Compact SUV; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,300 – $23,700*

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander

2008 Mitsubishi Outlander

  • transmission operation
  • Cargo room
  • Seat comfort (front)
  • Steering feel
  • Engine noise
  • Fuel economy (V6)
  • Seat comfort (third row)

In its redesigned form, Mitsubishi’s compact SUV is worth a look, but be sure to consider the competition as well. Outlander’s virtues include a responsive transmission and flexible cargo accommodations. Among its demerits are a raucous engine and subpar interior materials. Mitsubishi’s record of weak resale values could be a benefit for the used Outlander buyer.


Mitsubishi redesigned its compact sport-utility vehicle for 2007, giving it fresh styling, a V6 engine, and an available third-row seat for seven-passenger capacity. In its 2003-2006 form, the first-generation Outlander had been a five-seater with four-cylinder power. Outlander remained a car-type four-door wagon, but gained 2 inches in wheelbase and 3 inches in overall length. ES, LS, and XLS trim levels were offered. Each was available with front-wheel drive. LX and XLS models could have all-wheel drive, which lacked low-range gearing but could be set for front-drive only, AWD, or for a locked-in 50/50 front/rear power split.

All Outlanders now had a 220-horsepower V6 engine, replacing a 160-hp four-cylinder. Sole transmission was a six-speed automatic with a manual shift gate. XLS models added steering-wheel shift paddles. Antilock braking and traction/antiskid control were standard. So were front side airbags and curtain side airbags. ES and LS models seated five, but the XLS held seven via a third-row bench that folded into a well in the cargo floor when not in use. In all models, the second-row seatback reclined and the seat could slide fore and aft to maximize either passenger or cargo space. XLS models had standard automatic climate control and a wireless cell phone link. Leather upholstery with heated front seats was available for the XLS. So was a navigation system with a hard drive for storing up to six gigabytes of MP3 music files. Outlander competitors included a Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, and Toyota RAV4. According to Mitsubishi, Outlander was the first PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) SUV offered in the U.S. market.

Yearly Updates

2008 Outlander
A four-cylinder engine became available for 2008. Rated at 168 horsepower, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) went into the Outlander ES model, which could no longer have V6 power. The four-cylinder also went into a new SE (Special Edition) Outlander, which borrowed some upscale features from the top-end XLS. Four models were offered this year: ES, LS, SE, and XLS. All could have a navigation system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive and wireless cell phone link. ES and LS models dropped the sliding second-row seat.
2009 Outlander
The 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander lineup received few changes, though the LS version was dropped.
2010 Outlander
The 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander got freshened styling and a new sporty model. New for 2010 was the sport-themed GT, which was AWD only. It used the 230-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic.
2011 Outlander
The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander had a revised model and feature lineup. The AWD versions of the ES and XLS were discontinued.
2012 Outlander
The XLS trim level was dropped, but there were no other changes of note to the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander.
2013 Outlander
Outlander saw no significant changes for 2013.


transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

All 2007 Outlanders use a 220-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, with either front- or all-wheel drive. For 2008, a four-cylinder engine went into ES models, but others retained the V6.

dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/145
Engine HP 168
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 162
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic


ohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/182
Engine HP 220
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 204
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



1. EPA Note: Figures shown are for 2008 models. The Environmental Protection Agency changed its procedure for 2008 to yield more realistic estimates. Therefore, estimated mileage is lower than for prior years.

Road Test

Mitsubishi’s V6 moves Outlanders with more than enough verve for most driving conditions, though it could use more power for ideal highway passing response. The six-speed automatic transmission is prompt and responsive. Manual shifting using the floor lever or the XLS’s steering-wheel paddles is particularly useful. The four-cylinder ES is slow from a stop but builds speed adequately and promptly. An AWD ES accelerated to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds; the 2WD model feels slightly quicker. Mitsubishi’s CVT adjusts ratios promptly for passing, but power is limited.

Fuel economy with the V6 engine is so-so. A test AWD V6 Outlander averaged 17.1 mpg. Outlanders use regular-grade gasoline.

Outlander’s relatively long wheelbase helps iron out most road imperfections. There’s little perceptible difference in bump absorption between models with 16- and 18-inch tires. Steering feel is quick and communicative. Body lean is moderate in turns. XLS models are slightly sharper overall, thanks to standard 18-inch tires.

Wind and road noise are well dampened. Whether four-cylinder or V6, Mitsubishi’s engines are noisy, droning during acceleration and cruising. Coarse-surface tire thrum is noticeable but not annoying, and it’s less prevalent in ES and LS than XLS models. One test AWD LS suffered from a number of minor creaks and groans.

Easy-to-read analog gauges are aided by a handy (but small) information display between the speedometer and tachometer, but it can wash out at times. Climate controls are mounted too low for easy access while driving. The available navigation system’s hard drive for music files is a plus for audiophiles. Navigation has a touch-screen, but it absorbs too many audio functions and is complicated to use. Cabins have few padded surfaces, and many plastic panels feel thin and hollow. They also look rather cheap.

Up front, headroom and legroom are plentiful. Seats are generally comfortable, though some occupants may prefer more thigh support. Tall third-row seatbacks partially block views astern, but visibility is fine otherwise.

Rear headroom is good. Second-row legroom is good in the five-seat ES and LS, thanks to long seat tracks-but the sliding feature was dropped in 2008. The XLS’s second row does not slide back as far, cramping knee space. In the XLS, the second row tumbles forward, easing access to the third row. But that third row is suitable only for children, and they will ride in an uncomfortable knees-up position on a cushion that uses webbed hammock-type material rather than conventional padding.

Cargo space is surprisingly good behind the XLS’s third row. Both second- and third-row seats fold easily. Split 60/40, the second row folds to create a flat load floor. Outlander’s liftgate has opening glass and a clamshell design that creates a handy drop-down tailgate section, which can hold up to 400 pounds. Good interior storage includes a nicely-sized glovebox and center console.


Model Tested: 2008 Outlander AWD LS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 4
Ride Quality - 5
Steering/Handling - 5
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 5

Total: 53


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.1 182.7 70.9 67.7
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
72.6 15.8 7
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.3 38.3 41.6 39.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Front Passenger Injury - 5

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may not start in single-digit temperatures due to problems with several relays and all should have been changed with improved ones having a green cover. (2007-08)
Cold-starting problems
Description: The engine may not restart after a short trip and brief stop in extremely cold weather (below 5 degrees F) due to relays freezing unless the original black relays are replaced with improved green ones. (2007-08)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless operation system F.A.S.T. key may lose its programming and fail to work if placed near another transmitter such as a cell phone and improved units are available. (2008)
Rough idle
Description: Rough idle when temperatures are in the 50s is corrected by updating the engine control module program. (2007-08)
Description: Hesitation or lack of throttle response when accelerating from slow speeds requires updating engine control module program. (2007)
Description: Clunking from front end during parking maneuvers is corrected by replacing the front wheel bearings. (2007)
Description: Clicking in CV joints due to poor quality of original grease used. (2007-09)
Software problems
Description: The 3.0L V6 engine may run rough and hesitate when temperatures become warmer in early summer due to sensitivity to differences between winter and summer fuels unless a software update has been performed on the engine control module.
Parking brake
Description: The shift lever may not move out of park due to grease contaminating the park position detector requiring replacement of the shift lever assembly. (2007-09)

Recall History

2007-08 w/o power seat
Description: Terminal of floor harness connector for power seat, installed under floormat in vehicles sold in specified states, may corrode due to exposure to melted snow; heating and melting of connector could result in fire.
2007-08 Outlander without power seats
Description: This recall applies to vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. The wiring connector for power seats, in vehicles without the power-seat option, is routed underneath the carpet on the floorboard, and can corrode if exposed to road salt and snow from the driver’s shoes in winter. This would result in a short-circuit and melting of the connector, which increases risk of fire. Dealers will relocate the floor harness beneath both the passenger and driver seats, above the carpet, and away from the bottom of the floorboard to prevent contact with any future salt and snow.
2007-08 w/LED tail lamps sold in the U.S. and Puerto Rico
Description: The brake lamp switch may malfunction and cause the brake lights to not illuminate during braking. Dealers will replace the stop lamp switch.
2008-09 Outlander
Description: Incorrect material composition of the brake booster check valve may cause the valve to stick closed when the engine is shut off. When the vehicle is restarted, there may be insufficient initial braking assist. Dealers will replace the brake booster check valve free of charge.
2013 Outlander
Description: Certain 2013 model Mitsubishi Outlander vehicles equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission do not have enough clearance between the transmission and a power steering pressure tube. The recall also covers certain 2007-2012 Mitsubishi Outlander vehicles that had the 6-speed automatic transmission replaced during servicing because of the same issue.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

Share this: