For several years, Mitsubishi has been relegated to the margins of the booming automobile business in the United States, but recently the Japanese automaker has moved back into the mainstream with a couple of new utility vehicles.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, a midsized SUV with plenty of ground clearance and three rows of seating, is the latest manifestation of the brand’s comeback in the estimation of car buyers.
Overview: A Week With 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL
The Outlander is well-equipped, nicely furnished and sized to carry passengers and cargo on the same trip. The technology in the 2022 Outlander is current and includes a full array of safety and connectivity features. It also handles well, and the overall ride quality is quite good.
The model I drove also was equipped with all-wheel control, which is Mitsubishi’s version of all-wheel drive, and its availability is another sign of the company’s competitiveness in a what is one of the industry’s most competitive segments.
By and large, the exterior design across the midsized utility segment is not very aggressive, but it includes some popular vehicles with a lengthy history, including the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer.
Trying something radical in a well-defined segment was not in the cards but Mitsubishi did give the Outlander a contemporary feel with the help of an impressive grille, well-designed LED-equipped light fixtures and crisp lines so it looks good sitting at the curb or while in motion.
The overall design’s augmented by the silver roof rails and 20-inch wheels. Overall, the Outlander manages to create a very credible impression vis-a-vis the competition in a very crowded and very important segment, where appearance is often considered a secondary issue even as prices have crept upwards.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL comes with a spacious contemporary interior, which deftly uses a mix of soft materials, varied textures and different colors to furnish the interior, which also employs a simple layout with metal accents to develop a design, which can survive comparisons with even more expensive vehicles in its class.
The seats are very comfortable — even on longer drives — and the visibility from the driver’s seat is very good. The steering wheel, which is populated with controls, also has a nice heft to it while the interior lighting scheme also works well at night.
The critical controls are within easy reach, and the Outlander’s cabin also was fortified to protect against noise, easing the stress behind the wheel and boosting the enjoyment of the sound system or making it easier to enjoy a conversation with a companion. One drawback is the third row of seats is very tight but when the seats are down there is a large space for carrying luggage or sporty gear.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL is equipped with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and direct injection. The 4-cylinder engine is matched to an 8-speed, continuous variable transmission, or CVT.
The combination delivers 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The vehicle is also equipped with paddle shifters and mode selection, including Eco, normal and sport. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the Outlander a combined rating of 26 miles per gallon, including 24 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The Outlander is well equipped and comes with multiple airbags to protect in frontal- and side-impact crashes as well as rollover accidents. It also comes with knee bolsters to protect against leg and foot injuries. It also has full package of stability controls and features such as lane-keeping assist and lane-departure alert, blind-spot warn, forward collision mitigation, driver attention alert, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high beams.
It also comes with Mitsubishi connect with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a 9-inch navigation and audio display and HD radio. The Outlander also features USB outlets in the front and rear seats, and a multi-view camera system, showing the area around the vehicle and a heads-up display.
The Mitsubishi Outlander delivers a comfortable ride with a solid suspension, which keeps the vehicle level around sharp curves, as well as smooth steering and excellent brakes in suburban driving where good brakes are a necessity, particularly in stop-and-go traffic.
The 2.5-liter engine delivers 181 hp, which is ample for a vehicle of this size and weight, but the CVT transmission doesn’t seem to be the best match for the engine. The CVT improves fuel economy at the expense of performance. The shifts from the CVT seem slow in connecting the horsepower to wheels. Overall, the performance on the highway has more than enough power and well-tuned driving dynamics.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Specifications:
|Dimension||L: 185.4 inches/W: 74.7 inches/H:68.7 inches/Wheelbase: 105.1 inches|
|Powertrain||2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine; CVT|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $34,645; As tested: $37,395, including a $1,195 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
The Mitsubishi Outlander is a well-equipped vehicle with a long-list of features and technology that makes it very competitive in the critical midsized vehicle category, which is so popular with families or anyone that needs to ferry around passengers or even cargo.
At $38,590, the Outlander is not cheap but the price tag is very competitive for this segment. But given the prices prevailing in this segment now, the Outlander is an alternative to the more expensive vehicles in the segment.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL — Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the Mitsubishi Outlander rank in quality?
JD Power released their 2021 U.S. Initial Quality Study and Mitsubishi finished third overall among the 32 automotive brands featured. The study measures consumer sentiment following 90 days of new vehicle ownership. Along with finishing third overall the 2021 Outlander finished second in its rating.
Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport a small SUV?
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a small SUV available in four trim levels: ES, LE, SE and GT.
Who is the owner of the Outlander Forum?
OutlanderForums.com is an independent Mitsubishi enthusiast website owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc. Content on OutlanderForums.com is generated by its users.