2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander

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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 2020/08/09

The Atlas has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Outlander doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Compared to metal, the Atlas’ 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 Atlas has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 Atlas and the Outlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The Volkswagen Atlas weighs 651 to 1399 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 Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

Atlas

Outlander

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

90 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

33/218 lbs.

334/511 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

251

Neck Injury Risk

33%

43%

Neck Stress

180 lbs.

221 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

91 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

156/231 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 Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Mitsubishi Outlander:

Atlas

Outlander

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

57

163

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

345 lbs.

518 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

144

349

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

47 G’s

Hip Force

527 lbs.

794 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

279

365

Hip Force

800 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 2020/08/09

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander.

There are over 87 percent more Volkswagen dealers than there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Atlas’ warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2020/08/09

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Outlander’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Atlas’ 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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 25th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Volkswagen vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Volkswagen 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Engine

© 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 2020/08/09

The Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 69 more horsepower (235 vs. 166) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 162) than the Outlander’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Atlas’ 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 11 more horsepower (235 vs. 224) and 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6. The Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 52 more horsepower (276 vs. 224) and 51 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 215) than the Outlander GT’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Atlas V6 is faster than the Mitsubishi Outlander 4 cyl.:

Atlas

Outlander

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.8 MPH

83.1 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 2020/08/09

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ 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 Atlas has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander AWC’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Atlas has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 16.6 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/08/09

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

Atlas

Outlander

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.9 inches

The Atlas’ 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 Atlas stops shorter than the Outlander:

Atlas

Outlander

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Atlas has larger standard tires than the Outlander (245/60R18 vs. 225/55R18). The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander (265/45R21 vs. 225/55R18).

The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional 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 Atlas SEL Premium offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Outlander’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Atlas 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

© 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 2020/08/09

The Atlas 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.

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Outlander doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 12.2 inches longer than on the Outlander (117.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Atlas is 6.6 inches wider in the front and 7.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander.

The Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion handles at .84 G’s, while the Outlander GT AWC pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Atlas SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the Outlander SEL AWC (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion is quieter than the Outlander GT AWC (68 vs. 69 dB).

Passenger Space

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The Atlas has 25.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Outlander (153.7 vs. 128.2).

The Atlas has .7 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front legroom, 5.6 inches more front hip room, 5.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear legroom, 6.1 inches more rear hip room, 4.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom, 5.5 inches more third row legroom, 5.7 inches more third row hip room and 4.5 inches more third row shoulder room than the Outlander.

Cargo Capacity

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The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the Outlander.

Atlas

Outlander

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

10.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

63.3 cubic feet

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

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Atlas’ available 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

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The Atlas’ standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Mitsubishi Outlander is only 3500 pounds. The Atlas offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Atlas 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 Atlas 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

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When three different drivers share the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Outlander doesn’t offer a memory system.

The power windows standard on both the Atlas and the Outlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Atlas 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.

If the windows are left open on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Outlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outlander ES’ standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Outlander doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Atlas 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.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Atlas offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Outlander doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

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

When the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Outlander’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Atlas and the Outlander offer available heated front seats. The Atlas SEL Premium also has standard 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 Atlas SEL Premium 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Volkswagen Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outlander doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Atlas (except S) 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.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Outlander doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/08/09

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Atlas is less expensive to operate than the Outlander because typical repairs cost less on the Atlas than the Outlander, including $166 less for a fuel pump.

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 2020/08/09

The Volkswagen Atlas outsold the Mitsubishi Outlander by almost two to one during 2019.

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

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