil consumption at 158,200 miles

4.7

Excellent value with many options.

Purchased fully optioned, keyless entry, in-dash DVD player, Rockford Fosgate sound with sub-woofer, leather seat, Navigation, 3rd row seats, fold down tailgate, AWD, sunroof and ton of storage compartments / pockets, 13 to be exact. 82,000 and zero issues. Transmission grabs great, AC blows super cold, no leaks, mechanically flawless. Paint job not the best on mine. Clear coat is fading. Vehicle just runs so well and strong. Outstanding value on my 2007 model.

4.7

No other vehicle with this reliability in 2007

This vehicle is amazing in every way. It was ahead of every other vehicle available in 2007. The all wheel and 4 wheel drive are incredible. I drive thousands of winter miles in MT, UT, ID and WY every year. No blizzard can stop it. The engine is bullet proof and loaded with power for a V6. 216,000 miles and never had any issues with it. The engine still has the power it did when I bought but I also use synthetic oil from the day I took it home. I wish I had another one just like it. My kids drive it now and they love it. Just no complaints or regrets to this day. This exact model was discontinued in 2009 I believe but the "shark nose" is a good looking sport design that looks fun even sitting still. I have XLS model.

See all 48 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Mitsubishi
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
60 months/60,000 miles
Corrosion
84 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
120 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of original 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain
Remainder of original 10-year/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
123-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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