A Major Departure from the Previous 3 Generations of Outlander
It's common for us to say a vehicle has been reborn or even reimagined. But seldom do they get a complete reboot like the Mitsubishi Outlander has. It's not just a new version of a familiar design, but an all-new cooperative effort with partner Nissan. So let's hit the road in the new Outlander and find out if it’s a win for both Mitsubishi and for compact crossover buyers.
While Wikipedia will tell you that this is the 4th generation Outlander; the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, a result of working with alliance partner Nissan, represents a major departure from the previous 3 generations.
Now riding on Renault-Nissan’s CMF-CD platform that it shares with the Nissan Rogue; wheelbase and overall length grow slightly, but the new Outlander is significantly wider than before.
That makes for a more planted feel on the road; complimented by greatly improved noise, vibration, and harshness suppression over previous Outlanders.
Engine is Nissan’s 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated I-4. With 181-horsepower and 181 lb-ft. of torque, theoretically, power should be more than adequate; but in actuality it feels just barely so. Though not to the point of feeling unsafe. So, why’s everyone in such a hurry these days anyway?
Well, we were in a hurry to get our testing started at Boonsboro’s Mason Dixon Dragway, tackling the handling portion first.
The Outlander felt quite nimble through the cones; steering is feather light, but still instantly responsive, and there was only minor body roll to contend with. No excessive amounts of understeer or oversteer either.
If you’ve been around Outlanders long enough to remember when they used to boast a rare for the segment V6 engine; or even spent any time in last gen’s PHEV, it’s hard to see the straight-line experience as anything but a letdown.
We felt very little low-end grunt off the line, and it was only once we got up and rolling that we felt any hint of oncoming power. It took us 8.5-seconds to hit 60, the same as the latest Rogue. Nissan’s CVT transmission only adds to the lack of umph.
Integrating fake shifts into the mix does somewhat alleviate the high rev droning. Still the 1/4-mile was equally leisurely ending at 16.5–seconds and 84 miles-per-hour.
The Outlander’s wider platform not only provides additional stability, but means more elbow room inside. Front to back, it clearly feels more spacious than before.
For the most part, the layout is very unique from the Rogue, though you can detect the Nissan influence, as things both look and feel more upscale than before.
The standard 8.0-inch touchscreen display features full smartphone connectivity. Adding navigation requires stepping up to the 9-inch setup. Over in front of the driver, a 7-inch multi-information display is standard, with a 12-inch fully digital driver display an option.
Front seats feel quite soft, while rear seats have been reshaped for additional comfort and to fold more easily. One of the few compact crossovers that even offers a 3rd row, Mitsubishi makes it standard equipment.
A wide center console provides good storage space up front; while in back, just 11.7 cubic-ft. of cargo space behind the 3rd row, but a much more usable 33.5 with it folded; expanding to 78.3 with all seats folded.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all–wheel-drive are 24-City, 30-Highway, and 26-Combined. We saw a spot on 26.8 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
If you loved the PHEV version of the Outlander as much as we did; you’ll be happy to know a new plug-in is on the way. But for now, just 3 trims to choose from starting at ES for a base of $27,745. Top SELs start at $34,090; with all-wheel-drive an $1,800 option on all grades.
We understand that high costs make it necessary for car companies to work together these days, and usually that results in wins all around. And indeed the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is better by most practical measures. Still, we came away feeling it’s not quite the same adventurous bargain it was before. Like your favorite indie band that’s now gone mainstream. So, we’ll keep our memories. For perspective buyers, the new Outlander is a well-done compact crossover that should not be overlooked. And a clear win for Mitsubishi.
Engine: 2.5L I4
Torque: 181 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 8.5 seconds
1/4 Mile: 16.5 seconds @ 84 mph
EPA: 24 City / 30 Highway / 26 Combined