Mitsubishi Outlander 3rd Row Seating Review

The Mitsubishi Outlander is one of just two compact SUVs to offer third-row seating, and while it’s handy, it might not be comfortable. Read more here!
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jul 15, 2022
Mitsubishi Outlander
has taken on the challenge to build a crossover SUV that ticks two seemingly oppositional boxes—one for being a compact model, and the other for offering third-row seating. And even though one can check both boxes, that doesn’t mean it’s right. 
With just 18.7 inches of legroom available for third-row passengers, the Outlander is pushing the boundaries of what one may consider “third-row seating” to be. It might work well for kids, but anyone with average-length adult legs might take issue with the meager amount of space allotted.
Still, if you have a family of five to seven people, and some of them aren’t very tall, the Outlander could be a suitable and budget-conscious new car. To find out if it fits your family, check out this guide from
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We’ll cover everything you need to know about the space, or lack of it, in the Outlander’s third row, and we’ll take a look at some alternative models to consider, too!
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What is the Mitsubishi Outlander’s 3rd row like? 

To put it bluntly, it’s cramped. But if you’re seriously looking at buying an Outlander, you want more detail than that. 
It advertises seating for up to seven passengers, which may be possible within the laws of physics but might not follow the law of comfort. If you’re looking at a 2022 model, you’ll find the third-row seats to be more sturdy, but less spacious than, for instance, the 2013 model, which offered up to 27.7 inches of legroom in the back. 
However, in 2013 and other second-generation model years, third-row seating was only an option on some trim levels. Today, the Outlander’s third-row comes standard. 

Space and comfort

To get an idea of exactly how well you and your family will fit into the car, here’s a breakdown of the passenger dimensions for each row of seating:
  • Third row: 18.7 inches of legroom, 42.1 inches of hip room, and 34.5 inches of headroom
  • Second row: 39.9 inches of legroom, 53.3 inches of hip room, and 39.1 inches of headroom 
  • First row: 41.7 inches of legroom, 54 inches of hip room, and 40.6 inches of headroom
  • Total passenger volume: 125.5 cubic feet
If you plan on putting teenagers or adults in your Outlander’s third row, it’s not going to be a pretty picture. Little kids with booster seats can probably ride fine back there, and car seats should fit, too—although getting them in and anchored might be an unintentional gymnastic event.
If you really want a compact SUV, and you really want it to have third-row seating, it’s worth looking at the
Volkswagen Tiguan
. Its base price is about $500 more than the base Outlander, but it could be money well-spent. 
And if you have growing kids or the size of your SUV isn’t a dealbreaker, look for something bigger like the
Kia Telluride
. Check out the table below for detailed dimension specs on some competing models and their third rows. We’ve included smaller SUVs and a couple of minivans to compare:
Starting price
Third-row legroom
Third-row headroom
Total passenger volume
18.7 inches
34.5 inches
125.5 cubic feet
27.9 inches
33.8 inches
124 cubic feet
31.4 inches
38.1 inches
157.1 cubic feet
29.3 inches
34.3 inches
97.3 cubic feet
35.6 inches
36.8 inches
145.1 cubic feet
33.48 inches
38.21 inches
157.3 cubic feet
29.7 inches
35.4 inches
135.8 cubic feet
32.2 inches
38.9 inches
152.7 cubic feet
38.1 inches
38.3 inches
163.6 cubic feet
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Is the Toyota Highlander good for big families and long trips?

The Outlander might be good for big families made up of very small people, but for the average height-and-weight American? Probably not. 
Even for families with small kids, you can fit the car seats and booster seats in the back but the kids will grow up. You need to think about how many years you plan to get out of your Outlander and how big everyone will be by the time you’re ready for something new. 
The price is good for a brand-new vehicle, but if you plan to have regular third-row passengers, it might be a bargain you’ll come to regret. Still, here are some perks to having an Outlander:
  • Standard safety features: The Outlander comes standard with generous safety technology, including automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
  • Available as a PHEV: The Outlander has a plug-in hybrid option available at three trim levels, starting at $36,995.
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick: The model earned a spot on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of the safest 2022 vehicles.

How to find affordable car insurance for your Mitsubishi Outlander

If you buy an Outlander, you’ve made a budget-conscious decision with safety at the forefront of your mind. And if that’s the kind of shopper you are, then you should definitely check out the
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