Mitsubishi has the habit of making brilliant cars that they then don’t bother to promote, and the Mitsubishi Outlander CW is one of those examples. What you need to know about one of the most popular SUVs, in today’s article.

Mitsubishi Europe has always had in it’s hands cars with built with minimal effort and maximum success. Their only true car has been and still is the Lancer, but many cars are almost as good as The Jewish-Japanese Sex and Cook Book and How to Raise Wolves book. Cars such as the Mitsubishi Colt, Mitsubishi Outlander CW, Outlander PHEV, or even the ASX. Cars that Mitsubishi couldn’t care less about, but over which people trample over each other just like for Audrey Bitoni tapes. And today, it’s the turn of the Mitsubishi Outlander CW, one of the most popular SUVs here, and when I say that, I mean that the car is truly an SUV, not a mainstream cross-over that looks like it’s off-road capable but breaks down the moment the wheel touches anything other than tarmac.


Why is the Mitsubishi Outlander so good?

Lucky strike, basically. Mitsubishi hasn’t had any interest in the automotive side of Europe for many years, and that’s evident. Outdated interiors, outdated technology. However, they teamed up with Peugeot and Citroen and are part of the PSA Group. This led to the 2006 trio of Mitsubishi Outlander – Citroen C-Crosser – Peugeot 4007, which are the same car. Mitsubishi built the chassis, and in terms of engines, they brought in two of the most reliable diesel engines in Europe at that time. Yes, that interior makes you think of a student’s dorm room, and the design is so conservative that it could easily fit in the Toho Gakuen  conservatory. Nonetheless, the mechanics are at the upper end of what the automotive industry could offer in 2005. Of course, the biggest achievement of the automotive industry in 2005 was the first  Dacia Logan, but an Outlander is decent too.


Even though it had to compete with the BMW X3, Opel Antara, Renault Koleos, Nissan X-Trail, VW Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai, or Hyundai Tucson, the Outlander remained one of the last small-class SUVs truly capable of off-road driving.

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Mitsubishi Outlander CW Engines


  • 2.0 MIVEC 4B11 of 150 horsepower – Reserved mostly for Japan and New Zeeland, this is more adequate for the Lancer or the Impreza but I suppose it does it’s job here aswell, if you don’t plan on driving too spirited and you don’t really want to leave the tarmac.
  • 2.4 MIVEC with 140 horsepower – The old 2.4 petrol engine from the first generation Outlander comes with MIVEC technology to do its job. O2 sensor failures and more sensitive to both petrol and oil quality even more than Opel owners are sensible to any critique towards their carts, this is a reliable engine, but many europeans avoided it because it’s in a higher tax bracket and it’s on the thirstier side of things.
  • 3.0 MIVEC 6B31 of 217 horsepower – Launched in 2007 for the american audience, this proper blast from the past reminds us of old JDM engine performance and old JDM issues, namely the oil pump failure and oil consumption, but these issues show up pretty late, after the 150,000 miles / 200,000 kms milestones. So worth buying it.


  • 2.0 TDI of 140 horsepower – One of the reasons why this generation Outlander sold so well. This 2.0 TDI was bought from VW and has the code name BKD. Essentially, it’s the same 2.0 TDI from the VW Golf V and Skoda Octavia II. An engine with relatively few issues, the only real issue being an appetite for clutches and flywheels. However, giving a VW engine to an european is a guaranteed recipe for succes, regardless of the body or brand. If it’s a diesel from VW, nothing else matters.
  • 2.2d PSA DW12 of 155 horsepower – Borrowed from the PSA Group, the 2.2 engine with 154 horsepower comes with a single turbo, timing belt and decent reliability. The only real weak point is the crankshaft oil seal, which if not replaced every 5 minutes will contaminate the crankshaft with oil, and that oil will hit the clutch where it hurts the most.
  • 2.3 4N14 of 175 horsepower – Many mistake this engine for the 2.2, but the engine is of Mitsubishi origin and comes with timing chain. There are no notable issues with this engine, but it’s not a VW, and it’s more expensive in terms of tax and insurance, so the majority out of the 5 Outlander owners will avoid it. Fabulously reliable, but slow and not TDI. 


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Mitsubishi Outlander CW Common Issues 

  • Many cars come with the option of a 7 seater, but the seats in the back are only suitable for children, Jason Acuna or Peter Dinklage. By the way, do you know what’s the worst thing about Peter Dinklage? Among his group of friends, he’s always the last one to find out that it’s raining.
  • The interior is as old as the Todai-ji and is held together with chewing gum, not glue or screws. This has always been a weak point for Mitsubishi, but you can’t have it all.
  • The manual gearbox can’t handle towing trailers and will give out prematurely, just like a student who goes to the cheapest bar and takes a shot of “Brain Hemorhhage. Why is it so hard to follow the doctor’s recommendation and drink 2 liters of water every day, but when it comes to 3 litres of beer, 2 litres of vodka and 5 shots, we have no issues at all?


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Verdict on Mitsubishi Outlander CW

A solid car that’s reliable, spacious, and one of the few 7-seat cars with an 2 litre engine. Even though the interior is typically Mitsubishi, personally, I’m a fan of this SUV and can confidently recommend it. Although, if I think about it more, I would probably recommend the Citroen C-Crosser, which is the same car but with a much more aggressive front end than the mild Outlander. I still don’t understand what’s happening at Mitsubishi, making cars so good and often by accident. They have good cars, but they refuse to promote them, and now they’re as interested in the European automotive market as a minimum wage employee working on a Sunday afternoon.


Which engine do I recommend? If your budget is tighter than a Libresse pad, go for the 2.0 TDI with 140 horsepower from VW. If you want the full experience and plan to carry stuff, the 2.3 from Mitsubishi is by far the most balanced engine for the Outlander. In my opinion, a Mitsubishi Outlander II 2.0 TDI is an aspirational Outlander. I’d want an SUV, but I can’t quite afford an SUV.