2019 GMC Acadia vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Acadia Denali’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Outlander doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the GMC Acadia’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Acadia are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Outlander doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Acadia has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Outlander doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Compared to metal, the Acadia’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mitsubishi Outlander has a metal gas tank.

The Acadia has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Acadia and the Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

 

Acadia

Outlander

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

208

Neck Injury Risk

22%

29%

Neck Stress

162 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

16 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

112/392 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

37%

43%

Neck Stress

152 lbs.

221 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

10/95 lbs.

394/494 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the GMC Acadia is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

 

Acadia

Outlander

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

106

163

Abdominal Force

155 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

253 lbs.

518 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

263

349

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

47 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

319

365

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

673 lbs.

807 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

GMC pays for scheduled maintenance on the Acadia for 2 years and 24,000 miles. GMC will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander.

There are almost 5 times as many GMC dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Acadia’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Acadia’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Outlander’s camshafts. If the Outlander’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 20th in initial quality. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that GMC vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 18th in reliability. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

Engine

The Acadia’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 27 more horsepower (193 vs. 166) and 26 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Acadia’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 86 more horsepower (310 vs. 224) and 56 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the GMC Acadia V6 is faster than the Outlander GT 3.0 SOHC V6:

 

Acadia

Outlander

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.6 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.2 sec

21.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.4 sec

8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.3 sec

4.3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.8 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Acadia 4 cyl.’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outlander doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the GMC Acadia uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Outlander GT requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Acadia FWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Acadia AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 16.6 gallons).

The Acadia has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Outlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Acadia’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander:

 

Acadia

Outlander

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.9 inches

The Acadia’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Outlander are solid, not vented.

The Acadia stops shorter than the Outlander:

 

Acadia

Outlander

 

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Acadia has larger standard tires than the Outlander (235/65R18 vs. 225/55R18). The Acadia’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander (255/65R17 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Acadia offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The GMC Acadia’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mitsubishi Outlander only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Acadia has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Outlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Acadia SLE/SLT/Denali has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Outlander; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The Acadia offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Outlander’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Acadia has variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Acadia’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Outlander (112.5 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Acadia is 3.9 inches wider in the front and 3.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.

The Acadia Denali AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Acadia SLT AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the Acadia FWD 4 cyl. uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Outlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Acadia uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Outlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Acadia Denali AWD is quieter than the Outlander GT AWC (68 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space

The Acadia has 15.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander (143.8 vs. 128.2).

The Acadia has .1 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 2.4 inches more rear legroom, 1.4 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.5 inches more third row headroom, 2.9 inches more third row legroom, 3.5 inches more third row hip room and 3.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

The Acadia’s cargo area provides more volume than the Outlander.

 

Acadia

Outlander

Behind Third Seat

12.8 cubic feet

10.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

41.7 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

79 cubic feet

63.3 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Acadia’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Acadia Denali’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Mitsubishi Outlander is limited to 3500 pounds. The Acadia offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

The Acadia uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The Acadia has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Outlander doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the Acadia (except SL/SLE), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Acadia (except SL/SLE)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Acadia and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Acadia is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Outlander’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Acadia’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when the ignition is turned on. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Acadia has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Outlander only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Acadia has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Outlander has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SEL/GT.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Acadia has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander doesn’t offer extendable visors.

When the Acadia with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Outlander’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Acadia SLT/Denali has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Outlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Acadia and the Outlander offer available heated front seats. The Acadia also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Outlander.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Acadia Denali keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Acadia SLT/Denali has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outlander doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Acadia is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because typical repairs cost less on the Acadia than the Outlander, including $20 less for a starter, $111 less for a fuel pump and $63 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The GMC Acadia outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by over two to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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