The Mitsubishi three-diamond badge is not exclusively stamped on automobiles as some belief. Air conditioning equipment, nuclear power, large electricity generators, continuous power sources, and other products complete a long list where perhaps the most visible are its sedans and SUVs. Among these stands out one of its elite products, the Outlander PHEV or plug-in hybrid, which, to the amazement of many, is the second best-selling plug-in hybrid in the world.
Despite having a long history of car manufacturing dating back to 1917, the Japanese house has never risen to the list of the largest manufacturers, currently standing at number 16. Over the years, Mitsubishi has forged alliances with competitors such as Volvo, Suzuki, Renault, and Volkswagen.
The most recent of these ties have been with Nissan-Renault, and that’s where the all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander comes from. This compact SUV is an indisputable evolution on the model it replaces, but despite the improvements, we could not fail to mention pitfalls that do not allow it to be among the leaders in this competitive segment.
What are these impediments? How much Nissan is in this Mitsubishi? Is the new Outlander a good SUV? These and other questions we answer after our test drive of the all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL.
From outside and inside
Visually, we find a little resemblance to the previous model. Mitsubishi uses terms such as “authentic” or “majestic” to describe the style of its new Outlander, qualifiers perhaps somewhat excessive, and although it cannot be blamed that parents speak well of their children, it is true that the new design stands out, especially it’s front.
The Outlander’s unique front styling is highlighted by the large six-element LED headlights that flank the lower portion of the grille. Looking at from the side, you may discover similarities to a Range Rover, and there is nothing wrong with this.
While the front is bold, the rear is on the minimalist side, with plenty of synthetic chrome trim throughout, perhaps too much for my taste.
The biggest surprises await us inside. Comparing it to that of the outgoing Outlander would be frivolous, as this is clearly a cabin that can compare with the best in the segment. Good selection of materials, clear design, and yes, a lot of remembrance to Nissan.
The top-end SEL has genuine leather in either light gray or black, along with aluminum inserts, while adding the Touring package like our test car’s you’ll find Semi-Aniline leather with orange padding and stitching.
Another notable element is the inclusion of cup holders and holders for phones in each of the seats. The forwards are not only formidable, they are also comfortable and spacious.
The Outlander has grown somewhat with this redesign, with most of that extra room going to the second row, which offers 39.9 inches of legroom. In contrast, the third row of seats has lost almost 10 inches of space, making it impossible for an adult to sit there and leaving the space exclusively for children and not very large. If your household is large and you have your sights set on the new Outlander, take the whole family to the dealership and carefully estimate how much your kids will grow over the life of this SUV, or you may witness constant regrets.
Equipment and safety
One of the elements where the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander most resembles Nissan products, (especially the Nissan Rogue) is in the technological part. The steering wheel controls and the infotainment are the same. The touch screen and its menus are easy to use and generally intuitive. The base ES model has an eight-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Starting with the SE, the screen is nine inches with wireless CarPlay and standard navigation.
The safety and comfort features are quite extensive. They have only left to add the front parking sensors, the adaptive cruise, road sign recognition, or the 360-degree camera system.
We tested the semi-automatic handling that allows you to take your hands off the wheel for about 20 seconds, and although it manages to keep the Mitsubishi centered in the lane, we did notice a certain nervousness making corrections in the curves at cruising speed.
On the road
The new Mitsubishi Outlander is equipped with a 2.5-liter in-line four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower. Along with the continuous transmission or CVT and the CMF-CD platform, these three components are shared with the Nissan Rogue. Front-wheel drive comes standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.
This is a modest powertrain for the weight of the SUV. During my test, I had three people on board and the Outlander’s performance can be considered modest. Full throttle will show you what I’m trying to explain, and it’s not that I’m advocating a Dodge Durango Hellcat’s 710 horsepower, but this Outlander would greatly benefit from a turbocharged engine, boosting its horsepower near or over 200 horsepower.
For city driving it is adequate, however, on the highway, I planned to overtake other cars, especially if it has three or four passengers. Towing capacity is 2,000 pounds, while fuel economy is a strong point. 24 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 31 mpg on the highway (9.8 or 7.59 liters per 100 kilometers respectively) are numbers that place it among the best in its class.
The chassis control is good, and the effective damping when we find not too big bumps, and in general, the handling without being something remarkable, we could not ignore it either.
The Outlander’s 8.4-inch ground clearance, various traction control modes – Eco, Normal, Tarmac (Sport), Gravel, Snow, and Mud – and the optional $ 1,800 all-wheel-drive system ensure it can cope. to the occasional excursions off the pavement, or to some of the snowfall that this winter has given us.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander comes in five trims: ES, SE, SE Launch Edition, SEL, and SEL Launch Edition. Regardless of the equipment, all models are equipped with seven seats, and the same powertrain.
One of Mitsubishi’s biggest draws is its reasonable prices. A top-of-the-line SEL Launch Edition model with great features and amenities will set you back $ 35,345. Our SEL equipped with the $ 2,700 Touring Package was priced at $ 37,995.
With the least expensive option, a $ 25,795 ES, many buyers will be pleased. Our recommendation would be an SE for $ 28,845, to which you could add the Tech Package for $ 2,300, and get a cluster of digital gauges, the Bose stereo, and a gorgeous panoramic roof.
The competition is vast, starting with the very Nissan Rouge with whom it shares a lot. We could add to the well-known Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, as well as the Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, or Mazda CX-5 to name a few.
I have been little impressed by Mitsubishi models in recent years. I’ve been harsh in my reviews a few times, but this may be the first exception. I would dare to recommend the new Outlander as long as you take into account some of its limitations, such as the limited space in the last seat, or the lack of that “push” that many crave when they step on the accelerator.
Still, if you’re looking for a small SUV that can accommodate a midsize family, the all-new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander might be an attractive option, with an interesting value for money.