2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC

The Mitsubishi Outlander has had a tough time standing out in the competitive small SUV segment but that should change with the 2022 model. The Outlander gets a makeover and now has a lot to offer including a smooth ride, an attractive and spacious interior and lots of standard and user-friendly tech. It’s also one of the few small crossovers with three rows of seating. The only drawback is lackluster handling.

Base Price: $33,745
As Tested: $37,995
Horsepower: 181
Mileage: 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined

The redesigned 2022 Outlander is similar to its cousin, the also redesigned Nissan Rogue. The Outlander gets a new platform and new engine, and is taller and wider than the outgoing model, making more room for passengers and cargo. The interior gets a makeover, too, with nicer materials and has more tech and connectivity than any previous Mitsubishi model.

The 2022 Outlander comes in five trims: ES, SE, SE Launch Edition, SEL, and SEL Launch Edition. All come standard with three rows and room for seven passengers. Starting prices range from $25,795 to $35,345, similar to many five-seat crossovers. Front-wheel-drive is standard; Mitsubishi’s Super all-wheel control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system is available on any trim for $1,800. The SEL Launch Edition is the one trim that comes standard with S-AWC.

The 2022 Outlander is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The Outlander powertrain is fine for driving around town, but more oomph would be nice in most other driving scenarios, especially if you’re carrying passengers and cargo. Acceleration is leisurely from a stop and you’ll need to plan your passing maneuvers on the freeway. And the engine can get loud when pressed. On the plus side, the Outlander stays composed when cornering, the ride is smooth even over bumps and rough roads, and steering and brakes are responsive.

With 8.4 inches of ground clearance and several traction control settings, the Outlander can do some mild off-roading. It can tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Fuel efficiency is decent for the class. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 24 mpg highway and 30 mpg highway with a combined rating of 26. I got 27 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel-drive models do slightly better at 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/27 mpg combined.

The interior is attractive with nice materials that look and feel good. It’s a huge improvement over older models. My tester has stylish two-tone seating and trim with contrasting stitching. Seats in the first two rows are comfortable and supportive with good leg- and headroom for adults. The second row slides so taller passengers can extend their legroom. The third row is tight and only small kids will want to ride back there.

Standard features include remote keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, power-adjustable driver’s seat, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, automatic high-beam headlights, driver drowsiness monitoring, and a rear seat alert.

Available features include proximity keyless entry, surround-view camera system, head-up display, tri-zone automatic climate control, 12.3-inch LCD digital driver display, synthetic and real leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated steering wheel, infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, navigation, 10-speaker Bose premium audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless Apple CarPlay,  wireless device charging, rear USB ports, panoramic sunroof, rear door pull-up sunshades and roof rails.

Standard driver assistance technologies include front and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian detection, and rear parking sensors.

Available driver assistance technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, front parking sensors, and road sign recognition.

Whether you have the eight- or nine-inch touchscreen, the infotainment system is user-friendly with its sensible menus. The touchscreen is easy to see and reach, graphics look good, and the system responds quickly to commands. Physical knobs and buttons make it easy to adjust volume, tuning and climate settings.

Cargo space is good for the class. There are 11.7 cubic feet with all three rows of seating in place, 33.5 cubes with the third row folded, and 79.7 cubes with the second and third rows folded. There are lots of spots in the cabin to stash smaller items. A manual liftgate is standard and a hands-free power liftgate is available.

The good:

Composed handling

Roomy and upscale interior

Upscale cabin

Lots of standard and available features and tech

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

One of the few small crossovers with room for seven

The not-so-good:

Sluggish acceleration

Lackluster driving dynamics

Tight third row

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $33,745. The SEL Touring Package is $2,700 and includes a heated steering wheel, synthetic leather door inserts with quilting in black and saddle tan, Semi-Aniline leather appointed seating surfaces, 10.8-inch head-up display, Bose premium sound system with 10-speakers, power panoramic sunroof, and rear door pull-up sunshades. Accy tonneau cover is $195. The Welcome Package is $160 and includes carpeted floor mats and portfolio, touch up paint pen and center console tray mat. Destination fee is $1,195 bringing the grand total to $37,995.

Bottom line:

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is much improved over previous models and deserves a look if you’re shopping for a small crossover. It boasts a roomy and attractive cabin, three rows of seating and composed handling. However, it’s less athletic than most rivals so if spirited driving is important to you, check out the Mazda CX-5 or Honda CR-V.

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