The Mitsubishi Outlander debuted in 2001 and quickly gained popularity as a reliable unit in the compact-crossover segment. The competition in the SUV industry is ever competitive, as car manufacturers focus on achieving the perfect balance of performance and value.
It would help to understand that some years performed better than others because of the different configurations. But make sure you first get to know the most common problems across the Mitsubishi Outlander models.
This article will highlight the best and worst Mitsubishi Outlander years and some of the problems with the models.
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The Best & Worst Years for Mitsubishi Outlander
The best Mitsubishi Outlander years are the 2008, 2011, 2013, 2019, and 2020 models. A common trend you will observe is that the features and performance improve as the years pass. The Outlander models to avoid are 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, with most complaints being faulty airbag systems.
What Mitsubishi Outlander Years are the Most Reliable?
The Mitsubishi Outlander has delivered outstanding performance with minimal issues for some years. This section explains the best Outlander years and why they are the best.
The oldest and most reliable Mitsubishi Outlander is the 2008 model. There are many reasons why it is among the most reliable units, including the close to zero complaints. According to the Kelly Blue Book, it has a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating. (https://www.carcomplaints.com/Mitsubishi/Outlander/2008/)
Recent research also shows 90% of the 2008 Outlander owners recommend this model to others. It has incredible reviews from several individuals on how the driving quality is smooth, fuel-efficient, and reliable. The engine provides 168 maximum horsepower and a combined 25 mpg efficiency.
Another reliable Mitsubishi Outlander is the 2011 model. The only complaint about this model is squeaky seats, a minor issue you can fix yourself.
Its engine and transmission are reliable and will guarantee you some miles before your next service date.
Consumer ratings place the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander first among units in its class. In Kelly Blue Book, the car has excellent comments about the efficient 28 mpg combined gas mileage and a 168 hp engine.
The value provided does not depreciate with mileage as used cars also record similar mpg and horsepower ratings. Most owners of the 2011 Outlander understand the car’s worth and how reliable it is.
However, it would help to have a mechanic inspect the car if you buy a used Mitsubishi Outlander.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander has many cool performance features and almost zero customer complaints. Most seem to love its interior and exterior design, which guarantees comfort.
It also featured advanced electronic accessories, premium seats, and reliable performance.
The fuel efficiency of the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander is also another reason making the model stand out. It provides a combined gas mileage of 28 mpg and has massive cargo space in the trunk and cabin.
The 2013 Outlander is among the few units you can trust and rely on from the Mitsubishi brand.
This list would be incomplete without the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander. It is among the best Outlander models you can buy.
The only complaint from owners is that the original tires lack the best grip, making it hard to navigate on wet surfaces. Getting new tires is enough to restore maximum efficiency on the vehicle.
The 2019 Outlander ranks high for its performance, value, quality, reliability, comfort, and style. According to critics, the model is still new, and there are some problems with the vehicle they are yet to discover.
Consumer ratings are full of positive reviews on the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander.
However, individuals living in cooler areas complain of slow interior heat rates. They complain the car takes significantly more time to heat up than other cars during winter.
Performance-wise, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander is a capable and reliable workhorse.
One of the best and most recent Mitsubishi Outlander is the 2020 model.
The only complaint with this model is that most units have the rear seatbelt incorrectly installed, but it didn’t affect performance. Mitsubishi issued a recall on the matter, and the seatbelts got fixed.
Most of the 2020 Outlander drivers recommend the model to others because of its outstanding features and performance. Some fantastic features include switching between EV, hybrid, or gas. The engine provides 166 hp and a combined gas mileage of 27 mpg.
The late Mitsubishi Outlander models are popular. They are also among the SUVs that always come with heated seats.
What Mitsubishi Outlander Years Should You Avoid?
Although the Mitsubishi Outlander is an excellent seven-seater SUV, it lacks attention to detail. This deficiency results in several malfunctions in the different models.
In some model years, the excess complaints make it wise to avoid these vehicles.
This section explains the Mitsubishi Outlander years to avoid and why.
Research by CarComplaints.com showed the 2014 Outlander with the highest number of complaints among Mitsubishi SUVs.
The vehicle had two recalls and 78 NHTSA complaints despite its popularity as a family car.
Some of the complaints about the 2014 Outlander were about faulty safety equipment.
The airbag system in most units was flawed and failed to deploy in case of an accident. Several reports showed the airbag light coming on randomly to indicate the need for servicing.
Seatbelt issues also seemed to be a concern among several owners. These complaints claimed the seatbelts failed to tighten during accidents. In other units, the belts on the passenger’s side could not retract.
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander might not be the most problematic SUV, but its problems are best avoided.
It is one of the Mitsubishi SUV models you should avoid, with 78 NHTSA complaints and three recalls, according to CarComplaints data.
The worst problem with this model is body integrity.
Several owners reported chipping paint after an average mileage of 114,000 miles. The paint ripples and chips compromised the vehicle’s exterior aesthetics, exposing the surfaces to rusting if left unattended for long.
This is not too uncommon among SUVs. You can find a list of general problems with SUVs here.
The most frustrating part for the owners is that your warranty does not cover it.
The 2015 outlander also has complications with its transmission, just like other Mitsubishi SUV models. We often see this problem across Mitsubishi cars.
You should expect complications with the automatic transmission configured once you hear whining noises when accelerating.
The noises become louder the more you accelerate, while others notice it when decelerating.
Another Mitsubishi Outlander with several consumer complaints is the 2016 model.
This model has 169 NHTSA complaints and six recalls, placing it among the Mitsubishi SUVs to avoid.
Automatic transmission failure is among the top issues reported by most users.
The transmission overheating warning would appear on the dash randomly from over 400,000 miles.
Owners also reported hearing rattling and whining noises from the engine bay. Replacing the transmission altogether is the best fix for this complication.
This model year also struggled with body paint problems like previous models.
Reports by frustrated owners show the paint is highly prone to scratches and chipping, indicating poor paintwork from the manufacturers.
The 2017 Outlander is not as bad as other models on this list, but it has its drawbacks.
The model has 69 NHTSA complaints and four recalls. One of the recalls should concern every buyer as it involved the engine, directly compromising overall performance.
One of the largest recalls affected over 132,500 units, the majority being Outlander models between the years 2015 to 2017.
The recall documents stated these vehicles might have defective relays, resulting in engine complications like:
- reduced power,
- and overheating.
Any of these complications when driving increases your chances of getting into a crash.
The Bluetooth connectivity was another problem in the 2017 Outlander. The vehicle’s infotainment system had difficulty establishing quality Bluetooth connections and sometimes even failed to connect.
Drivers found this issue compromising comfort and sought other infotainment configuration alternatives.
Another Mitsubishi Outlander worth avoiding is the 2018 model.
This model only had four recalls, but the severity of its complications made it less desirable to own.
Premature brake wear is among the top complaints from various owners. They reported the brakes started to wear out sooner than expected, and the average is only a few weeks after the vehicle purchase. The quick wearing out has more to do with brake pad quality than use.
Luckily, replacing these pads is relatively cheap.
The 2018 Outlander also has problems with power transmission, and sometimes it fails to start. It is an electrical issue that experts relate to a defective alternator.
A vehicle with a faulty alternator might fail to produce electricity, and the battery will not charge.
What Are Some Typical Problems with the Mitsubishi Outlander Models?
Premature Brake Wear
Owners of the 2018 Outlander are most affected by premature brake wear in Mitsubishi SUVs.
Despite practicing safe driving habits, most claim the brakes wore out after a few weeks of purchase. You can replace the brake pads to restore your Outlander’s brake performance.
Automatic Transmission Failure
Reports show Mitsubishi Outlanders are among the many SUVs suffering from a failing automatic transmission.
First-generation Mitsubishi Outlander.
It is a common problem among Outlander models and starts as whirring sounds which increase as you accelerate.
It would be best to visit an auto repair shop immediately after you observe these malfunction symptoms.
The most common problem with the 2015 Outlander is paint issues. Several owners reported the paint on their car’s hood chipping over time.
As early as 28,000 miles, the Mitsubishi Outlander can develop rust and require you to touch up the paint.
AC Pressure Switch Failure
The AC pressure switch malfunction is also common among Outlander models. In some units, the AC fails to blow in cold air because of the faulty switch. It is common in model years 2003, 2005, 2009, 2014, and 2015.
It would be best if you considered replacing the bad pressure switch to resolve the issue.
Broken Valve Systems
The 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander suffers greatly from wheel and tire problems. Several reports indicated the first thing owners noticed was the pressure warning light going off.
This problem is common in parked cars as owners claim the valve suddenly shot off, leaving the affected tire flat. It can cost up to $190 to repair tire sensors to solve the issue.
Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Reliable?
The Outlander is a superb off-road vehicle that guarantees class and comfort.
It is spacious enough to fit the whole family, has a powerful engine, and comes with a warranty of up to five years.
The off-road vehicle upholds Mitsubishi’s reliability reputation with a 4.0 out of 5.0 score, 8th in the 26 cars in its category.
The Mitsubishi Outlander is among the few SUVs with high scores on significant reliability ratings.
According to RepairPal, it has a 4 out of 5 reliability rating. If looking for a family-sized SUV, you should consider browsing the different Outlander models available.
It would help to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the different model years to find your ideal prospect. This article will provide more information on the best and worst Outlander years, helping you make a more informed buying decision.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.