2020 Acura MDX vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The MDX’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.

Compared to metal, the MDX’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 MDX offers optional AcuraLink, 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 MDX 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The Acura MDX weighs 450 to 1157 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Outlander. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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

MDX

Outlander

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

22%

29%

Neck Stress

244 lbs.

412 lbs.

Neck Compression

34 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

134/382 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

43%

Neck Stress

177 lbs.

221 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 Acura MDX is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

MDX

Outlander

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

72

163

Abdominal Force

113 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

244 lbs.

518 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

133

349

Hip Force

757 lbs.

794 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

17 inches

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

41 G’s

Hip Force

481 lbs.

807 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The MDX’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Acura vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Acura 24th in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th.

Engine

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The MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 124 more horsepower (290 vs. 166) and 105 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 66 more horsepower (290 vs. 224) and 52 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6. The MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 97 more horsepower (321 vs. 224) and 74 lbs.-ft. more torque (289 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Acura MDX V6 is faster than the Mitsubishi Outlander 4 cyl.:

MDX

Outlander

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

10 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.9 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

17.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

81 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The Outlander doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Outlander doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MDX’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.

The MDX Sport Hybrid’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 MDX’s standard fuel tank has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (19.5 vs. 16.6 gallons).

The MDX 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.

Transmission

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The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Outlander doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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

MDX

MDX Sport Hybrid

Outlander

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

13 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

13 inches

11.9 inches

The MDX stops shorter than the Outlander:

MDX

Outlander

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the MDX has larger standard tires than the Outlander (245/60R18 vs. 225/55R18). The MDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander (265/45R20 vs. 225/55R18).

The MDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outlander’s 55 series tires.

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

The MDX 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 MDX SH-AWD has a standard space-saver spare (not available on FWD/Sport Hybrid) 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

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The MDX has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Outlander’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The MDX 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 MDX has vehicle speed sensitive 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 MDX’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the Outlander (111 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the MDX is 5.7 inches wider in the front and 5.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.

The MDX SH-AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The MDX SH-AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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The MDX 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, the interior of the MDX SH-AWD is quieter than the Outlander GT AWC:

MDX

Outlander

At idle

36 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

76 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The MDX has 4.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander (132.7 vs. 128.2).

The MDX has .5 inches more front legroom, 4.9 inches more front hip room, 4.7 inches more front shoulder room, 5.9 inches more rear hip room, 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.2 inches more third row hip room and 4.3 inches more third row shoulder room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

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

MDX

Outlander

Behind Third Seat

15.8 cubic feet

10.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

63.3 cubic feet

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the MDX. The Outlander doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The MDX’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Mitsubishi Outlander is only 3500 pounds. The MDX SH-AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The MDX 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 20% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the MDX, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The MDX’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The MDX offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the MDX the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Outlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the MDX 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 MDX 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 SE/LE/SP/SEL/GT.

When the MDX 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 MDX’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to 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 MDX and the Outlander have standard heated front seats. The MDX 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the MDX 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 MDX SH-AWD offers an optional 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

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the MDX is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because it costs $46 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the MDX than the Outlander, including $135 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The Acura MDX outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by 28% during 2019.

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