2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Preview

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If you’re in the market for a small SUV that can fit seven people in a pinch, you might want to wait a few months until we’ve finished testing the new Mitsubishi Outlander. Though none of Mitsubishi’s recent models have wowed us, what we’ve learned so far about the new Outlander suggests that streak might change.

Thanks to the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance, in which all three automakers share resources, the new Outlander has a lot in common with the 2021 Nissan Rogue—an SUV that’s more refined than any current product from Mitsubishi. At the very least, we’re fairly certain the new model will be an improvement over the current Outlander, which had little going for it aside from a low price. In our most recent review, we called it “outdated and outclassed.”

We plan to buy and test our own Outlander as soon as it goes on sale this spring. That’s when we’ll find out whether Mitsubishi’s flagship SUV can take on more established competitors.

CR's Take

With automakers paying so much attention to high-end vehicles, we’re happy whenever a new, affordable family hauler hits the market. The new Outlander is a little more expensive than its predecessor but remains one of the most affordable new SUVs in its size class. Based on our early impressions of that vehicle, we expect the 2022 Outlander to be a pleasant, utilitarian SUV that just might attract a few new customers to the Mitsubishi brand. Whether it’s actually a good value will depend on how much key options drive up the price, and just how easy it is to live with.


The new Outlander is the first vehicle to show off Mitsubishi’s new design direction. We think the SUV looks rugged but not imposing. For instance, the headlights sit low and closer to the bumper, which is good news for oncoming vehicles whose drivers are used to getting blinded by the headlights of high-riding SUVs.

The grille is large, but it slants back toward the windshield. The rear is reminiscent of the current Outlander, although a black panel on the rearmost pillar gives the illusion of a “floating” roof. Eighteen-inch wheels come standard, and 20-inch wheels are optional.

Size-wise, the Outlander remains a bit of an outlier. At 185.4 inches long, it’s slightly smaller than most three-row SUVs but a little larger than truly compact two-row SUVs such as the Rogue.


The Outlander’s interior appears to be a significant upgrade from the prior model. Base ES models come with cloth interiors and shiny black plastic trim, while better-equipped SE, SEL, and SEL Touring trims bring varying degrees of suede and leather. Other options include a heated steering wheel and a panoramic sunroof.

There’s a 12.3-inch digital display behind the steering wheel. An 8-inch touch-screen display is standard. A 9-inch screen with navigation is optional. Both screens allow for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and have knobs for volume and tuning controls and a row of hard buttons to quickly switch among infotainment features.

The climate controls, center console, and infotainment screen appear to be almost identical to those in the Rogue, down to the electronic gear selector and USB-A and USB-C inputs. Mitsubishi says the seats are improved from the outgoing model, and that small changes—such as better steering-wheel damping and better sound insulation—should help reduce vibration and noise, both sore spots in the old model.

The second-row seats can be folded with a single action from controls in both the second row and the rear cargo area. With all the seats folded down, the Outlander can fit items up to 80.3 inches long and 37.4 inches wide—more than 14 inches longer and about 6 inches wider than the outgoing model. A cargo cover sits over the rear wheel wells, and there are hidden storage compartments under the loading floor.

One concern is just how cramped those third-row seats are. Mitsubishi says that front- and second-row passengers get more legroom, but there’s only so much space inside—and the new Outlander’s interior is actually slightly shorter than the current model’s. We’ll be sure to try out all three rows of seating when we get our own model in for testing.

What Drives It

The Outlander gets the same 2.5-liter, naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine as the 2021 Nissan Rogue, and it will also be mated to a continuously variable transmission. Mitsubishi says the new engine should improve fuel economy by 2.6 percent, but we measured a lackluster 25 mpg overall from that powertrain in the new Rogue, which is just 1 mpg more than what we got in the outgoing Outlander. Given the new Nissan platform, the Mitsubishi l V6 that was optional on the last Outlander is gone.

A Mitsubishi representative tells Consumer Reports that the new Outlander will eventually get a plug-in hybrid version, but for now the current Outlander PHEV will soldier on with a larger battery pack, bigger electric motors, and an upgraded gas engine.

Although the Outlander was developed alongside Nissan and Renault models, Mitsubishi tells us that the optional all-wheel-drive system and suspension tuning are specific to this vehicle. Even two-wheel-drive models come with a drive-mode controller that adjusts traction control for various road types and weather conditions.

Safety and Driver Assistance Systems

A front-center airbag and second-row side airbags are now standard. A new, optional driving assistance system, called MI-PILOT Assist, combines adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist features to partially automate some steering, acceleration, and braking functions. When combined with navigation, MI-PILOT Assist can automatically follow speed limits.