Mitsubishi’s partnership with Nissan and Renault has changed history for the 2022 Outlander.
The previous Outlander model sold from 2014 to 2020 was a nice nice little SUV, but it struggled to stay competitive in a segment dominated by Honda CR-Vs, Toyota RAV4s and Nissan Rogue.
The alliance agreement with Nissan and Renault gave Mitsubishi a new corporate arrangement, which has dramatically improved the Outlander and made it fully competitive in the tough segment.
This redesigned 2022 Outlander shares important components, from the underlying body structure to the powertrain, with the segment-leading Nissan Rogue.
This Outlander features an aggressive and striking design, a spacious interior that adds a third row seat, giving it a significant change for those looking to buy a stylish and versatile SUV.
The new Outlander is larger in every way than the previous model, with a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase and an additional 2 inches of width.
This increases second row legroom to 39.9 inches, but third row legroom drops to 18.7 inches.
It comes in four models, the ES, SE, SEL and SEL Touring, with many additional features.
The Outlander rides on the same platform as the Nissan Rogue, and the two vehicles also share a powertrain, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivering 181 horsepower, 181 pound-feet of torque.
It comes mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, a torque-optimized 8-speed sport mode CVT, with a system that it uses on the gear selector to control shift operation using signals.
All models come with front-wheel drive and offer four-wheel drive as an option, except for the SEL Launch Edition, which is AWD-only.
Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control is electronically controlled.
The Outlander is very different from the previous generation interior, where it features soft and relaxing leather seats, added to hard plastics inside.
The test vehicle, which was an Outlander SEL with the optional Touring Package, features premium leather seats and padded simulated leather door inserts.
The rear window sunshades and panoramic sunroof on the Touring Package are nice touches that buyers appreciate. All padding is stitched to project a premium feel.
The seats are quite comfortable. They are nicely shaped up front with side gussets to keep you in place, plus a wide range of adjustments and available power lumbar support.
The second row rear seats are also comfortable and recline evenly, but unsurprisingly, the third row of seats is very narrow and suitable for children only.
The cargo floor area behind the front seats is approximately 6 inches wider and 14 inches longer than the previous Outlander.
Space behind the third row of seats is pretty tight, but there are two large cubicles on either side of the cargo floor to prevent items from sliding.
The third row also folds to open up more space, and the second row is split 40/20/40 to help accommodate large items.
It’s been a long time since a Mitsubishi crossover had almost luxurious features.
Regular wiring functionality for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard on all models. An 8-inch touchscreen and charging station are also standard.
You can add a 12.3-inch digital driver display with excellent visibility with a 10.8-inch Head-Up Display.
The test vehicle, the SEL, came with the optional 9-inch unit. It has sharp graphics and is easy to use. There is also an optional front display screen and a premium Bose stereo system that sounds great.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, a rearview camera, traction and stability control, hill start assist, driver’s knee airbag, front seat side airbags, and first and second row side curtain airbags. .
Outlander is equipped with a host of standard and optional advanced driver aids. The blind spot and surround view monitoring camera work great for viewing cars or objects that you might otherwise miss.
I like Mitsubishi’s Mi-Pilot Assist system. This combines adaptive cruise control with lane-centering to take some control of the vehicle and help make highway driving less tiring, something that helped a lot on our long journey through the Everglades.
On the highway
Most importantly, the rest of the driving experience is similarly updated. Steering is smooth and easy, and the brakes are easy to control for smooth stops. The whole experience feels crisp and modern.
It really can’t be stressed enough – this is a radical departure from our experience with the outsiders of the previous generation.
Additionally, the suspension absorbs cracks and potholes in the road, and the front windows provide excellent isolation from outside noise.
This is especially great, because most Outlanders come with 20-inch wheels. There are instances where having large wheels and short tire sidewalls like this can affect ride quality, but the Outlander we tested was no problem.
In our open-road test, its 2.5-liter engine held up well at low revs, and was convincing on winding roads. Wind noise is minimal.
The CVT transmission’s responsiveness is good, the brakes as well although they require slight effort and can be finicky at times, resulting in uneven stops.
Although it doesn’t have great power at startup, its ride is smooth and it settles fast on the trail. The comfort achieved by the suspension stands out, which absorbs the irregularities of the winding roads in a good way.
Handling around curves is safe, and it offers intuitive response on winding and dirt roads. The steering feels relaxed, body movements are well controlled, and it doesn’t feel fragile at all, even on the worst roads.
Our driving experience in this new Outlander has been satisfying. To tell the truth, it has nothing to do with the previous generation, as this new generation is far superior in every way.
If you are looking for a family-size crossover, there is plenty to choose from, as the competition got tough.
The new Outlander faces a long list of competitors in a rapidly growing segment, including the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, GMC Terrain and the Subaru Forester.
In Japanese, authentic and majestic, it is having the characteristics to achieve the “Yo-Fu-Do-Do” product concept. And this Outlander has done it.
But in my opinion it is a good buy, as this Outlander looks good, drives well, is reasonably priced, and in some cases with better quality than its competitors.
Price: From US $ 26,990 for ES through 37,995 for SEL with Touring Package
Consumption: 24 mpg city / 31 mpg highway