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

The Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan Rogue both received top marks from the IIHS, but the Outlander is safer. Safety features can lower auto insurance rates by up to 8%.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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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...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to remember...
  • The Nissan Rogue and the Mitsubishi Outlander won awards from the IIHS
  • The vehicles had similar scores that were almost identical until it came to the LATCH test
  • A vehicle with a higher safety rating can help drivers save more money on their insurance policy


As a premier safety institute, the IIHS has to work hard to make sure they are providing the most accurate information on vehicles. They have created specific tests that will help them determine which vehicles are the safest and which vehicles are lacking.

Their website has convenient comparison ratings where drivers can see which areas the vehicles scored the best in.

As part of their commitment to safety, the IIHS makes sure that their tests are as realistic as possible.

They are constantly developing new technology to make sure they are going to have accurate tests. Make sure you get the best rate no matter what vehicle you choose with our free quote tool above! 

The Institute also wants to make sure their crash test dolls are as close to reality as possible to determine what would happen to a human in the event of an accident in the vehicle that is being tested.

The Ratings Nissan and Mitsubishi Received

When the IIHS tested the Nissan Rogue and the Mitsubishi Outlander, the results of the tests were similar. In fact, they were identical in nearly every aspect. Their crashworthiness tests were the same as were their crash avoidance and mitigation tests.

The difference as in the LATCH system. While there was a tie for the ratings in every other area of the testing, the LATCH system had a clear winner because of the ease of use that was available in one of the vehicles.

Using the LATCH System

The LATCH system in the Mitsubishi Outlander was easier to use than the one in the Rogue. While there were some issues with the system in the Outlander, it still scored higher than the Rogue.

The biggest issue with the Outlander was that it was too deep to easily reach the anchor where the car seat would attach to the LATCH system.

There were bigger issues with the Rogue. The system was not only too deep in the seat, but it was also difficult to locate.

Unlike other vehicles, it did not have hardware that was close to it, but instead was not easily found in the seat. It was also difficult for users to maneuver the seats in the vehicle while preparing them for the LATCH system.

Because of this, users may be less likely to use the LATCH system correctly. Since the seats could not be properly positioned, it would also be hard for them to be in a secure spot within the vehicle if the user was not aware of the issues before they put the seat in the vehicle.

Avoiding a Collision

Headlights, auto brakes, and warning systems all work together to make the vehicle better able to avoid a collision. First, the IIHS looks at the headlights. They test the low beams on a straightaway, on sharp turns, and on gradual turns.

They repeat the tests with intuitive high beams and traditional high beams. Each vehicle’s headlights must reach a predetermined spot for them to pass the test.

The Outlander and the Rogue scored Acceptable on this test because their headlights did not perform as well on sharp turns.

To pass the avoidance test, vehicles need to have a warning system at the minimum. The Outlander and the Rogue both had a warning system that worked so they received a point for it.

They also received points for the auto brakes that were available as an option on the vehicles. The auto brakes worked exceptionally well to stop the cars at different speeds. Because of this, they received a superior rating on their crash avoidance tests.

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Collision Tests

To determine how a vehicle will be able to perform in a collision, the IIHS does crash tests. They deliberately wreck the cars in a way that could happen in the real world.

The IIHS tests the small front overlap on the driver’s and passenger’s sides. The Outlander and the Rogue had no data for the passenger side.

They received a good score for the crash test on the sides, the moderate overlap, the seats including restraints and even the roof strength that is used to determine the safety of the vehicle during a rollover.

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The Winner

Even though both of the vehicles were a Top Safety Pick+ winner, they were not exactly the same as their overall scores. The Rogue’s LATCH system was not as easy to use as the Outlanders which made it hard for the users to actually use it correctly.

It lost points for that and received a lower ranking. While the Mitsubishi is not the single safest small SUV available, it is safer than most and is certainly safer than the Rogue.

Since both vehicles are Top Safety Pick+ vehicles, they are safer than many other small size SUV choices.

Choosing the Safest Vehicle for You

If a driver was choosing a vehicle based only on the safety of it, the Outlander would be a better choice. Most drivers take many other things into consideration, though. They may choose a vehicle based on the safety, on the price and even on the cost to insure it.

Many drivers find, though, that their insurance rates are lower when they choose a safe vehicle. Compare rates with our free quote tool below now! 

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