There are so many excellent options in the compact SUV class that it can be hard to know where to begin shopping for one. Of course, there are the mainstream big sellers that everyone drives. However, the Subaru Forester and Mitsubishi Outlander are compelling alternatives to its more common rivals.

Regarding the 2024 Subaru Forester and the 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander, you are looking at a value proposition — just not the same kind. Let’s see what you’re getting for your buck with these two SUVs.

Mitsubishi also builds a plug-in-hybrid version (PHEV) of the Outlander, which we consider a separate model starting at $41,790 (including destination).

2024 Subaru Forester

The name Subaru evokes an image of a small car trekking up the side of a hill or racing down a dirt road. Fortunately, the 2024 Forester does those things, but it also does it while appealing to the value-conscious buyer. If you’re looking for something that symbolizes money well spent, the Forester is your vehicle.

The Forester is budget-friendly because of its affordable sticker price, plus it’s the recipient of our Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own Award and our Best Resale Value Award. However, if you want something with more options, there are six trim levels from which to choose. Prices start at $28,440, including destination charge. 

Subaru Forester Highlights

Safety tech: The EyeSight safety tech suite bundles driver assistance features like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and lane-departure alert — and it’s standard on every trim of the Forester. Some of the components of Mitsubishi’s MI-PILOT Assist safety system are standard. At the same time, some, like blind-spot warning and front-collision mitigation, are optional or only included with higher trim levels.

Ride through the Rough Stuff: All models, except the base Forester, are outfitted with X-Mode, which optimizes the transmission and AWD system for better traction off-road or in slippery road conditions. The upper trims use a more advanced dual-mode X-Mode system with a Deep Snow/Mud setting. AWD is an option on the Outlander.

Value: Everyone likes good bang for their buck, and with one of the lowest starting prices in this class, as well as being among the lowest-cost vehicles to own, that’s the case with this Subaru.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Forester models for sale near you.

2024 Mitsubishi Outlander

2024 Mitsubishi Outlander driving down a mountain road.

Mitsubishi is best known as a value brand, and the 2024 Outlander drives that message home. It’s large enough to haul seven people with standard third-row seating, available with leading safety and convenience technology, and in a handsome package.

Outlander can be had in six trim levels, starting with the ES at $29,840, including the destination fee. It runs up to the Platinum Edition. Buyers get an option of front-wheel or all-wheel drive with the Outlander, and fuel economy is affected by just one mpg with the move, dropping from 27 combined mpg to 26 mpg. While the Outlander isn’t a leader in any particular area, for the price, it does a lot of things reasonably well.

Mitsubishi Outlander Highlights

S-AWC: While front-wheel drive is standard, you can get Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control for an extra $1,800. This is what most of us call “all-wheel drive.” Aside from a cool-sounding name, it offers selectable driving modes such as Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, Normal, Eco, and Mud. In short, AWD at the flip of a switch or turn of a dial. AWD is standard on all Subaru Forester models.

Open sesame: A powered liftgate becomes standard equipment at the SE trim level. Is it revolutionary? No. Is it available on every competitor in this segment? No. Sometimes, when your arms are filled, knowing the press of a button is all you need to do to empty them will put a little spring in those last few steps. You must choose the Limited or Touring trim levels of the Subaru Forester to get a powered liftgate.

Excellent warranty: The Mitsubishi Outlander is backed by a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. That’s tied for class-leading and beats the Subaru’s warranty.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Outlander models for sale near you.


This grouping brings a lot of value to the table, primarily through the safety, driver assistance, and convenience technologies they offer.


The Forester is a rugged, capable, off-road-ready ute that is good on gas, keeps running costs to a minimum, and holds its value over time. You are getting your money’s worth. With seven seats, the Outlander provides space and fuel economy numbers similar to its competitor. But at the end of the day, the Subaru will leave more money in your pocket thanks to its lower sticker price and ownership costs.

2024 Subaru Forester 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander
Starting Price $28,440 $29,840
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter Boxer 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 181 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission CVT/AWD CVT/FWD
Fuel Economy 26 city/33 highway/29 combined mpg 24 city/31 highway/27 combined mpg
Also Available AWD
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars 4 stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 7
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 106.5 inches
Overall Length 182.7 inches 185.4 inches
Width 71.5 inches 74.7 inches
Height 67.5 inches 68.8 inches
Turning Diameter 35.4 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 41.2 inches 40.6 inches
Headroom, Second Row 39.6 inches 39.1 inches
Legroom, Front 43.3 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, Second Row 39.4 inches 39.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.1 inches 57.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Second Row 57.2 inches 55.9 inches
Cargo Volume 28.9 cubic feet 30.6 cubic feet

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