The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a popular three-row mid-sized crossover with seating for up to seven passengers.
Completely redesigned for the new model year, the fourth-generation Outlander is fitted with a standard four-cylinder petrol engine with front- or all-wheel drive – in the USA, at least.
It also shares its new platform with the new Nissan X-Trail, which isn’t due in Australia until 2022. The Outlander is due sooner, set to touch down in Australia before the end of 2021.
The latest Outlander, which offers more technology and connectivity than any other previous Mitsubishi, was crafted under Mitsubishi’s distinctive “I-Fu-Do-Do” design language – this translates to “authentic and majestic” in Japanese.
We’ve taken an early drive in the USA to see if it’s any good.
Pricing for the Australian market is still to be confirmed, though we’re expecting Mitsubishi to try and stay as close to the current range as possible.
Currently, the entry-level Outlander ES manual starts at $29,990 before on-road costs, climbing to $47,490 plus on-roads for the Outlander Exceed AWD diesel.
We’re yet to see the new Outlander PHEV, though the current plug-in range spans from $47,990 to $56,490 – all before on-roads.
In the USA, the Outlander is priced from US$26,000-$35,000 ($34,172-$46,000).
Australian pricing and specifications are still to be confirmed, though we can use what’s available in the US as a rough guide.
Base ‘ES’ models come as standard with seven seats, 18-inch alloys, forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wired), and an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
The Outlander SE grade adds 20-inch alloys, LED fog lights, heated side mirrors, a hands-free electric tailgate, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, leatherette seat upholstery, heated front seats, keyless entry, front parking sensors, the MI-PILOT suite (adaptive cruise, lane-keep and traffic sign recognition), a 9.0-inch touchscreen with inbuilt navigation, wireless phone charging, and rear USB ports.
Stepping up to the US-market SEL trim brings real leather-appointed seats, driver memory function, roof rails, heated rear seats, tri-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.
There’s also two Launch Editions for the US market, based on the SE and SEL respectively, adding equipment usually part of the optional Tech (SE) and Touring (SEL) packages, with some other niceties.
The former brings a panoramic sunroof, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, puddle lights, and several subscriptions to market-specific services like Audible, Amazon Prime Music and Echo Auto.
Meanwhile, the SEL Launch Edition package brings luxurious semi-aniline leather-appointed seating, a heated steering wheel, rear pull-up sunshades, a head-up display, puddle lights and the aforementioned subscriptions.
Expect the Australian range to use the current naming structure – ES, LS and Exceed – with a similar levels of specification by trim level.
We’ll have more local details closer to launch.
Mitsubishi offers a comprehensive list of safety equipment on its all-new 2022 Outlander. These include autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot assist, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.
Driver Attention Alert (DAA) monitors the driver’s concentration. If the system determines that the driver may be sleepy, the display will advise the driver to take a break.
The Outlander is yet to be crash tested by any of the global safety authorities – we’ll need to wait for an ANCAP/Euro NCAP rating.
The interior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is two inches (51mm) wider than its predecessor, there’s more space between the seats (thanks to a lengthened wheelbase), and the overall design and execution has been greatly improved.
In fact, we’d call it nothing short of impressive for a vehicle at this price point – the crossover boasts materials, features, and innovation rivalling vehicles many times more expensive.
The driver and front passenger face a modern, uncluttered, and ergonomically correct dashboard – the large infotainment display, with dials for volume and tuning – sits prominently at the top of the dash.
The HVAC controls, again with simple-to-use dials, can be operated without glancing down. The centre console houses the transmission lever, driving mode dial, and electronic parking brake.
A couple of cupholders are located just in front of the armrest/storage console. As expected, there are multiple USB ports for charging devices.
Premium models (SE with Technology Package and above) boast a 12.3-inch full colour LCD instrument display, which is configurable. (A 7.0-inch multi-information display with analogue dials is standard).
Also available is a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen (an 8.0-inch display is standard) with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. For those seeking even more technology, Mitsubishi offers a 10.8-inch full colour head-up display (SEL with Touring Package).
Audiophiles will want to check the box for the available 10-speaker Bose premium audio system.
Seating surfaces range from fabric (ES trim), to suede (SE trim), to leather (SEL trim), to premium semi-aniline leather (SEL Touring trim) – the leather is luxuriously quilted in the high-level trims.
Fabric seats are complemented by piano black trim, while leather upholstery is contrasted by genuine aluminium. The look and appearance of the interior of the all-new 2022 Outlander is distinctively upscale.
Front seat passengers will find the Outlander comfortable and spacious (drivers enjoy a standard eight-way power seat). The second row is also accommodating, but passengers over six-foot two-inches tall may find legroom and headroom getting tight.
The third row, which is an uncommon bonus in this segment, is best left for small children on short trips (it’s a tight fit). On that note, seating is highly configurable – the second row of seating splits 40:20:40 and the third row of seats splits 50:50 to allow creative seating to maximise utility.
Mitsubishi fits all Outlanders in the USA with a naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (135kW/245Nm) mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
As CVT gearboxes are seamless as speeds increase, the company’s engineers have artificially incorporated eight “steps” (to simulate a traditional “eight-speed” gearbox) into the software to provide a sporty drive feeling.
Front-wheel drive is standard, but the automaker offers motorsport-derived Super All-Wheel control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive as an option on all models.
This six-mode system (Eco, Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, and Mud) allows the driver to optimise and tune the vehicles powertrain to the driving condition with the simple twist of the console dial.
Fuel economy varies from 24mpg (9.8L/100km) in the city to 31mpg (7.6L/100km) on the highway, depending on powertrain, on standard US unleaded fuel (87 octane).
The all-new Outlander drives significantly better than its predecessor thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi platform.
This new chassis, reportedly 33 per cent stiffer than last year’s model, is a more robust platform for the crossover’s independent suspension – now incorporating aluminium components, which is a first for Mitsubishi.
Mitsubishi’s new four-cylinder engine is smooth and relatively quiet under acceleration. While the Outlander won’t be winning impromptu stop light races with 181 horsepower (135kW), it zips around town and merges into traffic comfortably.
Most important is that there is no characteristic (annoying) drone from the CVT – it appears the company’s engineers have done an excellent job with transmission tuning and cabin acoustic damping.
The ride is quiet and comfortable. In addition to adding bushings in the undercarriage cross members to reduce shaking, Mitsubishi went to great lengths to suppress unwanted vibrations that naturally travel through the steering wheel – its efforts paid off.
Dynamically, the Mitsubishi Outlander mirrors those in the top of its compact crossover segment in North America.
Handling is stable and predictable – covering hundreds of miles each day behind the wheel would be effortless – and brake feel is solid and confidence inspiring, thanks in part to front rotors that have grown two inches (from 11.7 inches to 13.8 inches in diameter).
Mitsubishi Motors Australia covers its entire range with a standard five-year, 100,000-kilometre warranty that can be extended to 10 years and 200,000km if you have all scheduled services completed within the brand’s dealer network.
The Outlander will almost certainly be covered by the same ownership program when it lobs before the end of 2021.
Currently, the Outlander requires maintenance every 12 months or 15,000km – whichever comes first. The first five services are capped at $299, while the sixth to tenth visits are $699, $299, $699, $399 and $699.
Australian details will be released closer to the local launch.
Mitsubishi has exploited – in a very respectable way – its partnership in the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.
Thanks to platform and resource sharing, the all-new 2022 Outlander is substantially improved over its predecessor in nearly every measurable way. It’s roomier, safer, and more enjoyable to drive while its passenger cabin is more comfortable, better appointed, and more luxurious.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is no longer just another vehicle in the compact crossover segment – it’s now a viable contender.
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