Everyone loves to root for an underdog and in today’s comparison we certainly have that. The Toyota RAV4 has been the king of the compact SUV segment for many years, selling approximately half a million units annually. While the Mitsubishi Outlander certainly doesn’t have that reach, this newest generation does have surprising advantages for the segment. So, who wins in this 2024 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander battle? Let’s go ahead and find out!

Pricing and Equipment

So, first off, let’s discuss pricing for these two family SUVs.

Starting with the oh-so-popular RAV4, we have the sporty-yet-high-end XSE trim level. Toyota offers quite a few options and our tester checked almost all of those, making its total price $41,985, after destination.

RAV4 (Hybrid XSE AWD): $36,885 | Options: +$3,765 | Destination: $1,335 | Total: $41,985

Now you might expect the Mitsubishi Outlander to slot in quite a bit cheaper than the RAV4, but you’d be wrong. This fully loaded Outlander stickers in at a very similar price of $40,620 after destination.

Outlander (SEL AWD): $36,745 | Options: +$2,430 | Destination: $1,445 | Total: $40,620

By the way, if you want to get the best price from local dealerships and access to invoice pricing info for these two models or any vehicle, we have a tool on our website to do just that. Click here for more information!

Exterior Design

Seeing these two side-by-side, you’ll notice that the RAV4 has a tougher and boxier overall look, compared to the Mitsubishi’s smooth Japanese style. Now we won’t be awarding points based on design preferences, but as far as features, we have premium projector LED lighting on the RAV4 and reflector LEDs in the Outlander.

Only the Outlander, though, will include fog lamps at this price compared to the RAV4’s extra LED accent strip.

Continuing to the sides, you’ll see that the Mitsubishi has a more substantial look to it and actually comes in around 5 inches longer than the RAV4. We’ll talk about how that translates to space later. As far as features, both offer two tone roof options, and you’ll find large 20-inch alloy wheels on the Outlander. That’s standard on most trims, compared to the Toyota’s maximum size of 18-inches for the Hybrid.

Length: 180.9-inches (RAV4) | 185.4-inches (Outlander)

Rolling on through the exteriors, we have the rear designs. Both have handsome designs, partially LED taillights, and exposed wipers. Only the RAV4 has dual exposed exhaust outlets to spice up the design.

For towing, the bigger Outlander can tow about 13% more at 2,000 lbs. vs. the RAV4’s 1,750 lb. maximum.

Towing: 1,750 lbs. (RAV4) | 2,000 lbs. (Outlander)

Additional Features

Now moving on to some individual features, you’ll find surprisingly nice mirrors on both. They have BSM, heating, turn signals, and even power folding if you choose the Mitsubishi.

Speaking of safety, one of the really nice things about these crossovers is that all four of your major active safety features are included. Their warranties are quite different, though, as Mitsubishi includes a class-leading 10-year powertrain coverage, longer basic warranty and new for 2024, 2 years of complimentary maintenance to match the Toyota.

But things are about to get even more interesting on the inside, so let’s get into that!

Outlander Interior
RAV4 INterior

Interior Design

Approaching both SUVs, they have smart entry systems with decently nice key fobs. Remote start will be included in their respective apps during a trial period. Only the Toyota will have sensors behind the door handle and after opening the doors, you’re going to see spacious, and surprisingly nice cabins. 

Before we dig into the features, let’s start with the seats. The Toyota has a much simpler black SofTex leatherette with blue stitching for the XSE trim level. However, the Mitsubishi goes next level and adds quilted semi-analine real leather seats which not only look nicer but feel much more premium and comfortable.

For adjustability, they both have an 8-way power seat with lumbar support, are heated for those of you in cold climates, and also include 2-person memory abilities.

Now once inside the cabins, let’s check out the major point category of material quality. Now it’s not just the seats that are up-level in the Mitsubishi, it’s all the materials. It has one of the most luxurious finishes in the segment, including a quilted door trim, loads of leatherette on the dash, and padded leather for your knees to rest against. The Toyota’s materials are not bad per say, but not nearly as premium as the loaded Outlander.

After startup, you’ll see full 12.3-inch digital clusters on both which have good functionality and customizability. However, it’s only the Mitsubishi that includes a 10.8-inch head-up display.

Moving back, they both have heated, leather wrapped steering wheels. Only the RAV4 has rain sensing wipers, though.

Storage and Technology

Now it’s time to evaluate another major interior section: storage. There is quite a big difference between these two and a prime example of why we do the Car Confections doughnut test. Not all center consoles hold the same volume, and in this example, the Outlander can only fit 5 donuts compared to the RAV4’s 10. RAV4 also has large cupholders, and even a passenger storage shelf so it’ll get the point here. Both have wireless phone chargers.

The Toyota has all that space and still uses a traditional shifter vs. the electronic one in the Mitsubishi and when in reverse, you’ll see an a 360-degree camera on both. 

For climate, the RAV4’s is dual zone automatic, and the Mitsubishi is one of the only options in the segment to get a 3-zone setup.

As far as audio, we have Bose and JBL audio systems. Let’s take a listen. Both sound good for this segment and there isn’t a big enough difference to score a point.

Outlander: Bose 10-speaker Premium Sound

RAV4: 11-speaker 800-watt JBL Premium audio

But families are demanding their vehicles to be more and more high tech, and both models are bringing strong technology on board. The RAV4 got a big upgrade last year to this 10.5-inch display. The Outlander will have to make do with a 9-inch display instead, and while both have integrated navigation systems, it’s only the RAV4 that includes both wireless Apple CarPlay AND Android Auto. The Outlander currently only has wired Android Auto.

As we wrap up the front of the cabins, the RAV4 has another advantage. Both have auto-dimming mirrors with HomeLink remotes, but only the RAV4’s is also a camera mirror when you flip the switch.

Both have panoramic moonroofs for these high-end versions.

Outlander Rear
RAV4 Rear

Rear Seats and Cargo

So, the Outlander is about 5 inches longer than the RAV4, but does it have more space than the sales king? To answer that question, we need not go any further than the specs. The Outlander does barely eke out a half point for 5.4% more legroom, but overall headroom is roughly the same.

Outlander: 39.9-inches of legroom | 39.1-inches of headroom

RAV4: 37.8 inches of legroom | 39.5-inches of headroom

In addition to space, there are also differences in the amenities. Both give you USB ports and rear vents, but toasty buns, aka heated seats, are only on the Outlander unless you get an even more expensive RAV4.

The Outlander also throws in window sunshades.

Before we head to the cargo areas, we have to talk about something super unique about the Outlander competing in this class… it has a third row. Yes, you heard me right, a compact crossover with a third row. Now it’s important to note that this is intended for only small children and even then, you would probably only want to use it in a pinch. Nevertheless, it’s very cool to see a feature like that offered for the additional utility.

Now let’s pop the tailgates. Once they open, we are going to have a bit of back and forth when it comes to space. Behind the second row of seats, we have an 11% advantage in favor of the Toyota, but after we get past the folded third row (which takes space), it’s the Mitsubishi that has 13% more max space.

RAV4: Behind 2nd row: 37.6 cubic feet | Max: 69.8 cu.ft

Outlander: Behind 3rd Row: 11.7-cu.ft | Behind 2nd row: 33.5 cubic feet | Max: 79.7 cu.ft

One thing to keep in mind is that the packaging allows for a spare tire in the RAV4 but not in the Outlander.

Alright, we’re done with the interiors now, so it’s time to take this close comparison out to the streets.

Outlander Front
RAV4 Front


So, as you’ve seen throughout this comparison, these two are thoroughly different products, and that continues with the drive. Under their hoods, both have 2.5L 4-Cylinder engines, but the RAV4 also has a hybrid system added to that. It’s important to remember that several RAV4 trims, including this XSE, are Hybrid-exclusive, while the Outlander doesn’t offer a conventional hybrid system. Regardless of your preference on hybrid vs. pure gas, the RAV4 is significantly quicker when accelerating.

RAV4: 2.5L I-4 + Elec: 219 hp

Outlander: 2.5L I-4: 181 hp | 181 lb.ft

Keen viewers might have noticed some elements in the Outlander being shared with the Nissan Rogue, and that is because they do share a common platform and many of the mechanical bits, such as the continuously variable transmission. 

The RAV4 also uses a version of a CVT, called eCVT, and the Outlander does shift simulations. Both have AWD systems as well.

Test Drive and Fuel Economy

Now let’s talk about an important part for any family SUV; the ride quality. In this situation, the Outlander has 2-inch larger wheels but it also has more comfortable seats, so the overall level of comfort is very similar in both of them.

But that experience isn’t all about ride quality. You might be wondering how quiet they are, which is why here at Car Confections, we take a sound level reading of every vehicle we test on our channel. Tested at 55 MPH on local smooth highways, both came in at very similar numbers within 1 decibel of each other, meaning they the average adult ear wouldn’t be able to distinguish between them.

RAV4: 56.7 dB @ 55 MPH

Outlander: 57.5 dB @ 55 MPH

Lastly, if fuel economy is front-of-mind to you then the RAV4 will make more sense. This hybrid system delivers phenomenal MPGs of 40 combined, while the non-hybrid Outlander is sitting at 26 MPG combined. That will add up over the lifetime of owning the vehicle, and do be aware that the Outlander offers a Plug-In Hybrid variant, and the RAV4 offers a traditional gas options and PHEV as well.

RAV4: 41/38/40 MPG

Outlander: 24/30/26 MPG

Resale and Reliability

In our reviews and comparisons, we are also adding in reliability and resale information to give you a better picture of the overall value beyond just the original MSRP. 

Beginning with reliability, we developed the Combined Reliability Index, which considers several studies from trustworthy sources, and combines them in a way that gives a more realistic picture. Mitsubishi ranks 3 slots ABOVE the industry average for all brands in reliability, awarding it 3 tenths of a point, while Toyota is the very top brand for reliability.

We also put Mason’s economics degree to work to develop a detailed Predicted Resale Value tool. After 5 years and 60,000 miles, Toyota has the 2nd highest predicted resale value of 64.5%, which is 17.65 percentage points better than the Mitsubishi’s projected percentage of 46.85.

Resale is obviously important because it determines how much money you get back, but we can’t forget about the price difference at the original purchase. The RAV4 costs $1,365 more than the Outlander.

I want to emphasize that if money, reliability or resale value matter less to you personally, feel free to disregard these points. And if you’d like to check out all our data about reliability and resale values, as well as learn about our methodology, make sure to head to www.carconfections.com/resale and www.carconfections.com/reliability. Buying a car is a big decision, and this is a great place to compare all the makes you might be cross-shopping.

2024 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2024 Mitsubishi OUtlander winner!

So there you have it; the objective winner is the RAV4, but let’s discuss who should be “your” winner!


  • 3rd row
  • Premium interior


  • Hybrid powertrain experience (more powerful and better fuel economy)
  • Better resale and reliability

Now we want to know your opinions, so make sure to head to the comment section and let us know which one you would pick!

Thanks for joining us for another Car Confections Comparison! We’ll catch you next time as we sample the latest automotive delicacies!