2014-up Mitsubishi Outlander
How to upgrade the stereo system in your Outlander
In brief: This Crutchfield Research Garage article gives you an overview of your Outlander's stock stereo system and your aftermarket upgrade options. We'll tell you all about:
- Your Outlander's factory system
- Removing the factory radio
- Removing the factory speakers
- Adding more bass
- Other options for your Outlander
Then, use our vehicle selector to find the gear that will fit your vehicle.
Overview of the Mitsubishi Outlander
The third-generation Outlander is one of those compact crossovers that does all the jobs that a compact crossover has to do without drawing attention to itself. You can haul kids, dogs, luggage, sports gear, garden supplies, and anything else in the Outlander and you’ll probably be quite comfortable doing it.
You’ll also be practically invisible, because while the Outlander really is a nice-looking vehicle, there are a lot of similarly nice-looking crossovers in this category. We’d certainly never advocate robbing banks, but we’re pretty sure that the Outlander would be a good getaway car. Most bystanders would tell the cops it was a Subaru or something and you’d be good to go — until the dye pack goes off, anyway.
If you stick to getting great deals at the warehouse store or the antique mall, you’ll be just fine in your Outlander. All you need is a better stereo, because this quiet, unassuming SUV turns out to be a pretty good place to get loud. The Outlander is a very nice home for an aftermarket audio system. Read on to learn more about what you can do and how you’ll do it.
A long-delayed (for this market, anyway) plug-in hybrid Outlander finally debuted in 2017. We haven't spent a lot of time with the hybrid, but as a general rule, hybrids contain some very sensitive electronics that require a different thought process than their gas-burning cousins.
- Be sure to only use a multi-meter when testing wires, and NEVER use a test light to test wires in this vehicle. Doing so could cause some serious (by which we mean dangerous and expensive) damage.
- A hybrid is not the car to choose if you want to build a massively powerful audio system. The thirsty current draw of a high-powered stereo is not a good thing for the hybrid system, so don't exceed a 30-amp current draw or 350-watt RMS power rating. Questions? Give us a call.
Here's a good look at the Outlander's factory Rockford Fosgate receiver (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Your Outlander's factory stereo system
We’ve seen most, but not all, of the Outlander’s factory audio systems and while they’re not bad, you can do a lot better with the right aftermarket gear. The base system offers a monochrome LCD and six speakers, while the upgrade gets you a full-color LCD receiver with nine Rockford Fosgate speakers in seven locations.
We have not yet had an opportunity to research an Outlander equipped with the factory navigation receiver/Rockford Fosgate package. Same goes for a few of the later models in this SUV’s comparatively long run. If your Outlander doesn't show up when you enter your vehicle information, you might know some things we don’t and we’d love to know what you know. Send some pictures or, if you’re really into DIY car audio, you can actually do the research yourself. To learn more about this program, check out our article on how to Research Your Car the Crutchfield Way.
As for the factory receivers we do know about, you can replace them with single-DIN (2” tall) or double-DIN (4” tall) aftermarket models. You’ll lose things like the factory USB input connection and the factory satellite radio capability, but both of those can be regained with your new stereo.
Removing and replacing the stock stereo is a very do-able project for the car audio DIY-er (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing your Outlander's factory radio
Removing the stock radio is a pretty simple process in the Outlander. Before you start, though, make sure the CD player is empty, then set the parking brake and disconnect the negative battery cable.
Starting at the top edge, use a panel tool to pry out the receiver trim panel and release eight clips, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the trim panel. Remove the four Phillips screws securing the receiver, then disconnect the harnesses and remove the receiver.
When you buy your new receiver at Crutchfield, you’ll save money on the dash kit and wiring harness you need to install it. Follow the instructions included with those two bits of gear, then test the radio to make sure it’s working properly. If it is, you’re ready to start putting the dash back together.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver
Steering wheel audio controls
It's relatively easy to retain your Outlander's steering wheel audio controls when you install a new stereo. When you enter your vehicle information, our database will choose the adapter you need to make your factory steering wheel controls work with your new receiver.
Shop for car stereos that fit your Mitsubishi Outlander
Replacing the factory speakers will definitely improve the sound in your Outlander (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing your Outlander's factory speakers
The speaker removal and replacement process is reasonably straightforward in this SUV. In addition to your tools, there are a few other little things you'll need to get the job done. We'll point them out below.
The front doors have component speakers, so replacing the woofers and tweeters at the same time s probably the best idea. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the front door speakers
The Outlander’s front doors house a set of component speakers with a 6-3/4" woofer and 1.532" tweeters wired in parallel. The removal and replacement process isn’t a total cakewalk, but it’s still well within the capabilities of the average car audio DIY-er.
Starting at the top corner, use your panel tool to pry off the sail panel and release one retaining clip, then lift the panel, disconnect the wiring harness and remove the panel. Pry out the screw cover behind the door release and remove one exposed Phillips screw.
Next, pry out the screw cover in the door pull cup and remove one Phillips screw. With that done, you’re ready to pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release nine clips. Disconnect the door lock and release cables, then disconnect the wiring harnesses and remove the door panel. Store the panel someplace clean and dry while you keep working.
The sail panel tweeters are easy to reach and replace (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory tweeters
With the sail panel already out of the way, you can remove the tweeter by removing the two Phillips screws securing it to the sail panel. Installing the new one involves a bit more effort. There’s no bracket available for this location, so you’ll need to either fabricate your own or use our universal backstraps to secure the new ones. Hot glue or silicone will work, too.
There’s also no wiring harness adapter, so you’ll need to splice, solder, or use Posi-Products speaker connectors to connect the tweeters to the factory wiring. Pro tip: the Posi-Products connectors are a lot easier. Once the tweeters are connected and ready to mount, secure the speaker/bracket assembly to the sail panel location and move on down to the woofers.
Once the door panels are out of the way, the woofers are easy to remove (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the factory woofers
The 6-3/4" factory woofers can be replaced by same-size or 6-1/2" aftermarket models. With the door panels out of the way, most of the speaker removal work is already done. All you need to do is twist the factory speaker counter-clockwise and pull it out. Then disconnect the wiring harness and remove the speaker.
You’ll need mounting brackets to install either size aftermarket speaker, and we’ll include them with your order, along with the correct wiring harness adapter. You will need to drill new screw holes to secure the speaker bracket to the door steel. This isn’t hard to do, but you are drilling a hole in your not-al-all-cheap vehicle, so work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and wear eye protection.
Once the speakers are mounted in the brackets, connected to the truck’s wiring, and secured to the door, test them out to make sure they’re working. Check that the wires aren’t interfering with the windows and also make sure the door locks and releases are working as they should. If everything’s good to go, you can start putting the door back together by doing all of the above steps in reverse.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, drill with 1/8" bit
Replacing the rear door spakers will fill out the sound quite nicely (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the rear door speakers
The rear door 6-3/4" speakers can also be replaced by same-size or 6-1/2" aftermarket models. You’ll need to remove these door panels, too, and that process is similar to what you did up front.
Pry out the screw cover behind the door release and remove one exposed Phillips screw, then pry out the screw cover in the door pull cup and remove one Phillips screw there.
Next, pry out the sides and bottom of the door panel to release nine clips, then disconnect the door lock and release cables. Disconnect the wiring harnesses, remove the door panel, and put it someplace safe and dry. From here, just twist the factory speaker counter-clockwise, then disconnect the wiring harness and remove the speaker.
You’ll need mounting brackets to install either size aftermarket speaker, for these speakers, too, plus a wiring harness adapter. You’ll also need to drill new screw holes to secure the speaker, and the same safety cautions noted above apply here as well. Work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and, once again, wear eye protection.
Once the speakers are mounted in the brackets, connected to the wiring, and secured to the door, test them out. Make sure the wires aren’t interfering with the windows and also make sure the door locks and releases are working properly. If everything is copacetic, finish putting the door back together.
Tools needed: Panel tool, Phillips screwdriver, drill with 1/8" bit
Shop for speakers that fit your Mitsubishi Outlander
Removing the Rockford Fosgate subwoofer takes a bit of work. You can do it, but definitely set aside some time. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
Removing the rear-side subwoofer (Rockford Fosgate only)
The Rockford Fosgate system includes a 10" dual voice coil subwoofer mounted in the right rear side panel. The sub is mounted in an enclosure, and you'll re-use that enclosure for a new subwoofer. Depending on which subwoofer you choose, though, you might have to drill new screw holes or fabricate a speaker bracket. If there’s drilling involved, work carefully, know what you’re drilling into, and definitely wear eye protection.
Getting to the sub and enclosure involves a healthy number of steps, so we’re not going to run through the whole list here. None of the steps are hard, mind you, it’s just that there are quite a few of them and they’re all available in the illustrated, step-by-step Crutchfield MasterSheet that’s included free with your Crutchfield stereo or speaker purchase.
And if you have questions about this or any other aspect of your installation, remember that your Crutchfield purchase also includes free tech support for the life of the gear. Our experts are right here in Virginia, available seven days a week, and ready to help you get the job done right.
Tools needed: Panel tool, #2 & #3 Phillips screwdrivers, 10mm socket, ratchet and extension, drill with 1/8" bit
There's plenty of room for pretty much anything back here, so a subwoofer box will definitely work. (Crutchfield Research Photo)
More bass in your Outlander
Like most SUVs, the Outlander has plenty of room for cargo, luggage, or even great big subwoofers and enclosures. With the rear seat in the "up" position, you’ll have a 39" wide x 15" high x 7"/11" deep space to work with. With that seat in the "down" position, there’s a 39" wide x 15" high x 28"/36" deep space available, so if you’re not planning on using that seat much, you can go pretty big.
Of course, many SUV owners actually use all that cargo space for, you know, cargo. If that’s the case, but you still like bass, check out a smaller-but-mighty powered subwoofer.
Protect your Outlander's carpeting with custom-fit WeatherTech floor liners
Other options for your Mitsubishi Outlander
Here are some other cool upgrade ideas for your crossover.
Add an amp (or two) for better sound
A new amplifier will help you get the most out of your new speaker system. You'll get cleaner power (and a lot more of it), which will result in much, much better sound. A mono amp can provide the juice you need for your new subwoofer, too.
Floor liners to preserve the carpet
Quality mats and liners from WeatherTech will help protect your vehicle from dirt, damage, dog hair, and discarded coffee cups. At this point in the car's life, the factory mats are probably trashed anyway, so an upgrade will look better and work a lot better.
A security system to protect your valuables
Installing a security system in your Outlander isn't easy (security systems rarely are), but it's less complicated than it could be and it's definitely a good idea. Our Crutchfield Advisors can help figure out what you need to get the job done, but we usually recommend taking your car and new gear to a professional installer.
Find the audio gear that fits your car or truck
Visit our Outfit My Car page and enter your vehicle information to see stereos, speakers, subs, and other audio accessories that will work in your vehicle.