First impression? The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a visual home run!
Rarely, in all these years of driving a new vehicle every week have I encountered so many comments. From the UPS driver to the ladies at my wife’s hair salon, young, old, male or female, the reaction to this big, white blocky crossover was universal, vocal and positive. Those who ventured close enough, had a similar reaction to the interior.
Positive public reaction to 2022 Outlander bodes well for Mitsubishi as it continues to build a customer base after 20 years in this country.
Thanks to an alliance with Nissan and Renault, it now has the resources to develop new product such as the all-new 2022 Outlander. The unique-to-Mitsubishi body panels rest atop a platform shared with the Nissan Rogue, which also contributes much of the drivetrain.
But make no mistake about it – the Outlander not only looks unlike the Rogue inside and out, it feels and drives differently.
For the introduction of a new generation of Outlander, Mitsubishi engineers and designers obviously had significant input into this newcomer. It is 15 millimetres longer and 86 millimetres wider than the old model.
The wheelbase has grown by 36 mm and the track is 53-62 mm wider depending on trim level. The structure is 26% stiffer. The thick look and sculpted sides result in a distinctive look, as evidenced by the reaction of folks conditioned to an endless stream of crossovers.
The interior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a revelation.
The tester’s quilted white leather, modern design and artful use of trim colours, stitching and textures was stunning.
Not only is it a significant departure from previous Mitsubishi efforts, it leaps to the head of a crowded class. The overall impression is of a first-class cabin. There is a suitable lack of road and wind noise ensuring the upscale feel remains while at speed.
The standard 27-cm HUD (Heads Up Display) projects primary information at eye level while the digital instrument panel beneath provides a clean, crisp and colourful assortment of critical and secondary info.
The infotainment system provides connectivity for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto devices as well as wireless charging on upper trim levels. The 31-cm infotainment screen is thankfully augmented by actual knobs and buttons for volume and tuning. Higher trim boasts a 4G LTE modem and GPS capability.
The first and second row seats are comfy, supportive and provide lots of room for full-size folks.
There is a third-row seat, but it is best left for occasional use by small occupants. The cargo area aft of both second and third rows is wide and larger than the outgoing Outlander. There are lots of storage spots and pull-up sunshades for the second-row windows.
One negative – Mi-Pilot – until I figured out how to use it.
I am of the two hands on the wheel at all times variety, and a religious user of cruise control to maintain a steady speed – and avoid excess speed.
I live in a rural area where the roads are two lanes and straight sections rarely exceed 100 metres or so. When you press the little green button on the steering wheel to activate cruise control, you also bring Mi-Pilot into the game. The continual tug at the wheel as the system continually attempts to centre the vehicle in a narrow, constantly turning lane is incredibly annoying!
After a couple of days and a study of the manual, I learned how to activate the adaptive cruise control without waking up Mi-Pilot. All was well from there on.
The system is undoubtedly effective on long, straight, multi-lane highways where inattention could be an issue. But narrow, twisty two lanes are not its’ forte.
Mitsubishi offers sophisticated AWD, nicely programmed CVT and a quiet ride in the 2022 Outlander
Power comes from a 2.5-litre Nissan-sourced four-cylinder engine, backed by a nicely programmed Continuously Variable Transmission paired with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system. Initial throttle response is good, but passing and climbing steep grades with four bodies aboard has you wishing for a bit more poke.
The development team deserves high praise for the tuning of the suspension, steering and brakes.
Inputs result in smooth and progressive results. It is easy to drive smoothly in the Outlander, with no sudden or sharp reactions. The ride can lean toward the stiff side on really bad surfaces but is generally smooth and quiet on ordinary roads.
It is no sports car, with plenty of understeer and some lean when pressed in the turns, but this is offset by the supple and quiet ride.
Re-imagined 2022 Outlander is Mitsu’s flagship
The totally reimagined 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is available in five trim levels with base prices ranging from $31,998 to $42,178. All are covered by a 10-year warranty. The company says the new Outlander is the flagship of the brand, a building tool for coming product.
That bodes well for the company, and consumers looking for a distinct look, snazzy interior in a newly-competitive compact crossover backed by a lengthy warranty.
FACTS & FIGURES – 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, GT S-AWC
As tested: $43,778 as tested including freight
Blind spot warning, lane departure warning, driver attention alert, forward collision mitigation, rear automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, Mi-Pilot assist with navi-link, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, LED headlights with washers, automatic high beams.
10-speaker Bose audio system with Apple CarPlay an Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio with three-month trial subscription, 23-cm screen, wireless connectivity,
Triple-zone automatic climate control, heated front and second row seats, Navigation powered by Tom Tom, multi-view camera system, 27-cm heads-up display, power folding mirrors with reverse tilt and memory, heated steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, four-way passenger seat, quilted leather seating surfaces, hand-free power liftgate with adjustable height, power panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charger, rear door sunshades, 20-in alloy wheels
Premium finish, $450
2.5-litre four-cylinder 181 horsepower, 181 lb.-ft. of torque, regular fuel, continuously variable automatic transmission, all-wheel-drive. NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 9.7/7.9
Length, 4,710 mm; width, 2,144 mm; wheelbase, 2,706 mm; weight, 1,750 kg
Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4