Review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is all-new and all-better
Fully redesigned for 2022, the new Outlander is a small, three-row crossover that is most well known for its excellent mechanics and low price tag. The new Outlander (not to be confused with the smaller Outlander Sport) shares a platform with the Nissan Rogue as one of the first full collaborations with Mitsubishi’s alliance partner.
The changes for the new Outlander are many, and all of them are big improvements over what was an aging, outdated vehicle. The 2022 Outlander has more interior room, better technology, and keeps Mitsubishi’s best-in-class warranty.
At a glance
- V6 engine dropped in favor of a four
- Retains the CVT and very capable S-AWC
- Lots of amenities for the low price tag
- Updated, but still clunky infotainment
- Good general use three-row SUV
Aside from its bulkier appearance and more SUV-like design, the biggest change to the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is under its hood. The optional V6 from the previous generation has been dropped in favor of a new, Nissan-made 181-horsepower (135 kW) four-cylinder engine. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) remains, but is better tuned to the higher-output four. Despite these all being from Nissan, Mitsubishi kept its own all-wheel drive system – called Super-All Wheel Control – which is optional on all trims except for the SEL Launch Edition, on which it is standard.
The four-cylinder engine in the new Outlander is just good enough for it, but not so much that it becomes sporty or over-confident. It’s an efficiency engine, not a thruster, and that shows itself occasionally. Acceleration is good around town, and the Outlander always feels capable in daily driving. When pushing to get up to freeway speeds or to pass, however, the sluggishness becomes apparent. The engine’s power delivery is smoothly curved, not peaked, and the CVT is tuned for fuel efficiency, not for hurrying up. For most who are buying in this segment, this combination is probably not a concern, but those looking for a sportier experience will want to look elsewhere.
Fuel economy in the 2022 Outlander is rated at 31 mpg (7.6 l/100km) on the highway in the front-wheel drive model and 30 mpg (7.8 l/100km) on the highway in the all-wheel drive option. On our highway loop test, the Outlander with AWD averaged 29.4 mpg (8.0 l/100km), which is better than expected for a non-turbocharged engine at our high altitude (6,400 ft/1,951m). For those interested, the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is still available, but is based on the previous-generation Outlander.
Mitsubishi’s legendary S-AWC was on our test model 2022 Outlander, and we found it to live up to its expectations. This is one of the better all-weather and light-terrain systems on the market, prioritizing safety above all else. The base model Outlander includes several advanced safety systems like forward collision mitigation and rear automatic braking, which collude well with the S-AWC system’s stability and traction controls. This, we feel, is a fine combination that Nissan could learn from.
Even at its base price of US$26,000 plus delivery, the new Outlander comes equipped with LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker audio system, and three rows of seating – plus the aforementioned forward and rear collision mitigation systems, lane-departure warning, driver attention warning, and blind-spot monitoring.
Our SEL test model, equipped with S-AWC, was only $38,000 with options and delivery. Comparable options on the market, most of which do not have a third row option, are generally more expensive. Even its step-sibling the Rogue is over $1,000 more when comparably equipped, and it doesn’t include Mitsubishi’s 10-year powertrain warranty or 5-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.
Inside, the 2022 Outlander is more comfortable and roomier than it ever has been, and has far less cheapness to its build quality than before. Materials quality is much higher, and though some hard plastics do still remain, they are textured or tucked away rather than being the main attraction. The driver and front passenger are treated to good seating with plenty of head- and legroom.
Storage space is also good, with room for most gadgets and gear found throughout. Infotainment, however, is a weak point for the Outlander. The system, which is from Nissan, suffers the ills it does in other Nissan products – namely its outdated interface, sometimes slow response times, and tedious menu systems. Hard knobs for most daily use functions are present, however, mitigating some of that.
The back seats are not as comfortable, but still good. The second row of the Outlander is a three-way (40/20/40) split that seats up to three across. It features good headroom and legroom at the outboards, and a middle position that’s good in a pinch, but not for the long term. The third row is cramped, thanks to the small size of this Mitsubishi, but makes the Outlander one of the few remaining small crossovers that still has one. Those seats are mostly for children, with a 50/50 fold. Two children with or without safety seats or boosters will do well back there when needed. Cargo space is good as well, standing at about 33.5 cubic feet (949 liters) behind the second row and about a third of that with the third row deployed.
All together, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is an excellent entry into the small SUV segment. It’s priced well, has plenty of comfort, and is more versatile than most.
Product page: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander