It is not that often when a new vehicle surprises us, but the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has. All-new and launching its fourth generation, the latest Outlander is stylish, roomy, and efficient, representing a marked improvement over the previous version.
Until this model appeared, we would not have seriously considered the Mitsubishi brand, but the 2022 Outlander may change that.
Mitsubishi is a niche manufacturer with just four model lines left. The Outlander, Eclipse Cross, Outlander Sport, and Mirage represent a brand that now makes up one-third of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. In effect, Mitsubishi is controlled by Nissan, but all three manufacturers work together to share platforms, powertrains, and technology as needed.
Indeed, the Mitsubishi Outlander shares its platform and powertrain with the popular Nissan Rogue. But it has a dedicated styling direction and a larger interior. The 2022 Outlander also has a third row, something the Rogue does not include. In any case, the third row features a pair of jump seats with negligible legroom and weak upper back support. We still look at the Outlander as a five-passenger, compact utility vehicle.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Overview
A visit to the Mitsubishi website to check out the 2022 Outlander reveals 12 configuration options. In theory, there are three trims: ES ($26,495/$28,295); SE ($29,545/$31,345); and SEL ($32,645/$34,445). The listed prices are for front- and all-wheel drive, respectively. Add $1,295 for the destination and handling fees.
There are some interim trims or packages that extend the configuration. Gone are a pair of launch editions to mark this model’s release last fall. Also gone is the previous V6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This year, all models come with a four-cylinder engine matched to a continuously variable transmission. Yes, that is the same powertrain motivating the Nissan Rogue.
Highlights of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander
As with any model, there is plenty to consider with the Outlander. We break it all down by trim and discuss special features and other considerations as well.
It is easy to do a double-take when setting your eyes on the new Outlander. Its big, brash grille with available LED lighting accents delivers a dramatic presence. From bumper to bumper, the Outlander seems like a far pricier model with strong shoulders, sweeping lines, handsome ornamentation, and pretty wheels. Our test SEL model pulled out all the stops and included rear reflector lights and embedded exhaust ports. Brightwork trim abounds with more than enough on the grille and lower rear bumper. The Outlander wears its tri-star emblem proudly.
The list of standard features includes LED lights and 18-inch wheels. Make your move to the SE and this model comes with LED fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, and a power liftgate. Also, 20-inch alloy wheels are included. Choose the SEL and Mitsubishi adds such features as power-heated and automatic folding side mirrors with puddle lamps. A panoramic sunroof is available.
Mitsubishi sent us a top-of-the-line model outfitted with contrasting colors, quilted-leather seating surfaces, and a long list of convenience features. This model has just 11.7 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row, but a competitive 33.5 cubic feet with that row folded (79.7 cubic feet overall). Because the rearward space is so small, we believe most shoppers will consider the Outlander for its five roomy seats. Otherwise, consider this SUV a 5+2 model.
Cloth seats come standard as do full power accessories. A power-adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start are also standard. Move up to the SE trim and this model comes with imitation leather seats and heated front seats.
At the SEL level, the Outlander has full leather seats, heated rear outboard seats, a three-zone climate control system, and a power-adjustable front passenger seat. Other options include a heated steering wheel and rear-side window sunshades.
The front seats are comfortable and supportive. The quilted design is typical in luxury models and a surprise here. Three can sit in the back in comfort, although folding down the wide middle armrest makes the personal space ideal for two.
Mitsubishi equips the 2022 Outlander with a standard 8-inch touch-screen display and a 6-speaker audio system. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. The Outlander also comes with two USB ports.
Work your way up through the trim range and a 9-inch touchscreen display with navigation becomes available. Wireless Apple CarPlay rolls out, although Android Auto always requires a plug. A wireless charging pad, satellite radio, HD Radio, and two additional USB ports are offered. Other upgrades include a 10-speaker sound system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. A head-up display is optional.
We found the tech features quite good with a functional screen, useful connectivity, and a welcome digital instrument panel.
Beyond the regulatory required rearview camera, braking control, and suite of airbags, the 2022 Outlander comes with a host of standard safety equipment. Under the driver-assist umbrella, shoppers with find automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and automatic high beams. Lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear collision warning are included. Driver drowsiness monitoring, a rear-seat minder, and rear parking sensors come standard.
Also available is adaptive cruise control. Lane-keep assist, a 360-degree camera system, and front parking sensors are optional. Road sign recognition and a semi-autonomous driving system that is like ProPilot Assist are optional.
Mitsubishi last offered a V6 engine for the Outlander in 2020. That 3.0-liter V6 has an output of 224 horsepower and 215 pound-feet of torque and was available with the GT trim only. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque was the standard. The four-banger works with a CVT, while the V6 routes power to the wheels utilizing a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Both engines were scrapped in 2021, a transitory year for the model when just a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle was offered. That PHEV features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, a single-speed transmission, and all-wheel drive. The PHEV is not available for 2022 but is expected to return, while the new powertrain emerges for all gas models.
The 2022 Outlander has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine with 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Power routes to the front or all four wheels utilizing a CVT. This model makes 24/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined with front-wheel drive or 24/30/26 mpg with all-wheel drive. Notably, the latest powertrain is more powerful but just as efficient as the previous model.
On the Road
We have driven the Nissan Rogue with the same powertrain as the Mitsubishi Outlander. Much of what we learned about the Rouge applies to the Outlander. That said, the Outlander is a few hundred pounds heavier than the Rogue and that added weight could strain the powertrain under full load.
But we tested the Outlander solely or with one other person. We found adequate amounts of power on tap in all situations. From step-off acceleration to entering a highway, and on to passing. Still, there are times when an extra measure of power would have been ideal. Can we have a turbo option?
The ride is comfortable, the steering direct, and the Outlander offers decent handling. Big, thick brakes bring this crossover to a safe stop. On back roads, we could feel power shift rearward as needed, giving this all-wheel-drive tester an extra measure of confidence. The interior is quiet too and that is a marked improvement over the previous models.
Mitsubishi Outlander Takeaways
If the 2022 Outlander represents a new direction for Mitsubishi, we are satisfied with where it is going. It wins big in style and tech, with ample amounts of safety features included or available. A stronger engine would be great, and we see little sense for the third row.
The 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty is a product endorsement we like. Start your search with the SE trim and you’ll find a well-equipped SUV and a competitive value for the segment.
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