Is Mitsubishi’s safety rating on small SUVs better than BMW’s?

The BMW X1 and Mitsubishi Outlander were both named Top Safety Picks by the IIHS, but the Outlander won overall. Safety features can lower your auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Nov 5, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Sports/Suburban Utility Vehicles have gained so much momentum over the past decade that you can classify them as the most popular cars in the world
  • Mitsubishi Outlander is a prime example of Japanese high-quality production efforts that go unmatched in many comparisons
  • BMW is a German company that excels in car manufacturing and has produced many famous vehicles such as the X line models
  • Before buyers can obtain a vehicle, there will be many tests conducted on all prototypes to ensure these are safe to drive. One company that does this is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Before there were smart cars capable of many operations that were once deemed impossible, people were relying on their cars to simply get them from point A to point B.

Nowadays, although the underlying goal is unchanged, people want the ability to connect their phones to the car, utilize online maps, have talking stereos, and much more.

Fortunately, small SUVs come packed with all of these features and will be a perfect fit for those interested in modernized autos. No matter which car you choose, you still need auto insurance. Compare rates today with our free quote tool above! 

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a Virginia-based company that tests every car based on three categories:

Crashworthiness is an area that will let you know how well a car preserves you and your passengers in case of an accident. The ratings range from a poor to a good score at each end of the spectrum, and marginal or acceptable grades for those that fall in between.

Crash Prevention looks into a vehicle’s ability to detect danger and react accordingly. The performance can be basic, advanced, or superior.

Child Anchors comes after all the heavy-duty testing has been done. This category is evaluated through a very simple observation by specialists who look for the child latches’ accessibility.

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Mitsubishi Outlander versus BMW X1


After conducting the five tests for crashworthiness (small and moderate overlap collision, roof and side-impact, head restraints), both models came out victorious.

The lack of passenger-side small overlap test for these vehicles is understandable given that this new evaluation was announced in the last few weeks.

When the scores get broken down, Outlander and X1 both maintained the survival space reasonably well, reducing the risk of injuries to the driver’s lower body, as well as the risk of injuries to the head and neck that was decreased by the proper airbag deployment.

The roof’s strength-to-weight ratios were 4.95 and 5.12 for Outlander and X1, respectively. This was well above the threshold for a good score and further increased the credibility of the cabin’s power.

Crash Prevention & Mitigation

When it comes to this category, the forward collision warning and the 12-mph test were both handled appropriately by each car. Unfortunately for BMW X1, however, the 25-mph test showed its lack of abilities to achieve a proper speed reduction.

This facilitated the German company’s loss of two points and dropped the X1 model to an advanced crash prevention rating.

Outlander was very consistent in every test and perfectly avoided the collision when its auto brake was tested. Thus, the winner is the Japanese model that exemplified this nation’s superb craftsmanship.

Headlight review, which falls within this category, reinforced the dominance of Outlander. Its acceptable score was an entire rating better than the marginal grade of the X1 model which struggled with visibility on the sharp left, both right, and gradual left curve.


Child Seat Anchors (LATCH)

Although there were many discrepancies between the models in the previous category, the final area of assessment matched their abilities once again.

Both models’ child anchors achieved an acceptable rating, which was downgraded for a few different reasons.

Mitsubishi, for example, placed their latches too deep in the seat and had other hardware that can be mistaken for an anchor. BMW, on the other hand, got downgraded for having latches that are too difficult to find.

2017 Top Safety Pick and/or 2017 Top Safety Pick+

Top Safety Pick awards are prominent recognition that the Institute for Highway Safety gives to cars that meet certain thresholds. If a vehicle’s crashworthiness is perfect and crash prevention is at least acceptable, that car will be selected as a Top Safety Pick.

Those models that meet these two standards as well as possess headlights that are at least acceptable will be given the Plus award.

With this comparison, there was a vehicle from each of these divisions. Mitsubishi was given the Plus award while BMW received the basic one as its headlights were not up to par.

The Winner

Ultimately, the analyzed vehicles both showcased great capabilities of keeping you safe during their endeavors.

Mitsubishi, however, went further with its crash prevention and headlight capacities which is an area that BMW X-1 must improve upon. Therefore, the winner is the Outlander.

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Purchasing the Right Insurance

If you decide to purchase a new vehicle of any kind, you should do a comprehensive research into insurance implications.

Usually, you will have to go through at least half-a-dozen companies before starting to understand the acceptable/average level of prices. These are assessed based on a lot of factors that pertain to your age, gender, location, number of vehicles owned, driving history, and so on.

Sometimes, it is not convenient to spend days searching through all the companies that offer vehicle liability insurance.

This is why there are online companies that have already done the research and provide the results in a multi-company overview on their websites. You can save a lot of time and money by taking advantage of them! Compare rates now with our free quote tool below! 

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