Introducing the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander.
Marketing pros used to utilize phrases such as “New!” and “Improved!” to push their products. After a while, the terms lost their impact, particularly as consumers realized that updated packaging was not enough.
But with some products, the marketing terms are still very appropriate, including with the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander. This compact model is all-new this year, although it borrows its platform and powertrain from the Nissan Rogue. Yes, Mitsubishi is partly owned by Nissan and along with Renault comprises a global alliance of automotive manufacturers.
What’s especially striking about the 2022 Outlander is its looks. The front fascia with its bold grille and handsome LED accents suggest a far pricier model. But the Outlander is very much a mainstream vehicle with available premium touches.
As before, the Outlander offers three rows of seating with room for up to seven. We call this crossover a 5+2 model as the first two rows are suitable for five and the third row hardly fitting for anyone. At least not for long distances. Instead, we believe most people will keep the last row folded down, preferring to have access to expanded storage space instead of passenger utility. Unfortunately, Mitsubishi does not offer a true midsize, three-row crossover, at least not yet. In the Nissan Pathfinder, you will find such a vehicle, but it won’t be found in your Mitsubishi showroom.
Besides the bold grille, the Outlander delivers strong shoulders, sweeping lines, just the right amount of body sculpting, and a tidy rear quarter. As with most models in the segment, the further you climb through the trim range, the more likely you will find such features as power-folding and heated side mirrors, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a power liftgate.
The Outlander’s cabin is modern and clean. Our range-topping SEL trim came with quilted-leather seats. They seem much more common to a luxury model but was a welcome surprise in the Outlander. We found the front seats sufficiently bolstered with ample back and hip support. The available power-adjusted seats along with heating and cooling features certainly amplify this model.
Mitsubishi placed storage compartments nearly everywhere. Large pockets and bottle holders in the doors, center console open and closed storage sections, and other places to squirrel away items make the Outlander a truly family-friendly vehicle. The second-row split fold-down seat holds three with relative ease. But folding down the middle seat armrest makes it quite comfortable for two.
The standard 11.7 cubic feet of storage space is about the smallest anywhere. That is why folding down the rear seat is the ideal choice. Here, you will find 33.5 cubic feet, a much more desirable arrangement. Fold down both the second and third rows and there are nearly 80 cubic feet to work with.
Safety and Technology
On the safety front, the 2022 Outlander offers a generous list of driver-assist technology. Among the standard features is automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and automatic high beams are included. Front and rear collision warning, driver drowsiness monitoring, and a rear-seat alert are all standard.
The list of upgrades includes lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display. Front parking sensors, lane-keep assist, road sign recognition, and an around-view monitor are available.
An 8-inch touchscreen display is standard, but a 9-inch screen is widely available. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility come standard. Bluetooth, two USB ports, and a 6-speaker audio system are included.
Move up through the trim range and navigation is bundled with the upgraded screen. Wireless Apple CarPlay, a digital gauge cluster, and a wireless charging pad can be had. Also, a 10-speaker audio system comes bundled with satellite radio and HD Radio. We found the display interface easy to use with no drama to speak of.
Hitting the Road
The 2022 Outlander offers one powertrain combination. This one is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. With an output of 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, it is no more than adequate for this crossover.
Mitsubishi pairs the engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission. This means that instead of gears, a pulley system is employed. We’re not big fans of CVTs, but in this case, this one works relatively smoothly and enables this SUV to top 30 mpg on the road. That said, under a full load we think the strain would become noticeable, especially if towing anywhere near this model’s 2,000-pound limit.
Light to the touch steering and surprisingly capable handling accompany this model. We found the Outlander remains stable on twisting roads with minimal body roll evident. The brakes are big and beefy, bringing this crossover to a certain stop.
Mitsubishi Outlander Considerations
Mitsubishi offers the 2022 Outlander in three trims: ES ($26,495 FWD/$28,295 AWD); SE ($29,545 FWD/$31,345 AWD); and SEL ($32,645 FWD/$34,445 AWD). Add $1,295 for the delivery charge. Our test SEL AWD model topped $37,000 with every option taken. We think starting your search with the SE trim is best, adding upgrades as you see fit.
All in all, the Mitsubishi Outlander is a strong improvement over the previous model. Thus, it is better suited to take on such competitors as the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Honda CR-V. Add in the 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and this model is hard to ignore.
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