More MPG, Less Money: The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 SEL S-AWC

Front 3/4 view of 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander.
Value for the dollar.  That's what the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander is all about.  As we've noted in previous reviews, when judged against the competition for features and freshness, the Outlander is fighting a losing battle.  This is a vehicle introduced five years ago that, because of Mitsubishi's financial straits at the time, was far from cutting edge then. 

But there are people in 2018 for whom a brand-new 2013 vehicle with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty at a significant discount would be exactly the right thing...and the Outlander fills that role like no other.

Rear 3/4 view of 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander.
Previous reviews of the Outlander, including last year's trek over Donner Pass in a snowstorm, have been of the GT model with the 3.0-liter, 224-horsepower V6 and six-speed automatic with paddle shifters.  This time, we drove the SEL model with the 2.4-liter, 166-horsepower four mated to a CVT.

The absence of 58 horsepower in a vehicle this size is, of course, noticeable, but it performs well enough in everyday driving that we wouldn't rule out getting the four, especially when making that choice saves some significant money. 

Choosing the top-of-the-lne SEL S-AWC (all-wheel control) saves $4,100 over the base price of the 3.0 GT.  Fuel economy improves too, from 20 city/27 highway to 24 city/29 highway.

Interior of 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander (GT shown)
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander interior (GT shown).
Our tester gave back most of that price advantage with the addition of the SEL Touring Package (forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, power glass sunroof with sunshade and tilt, a nine-speaker, 710-watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, a multi-view camera, LED headlights, LED foglights and a heated steering wheel) for $3,000.  The Diamond White Pearl paint was another $200 and carpeted floormats added another $125. 

The options essentially equipped our SEL like a GT, apart from the engine and the transmission.
With $940 destination and handling, the bottom line was $32,260...which is $1,830 less than the GT we drove last year.  At a time when you can spend more than this for RAV4s and CR-Vs,  smaller vehicles that carry fewer people and less of their things, the Outlander once again makes a strong value argument.