The Mitsubishi Outlander has been the most popular vehicle from the Japanese brand; in terms of sales figures. The Lancer Evolution takes the popular vote. But for the 2022 model year, the new generation Outlander benefits from the new partnership between Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Engine – Just like the Nissan Rogue, of which this new Outlander shares most of its components with, there is a 2.5L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine under the hood. It produces 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque (135 kW & 245 Nm). The engine is not the most powerful in this class but it provides more power than the old 166 hp 4-cylinder engine. A V6 option is no longer available for this 4th generation Mitsubishi Outlander. For everyday commuting, the engine has just enough grunt to get the SUV going at a reasonable pace but be prepared to plan out your overtakes on highways as it’ll take a while for them to be executed.
Fuel Economy – With a body that weighs 1,690 kg (3,726 lbs), the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander gets a respectable 9.7 L/100km (24.2 MPG) in a city and 7.9 L/100km (29.8 MPG) on a highway. Unfortunately the new Outlander does not get the more powerful & efficient 1.5L turbo 3-cylinder optional engine that the 2022 Nissan Rogue receives. But the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander will be available as a Plug-in hybrid. During my time with the Outlander, I averaged just 9.5 L/100km (24.8 MPG) which is not the greatest but that’s because it was bitterly cold during the week that I had it. So I had to let it sit idle for a few minutes every morning while the windows defrosted. But I did notice on some of my longer, highway trips that I could average as low as 7.7 L/100km (30.5 MPG).
Transmission – Mated to this 2.5L engine is a CVT automatic. It’s not as “elastic” feeling in its operation, as in, it’s a bit faster to respond to throttle inputs. It will keep the engine speed at a constant rpm when accelerating before dropping down to save as much fuel as possible. At higher rpms, it will simulate virtual gears. One thing to note, it tends to keep the engine rpms at just over 2,000 while the engine is warming up in the mornings during a commute. Once the engine reaches its optimal operating temperature, it’ll drop down the rpms.
Braking – The brake pedal feel is on the light side in the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander however it firms up the harder you push on it. It is easy to modulate for smooth stops and automatic emergency braking is a standard feature on the Outlander.
Handling – This new Mitsubishi Outlander is a bit more enjoyable to drive than the outgoing model. Steering weight is a bit heavier but not so much that it makes parking the SUV feel like an exercise at the gym. The SUV feels more planted around corners but it’s far from being a sporty SUV like the Mazda CX-5. The seating position is high up so you get good visibility but the car feels a lot wider than it actually is from behind the steering wheel. On paper, it is physically larger by a few centimeters over its Rogue cousin but it’s about the same size as the Kia Sorento and that SUV didn’t feel quite as big from behind the steering wheel.
The Outlander comes standard with S-AWC in Canada. In the United States, the AWD system is optional. This is a 4WD system that uses the brakes to control side to side wheel slip and an electronically controlled differential with a clutch for front & rear power transfer. The Outlander has 6 different drive modes to choose from; Eco, Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, & Mud.
Ride Comfort – The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has a compliant ride over most bumps and poorly maintained roads. It’s not the most plush ride but it’s not the more firm ride either. However, it’s the seats that provide the most comfort with plenty of support for your back in addition to soft and well padded cushions. But it’s the driver’s seat that has more adjustability. The passenger seat is only a 4-way seat even on this top spec GT Premium trim.
Interior Space – The Outlander has more space for both front and 2nd row occupants than its Nissan Rogue cousin. In fact, it has a similar amount of space as slightly larger SUVs such as the Chevrolet Blazer or Nissan Murano. Additionally the Mitsubishi Outlander also has a 3rd row. But that 3rd row should only be used if you find yourself in a pinch. If you plan on using the 3rd row more often, you should consider a larger 3-row SUV such as the Honda Pilot or move to a minivan like the Toyota Sienna. Tiny does not begin to accurately describe just how little space there is in the 3rd row of the Mitsubishi Outlander.
Behind the 3rd row seats, the 2022 Outlander has 332 L (11.7 cu-ft) of cargo space. Fold the rear seats down and that number increases to 949 L (33.5 cu-ft) with maximum capacity being 2,257 L (79.7 cu-ft) with the 3rd and 2nd rows folded. One thing to note, the 2nd row seats do not fold completely flat. They have a bit of an incline.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – The Outlander is relatively quiet on highways when it comes to wind and road noise. Not much intrudes into the cabin. But the engine gets very noisy when accelerating – especially above 2,000 rpms – and it is not a pleasant sound.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander starts at a reasonable $31,998 CAD ($26,095 USD, ES FWD) for the ES trim with S-AWC. A fully loaded GT Premium with S-AWC will cost you just over $10,000 CAD more at $42,178 CAD ($33,745 USD, SEL S-AWC).
Gadgets – Just like many other SUVs on the market, the 2022 Outlander comes standard with a comprehensive suite of advanced driver and safety aids. The only options that change with higher spec trims are adaptive cruise control with stop & go functionality, traffic sign recognition, lane keep assist, and active blind spot assist.
As for convenience features, the base Outlander comes equipped with heated seats, LED headlights, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto integration, keyless entry, push button start, dual zone automatic climate control, and cloth upholstery.
Upgrade to the top spec trim and the Outlander will have a larger 9-inch touchscreen with wireless CarPlay (but still wired Android Auto), a panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, head-up display, full digital display, 3-zone climate controls, quilted leather upholstery, heated 2nd row seats, heated steering wheel, and rear sunshades among other features.
Interior Design – At first glance, the cabin of the Outlander is nearly identical to that of the Nissan Rogue. But there are a few differences. It’s like that old saying in school, “Yes, you can copy my work but make sure that it’s different enough so that the teacher doesn’t notice”. The Mitsubishi Outlander, has the same general dashboard layout, same 9-inch touchscreen, same buttons on the steering wheel, and a similar shifter. But the gear selector feels more robust in the Outlander as does the drive mode selector. Other slight changes include the fabulous orange and black leather on the seats, center console, and door panels.
The infotainment system is pretty much a copy & paste design of the Nissan infotainment. The digital driver display also has the same layout as the one in the Nissan Rogue but with slightly different graphics.
Exterior Design – The exterior of the Mitsubishi Outlander is not so much of a copy & paste job but rather an original idea. It looks better than the Rogue in my opinion. Also it’s a design that stands out a bit more than other SUVs. I saw more heads turning when driving this than when I drove the Rogue.
Warranty – Like all other Mitsubishi vehicles, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is covered by a 10 year / 160,000 km new vehicle and powertrain warranty. In the United States, it’s 10 years / 100,000 miles however, that’s only for the powertrain. The new vehicle limited warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty information, click here.
Conclusion – So while this is essentially a Nissan Rogue in a different outfit, the new Mitsubishi Outlander benefits greatly from the new partnership. It feels more refined, in particular on the inside, than the previous generation. But if you plan on getting it and use the 3rd row often, might I suggest another 3-row SUV? Those rear seats in the Outlander are tiny and the Honda Pilot or Chevrolet Traverse offer much more space. Or consider a minivan like the Toyota Sienna or Chrysler Pacifica which are also available with AWD if you need it. The Outlander is primarily a 2-row SUV with the 3rd row there only if you find yourself in a pinch and need to transport more than 5 people. As well, it undercuts other small 3-row SUVs like the Kia Sorento and Volkswagen Tiguan in pricing.
Thank you to Mitsubishi Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Mitsubishi-Motors.ca