Head to Head: Mitsubishi Outlander Vs Subaru Forester

Both this vehicles are great contenders in the SUV category. They are both manufactured in Japan and both can seat 5 people comfortably,
but the Outlander offers a third row of seating in higher trim levels.

As a buyer walks around either vehicle they will note a proud, perhaps noble, stance. Both have styling that is clearly aggressive, a look that demands open spaces to tackle. Admittedly, the Mitsubishi Outlander is a bit more refined and aerodynamic appearing. 

Outlander’s Interior

Key Features for base models include:

  • Six-speaker CD stereo
  • Cruise control
  • Trip computer
  • Power accessories
  • Reclining rear seats

Key Features for higher trim include:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Heated side view mirrors,
  • Roof rails
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Bluetooth
  • Steering-wheel audio controls
  • 457 mm wheels
  • Remote keyless ignition and entry
  • Fabric sport seats
  • Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Automatic climate control,

Forester’s Interior

Key Features of the base trim level are:

  • 406 mm steel wheels
  • Keyless entry
  • Cruise control
  • Full power accessories
  • CD audio system

Key features of the higher trim levels such as the XS & XT are as shown bellow:

  • 432 mm alloy wheels,
  • Fog lights
  • Rear spoiler
  • Sunroof
  • A tilt/telescoping steering column
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Six-CD changer
  • Heated front seats
  • Leather upholstery

Outlander’s Exterior

The Outlander offers a more rounded, nearly fluid body. It embodis a desire for aggressiveness while meeting all of the needs for a seven passenger vehicle.

Designed with families in mind, the Outlander is built on Mitsubishi’s RISE safety body, allowing it to perform at the top of its class in safety testing.

Forester’s Exterior

Forester incorporates the basic body of an Impreza wagon, but has the rear platform of a North American-spec Impreza sedan.

The wheelbase has increased by 89 mm while length has been increased by 76 mm. The 2012 model uses a sloped roof and eliminates the frame-less side windows that Subaru has featured since the 1970s.

Outlander’s Driving Experience

Drivers will find a well-tuned chassis, well rounded steering, and nice response from the accelerator, especially in the units with the larger 2359 cc engine. The engine is paired to a CVT and can be found in front-wheel drive or full-time four-wheel drive.

The FF models offer 12.6 km/l while the AWD units offer 12.2 km/l. Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander offers a fun driving experience with an amazing amount of driver feedback.

Forester’s Driving Experience

The suspension has accurate steering, easy to reach controls, and an excellent driver position within the vehicle. The overall effect is a refined driving experience and strong urban character.

Despite the limited engine options, buyers can find vehicles with a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual, all models feature the full-time four-wheel drive that Foresters are famous for. Fuel economy ranges from 12.2 km/l with the automatic transmission to 13.0 km/l from the five-speed manual equipped units.


Mitsubishi Outlander offer additional seating, giving owners the opportunity to seat up to seven people. The Outlander also has a larger engine in the DBA-CW5W units, giving it a better response from the accelerator.

The Subaru Forester comes out ahead by offering a more comfortable interior and slightly better fuel economy in the units equipped with a manual transmission. The Forester also offers a great deal more cabin and cargo space. While a Forester can only seat a maximum of five people, they will sit in comfort on a stable chassis.

Overall, Mitsubishi Outlander is the better vehicle for drivers who prefer a responsive driving experience and require the third row of seating for a growing family. Subaru Forester is the better vehicle for buyers who need to transport up to five people on a regular basis without the aggravation of the complicated rear folding seat of the Outlander.

We do not wholeheartedly endorse one over the other, but you can now make a better informed decision while shopping for your next vehicle.

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