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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Top Safety Pick+
'Good,' frontal, side, rear; 'good,' roof strength; 'good,' small overlap frontal
Five stars overall (AWD), four stars overall (front-wheel drive)
Four stars, frontal crash; five stars, side crash; four stars, rollover
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander is among the best-protecting vehicles of any type, according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, with top 'good' results in every category, including in the new small overlap frontal test—to achieve the agency's vaunted Top Safety Pick+ status.
Federal results for the Outlander are nearly as good—with four stars for frontal impact and five stars in the side-impact category. With slight differences in the scores, that amounts to a five-star overall rating for all-wheel-drive models and four stars for those with front-wheel drive.
Several new active-safety features—ones that aren’t found on very many vehicles without a luxury badge—are now available in the Outlander. One of the is Forward Collision Mitigation, which operates in two stages (near and far) and uses 77-GHz radar—first to warn the driver of an obstacle or other vehicle up ahead, then to actually brake the vehicle to a stop is you’re moving around 20 mph or less. Adaptive Cruise Control uses that same radar system and lets you maintain one of three different following distances to the vehicle ahead. Then there’s Lane Departure Warning, which uses a windshield camera system to follow lane striping and give audible warnings above 40 mph.
All three of those features are part of the Touring Package on ES or SE models. And regardless of the trim level, all models now have Hill Start Assist, which helps maintain poise when starting out on a steep slope.
Otherwise, it has everything you might expect—or even be willing to step up to. The Outlander includes four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic stability control, and a total of seven airbags—including a new driver’s knee airbag. The side-curtain airbags have rollover sensors, and the ABS is a newer-generation unit that considers yaw inputs separately from the stability control system—useful when going from gravel to pavement, for instance.
Additionally, Mitsubishi has adapted its so-called RISE body structure to absorb more energy in the engine compartment for front impacts, while deforming less in the passenger compartment—and also absorbing more of the energy at certain paths at the floor.
You'll get excellent occupant protection in the 2015 Outlander—as well as some active-safety features that go above and beyond.