2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

Christian Wardlaw, Independent Expert | May 10, 2021

Introduction - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

With the redesigned 2022 Outlander, Mitsubishi demonstrates the benefit of membership in “the Alliance.” Not to be confused with the Renault Alliance sold in the U.S. market in the 1980s, the Renault, Nissan, and Mitsubishi alliance essentially allows the three automakers to share design, engineering, and technology to reduce costs across global markets and to meet the challenges of the future.

Why is this tidbit of industry inside-baseball important to you, the consumer? The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is basically the same thing as the recently redesigned Nissan Rogue, but with a unique design, dynamic tuning, and other details that give it a distinct personality all its own. Plus, it comes with a much better warranty.

This new compact crossover SUV resides at the larger end of that segment and even comes with a third-row seat (kids only). You choose between ES, SE, and SEL trim levels and front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Launch Editions of the SE and SEL are also available. Prices range from $25,795 to $35,345, plus the $1,195 destination charge.

Mitsubishi continues to offer the previous-generation Outlander as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and the smaller Outlander Sport entry-level small SUV. Neither of them has anything to do with the all-new 2022 Outlander.

What Owners Say About the Mitsubishi Outlander - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL White Front Quarter View

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

According to data collected from verified owners for the J.D Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, 54% of previous-generation Mitsubishi Outlander owners are male (vs. 51% for the segment), and the median age of an Outlander owner is 51 years (vs. 59).

Owners say their favorite things about the previous-generation Outlander were (in descending order) the:

  • Exterior styling
  • Driving feel
  • Feeling of safety in a tie with setting up and starting
  • Fuel economy

Owners indicate their least favorite things about the previous-generation Outlander were (in descending order) the:

  • Driving comfort
  • Getting in and out
  • Interior design
  • Powertrain
  • Infotainment system

In the J.D. Power 2020 APEAL Study, the previous Outlander ranked number five out of 15 compact SUVs.

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Mitsubishi Outlander - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

In the sections that follow, our independent expert provides an analysis of an Outlander SEL equipped with the following options:

  • Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC)
  • White Diamond Paint
  • Touring Package
  • Welcome Package
  • Tonneau Cover

The price of the test vehicle came to $38,590, including the $1,195 destination charge.

Getting In and Getting Comfortable

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Third Row Seat

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Open the door of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL equipped with the Touring Package, and prepare to be impressed. Clean design, simple controls, high-tech displays, and premium leather upholstery with contrast stitching and quilting collectively give this version of the SUV a definitively upscale look and feel.

Slide in, use the 8-way power adjuster to find a proper driving position, and you’ll find impressive comfort coupled with an expansive view over a squared-off hood. Heated front seats, densely padded armrests, and a thick-rimmed steering wheel all contribute to seating satisfaction, and while the front passenger’s seat is not adjustable for height, it offers good leg support and comfort.

Overall, controls and displays impress, from the 12.3-inch digital instrumentation and 10.8-inch head-up display to the 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. A stylish, intuitive electronic shifter resides on the center console. Some automakers use these compact shift-by-wire designs to free up storage space on and below the console, but not Mitsubishi. There is plenty of seemingly wasted space that could further improve interior storage.

Long rear doors open wide, which is great when the Outlander isn’t parked next to a wall, a row of shrubs, or another vehicle. In those use cases, it becomes a liability, making it harder to load and unload passengers. Once they’re inside, though, even taller adults will find plenty of legroom and a separate climate control panel for the rear seats. The test vehicle also had heated outboard rear cushions, manual side window sunshades, and a rear-seat reminder system.

The second-row seats slide forward and back on tracks. This helps to increase cargo room or add legroom for the third-row passengers. The Outlander’s third-row seat is best reserved for children, as adults will have trouble getting in and getting comfortable. However, the third-row seat’s proximity to the tailgate would concern any parent if another motorist crashed into the back of the SUV.

Cargo space is nearly non-existent with the third-row seat in use. So, it seems best to leave it folded down to enjoy plenty of usable cargo space and generous room for five people.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Smartphone-Link Infotainment System Review

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Touring Interior Dashboard

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

On its face, the Mitsubishi Outlander’s infotainment system is easy to understand and use. An 8-inch touchscreen display is standard, with a 9-inch screen available. Volume and tuning knobs make it easy to change stations, while a row of buttons under the screen offers quick access to popular displays and menus.

The Outlander SEL’s infotainment system includes:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Wireless Apple Car
  • Wired Android Auto
  • HD Radio
  • SiriusXM All Access satellite radio (3-month free trial)
  • SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link service (3-month free trial)
  • Mitsubishi Connect connected services (24-month free trial)
  • Navigation system
  • Wireless smartphone charging
  • 10-speaker Bose premium sound system

Mitsubishi Connect includes two connected services packages. They’re called Safeguard Services and Remote Services, and a My Mitsubishi Connect smartphone app provides remote access to some of the features and functions.

The following are among Mitsubishi Connect’s connected services:

  • Automatic collision notification
  • Emergency calling
  • Stolen vehicle tracking
  • Find my car
  • Remote engine starting (with climate control)

Additionally, the Touring Package adds a 10.8-inch head-up display to SEL trim. It’s large and shows plenty of helpful information, and it remains visible when the driver is wearing polarized sunglasses. It occasionally showed inaccurate speed limits during testing, such as mistaking a lower truck limit as the recommendation for all motorists.

Circling back to the evaluation of the infotainment system, Bluetooth pairing is easy, the wireless Apple CarPlay is terrific, and the Bose speakers produce rewarding sound quality.

However, Mitsubishi needs to work on the voice recognition technology. Either it cannot understand basic naturally spoken commands (“find the nearest Chipotle”), or it could not understand what I was saying most of the time, perhaps due to the SUV’s considerable road noise. Additionally, in response to “find the nearest hospital,” it gave me a veterinarian office as the top choice.

What It’s Like to Drive the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Hood Script

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Mitsubishi equips every 2022 Outlander with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The torque is relatively accessible, peaking at 3,600 rpm where the continuously variable transmission (CVT) can make good use of it. Every Outlander comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, as well as a 5-year/60,000-mile standard warranty and five years of free, unlimited roadside assistance.

The CVT is programmed with stepped ratios to make it sound and feel more like a traditional automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive available as an option. Driving models include Eco, Normal, Tarmac (Sport), Gravel, Snow, and Mud. Mitsubishi also equips the Outlander with Brake Active Yaw Control, a brake-induced torque-vectoring system designed to improve handling.

Around town, the Outlander is agreeable to drive, aside from bouts of impact harshness over the sharp bumps and cracks common in urban environments. The powertrain feels responsive in typical driving situations, the firm suspension and 20-inch aluminum wheels giving the Outlander a sporty feel. Also, the steering is quicker than what Mitsubishi provided in the previous generation model. The SUV effortlessly takes speed humps without slowing, but not sharper speed bumps.

At higher speeds, the Outlander’s composure shows some cracks. Accelerating to enter a freeway at prevailing speeds requires patience, and there simply isn’t much power in reserve for taking advantage of holes in traffic or passing on 2-lane roads. Road noise and tire slap are constant companions unless the pavement is perfectly smooth. On one stretch of Southern California’s southbound 101 freeway in Oxnard, something about the concrete set up a rhythmic hop to the ride that I cannot recall feeling in any other test vehicle.

The steering is too vague and imprecise on winding mountain highways, making the Outlander more work than a pleasure to drive. This assessment is valid even with the lane-keeping assistance and steering assistance systems turned off. The SUV also displays more body roll, body motion, and weight transfer than its usually firm suspension tuning suggests you should expect. The SUV was more at home on the narrow, twisty, lower-speed back roads running between Carpenteria and Santa Barbara, where the Outlander zipped along with confidence.

Overall, the Outlander’s powertrain is typical of the segment. It’s adequate but in need of turbocharging as an option, especially for people who live at higher altitudes where the thinner atmosphere can significantly impact a normally aspirated engine’s performance.

Beyond this, the Outlander’s ride and handling are truly a mystery. The steering needs improvement, and the suspension feels too stiff when compliance would be best (and vice versa). Often, it feels as though the suspension is behaving in the opposite way you might expect.

It might be time for the Alliance to hire away some German engineers like Hyundai Motor Group has.

Mi-Pilot Assist Review

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Lane Departure Warning

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

Unexpectedly, one of my favorite things about driving the 2022 Outlander wasn’t about driving at all. Mitsubishi equips the SE and SEL versions with Mi-Pilot Assist, a Level 2 advanced driving assistance system (ADAS), and it’s one of the most impressive things about the SUV.

Mi-Pilot Assist equips the Outlander with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, camera-based lane-keeping assistance and lane-centering assistance, and a traffic sign recognition system. It allows a driver to stop in traffic for up to 30 seconds before a driver must manually resume travel. A Navi-Link function adjusts speed based on navigation map data and GPS, such as when approaching a freeway transition ramp with a lower speed limit.

Mi-Pilot Assist is remarkably smooth, accurate, and sophisticated for the compact SUV segment. When you signal to pass slower traffic, the Outlander accelerates with more urgency than is commonly found with other Level 2 ADAS.

On two occasions during testing, Mi-Pilot Assist had trouble. One related to an off-ramp in the middle of a curve; the technology wasn’t sure which direction it should follow, and it disengaged temporarily. The second was a particular part of the southbound 101 freeway near La Conchita, where the right half of the highway is blacktop and the left half is white concrete. Where these materials meet, Mi-Pilot Assist saw the dividing line as a lane marker.

When paired with the head-up display, Mi-Pilot Assist keeps the driver informed about activation status, following distance, lane departure warnings, and speed (posted limit, set speed, travel speed). It also asks if you’d like to adjust the speed setting when the posted limit changes and displays an icon when the road ahead will curve.

Additional driving assistance systems for the 2022 Outlander include:

  • Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic warning
  • Rear automatic braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Rear parking sensors

If you’re not using Mi-Pilot Assist, the Outlander’s active steering assistance systems are a constant source of aggravation. With these engaged while the driver is actively driving the SUV, the technology makes the already dissatisfying steering feel totally unnatural.

Making matters worse, Mitsubishi doesn’t offer a button to turn them off. Instead, you must go through the Driver Assistance menu in the center instrumentation display to turn them off. That’s distracting while you’re driving.

On a positive note, however, the lane departure warning system issues its warning via vibration through the steering wheel. And the large, bright blind-spot warning indicator on the side mirrors is impossible to miss.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander FAQ - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Cargo Space

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

How much cargo space does the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander have?

Behind its skimpy third-row seat, the Outlander supplies an even skimpier 11.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Small bins exist on either side of the load floor to accommodate smaller items.

Fold the third-row seat flat, and the Outlander has a usable 33.5 cubic feet, and more if you slide the second row forward on its seat tracks. That figure is a little less than the 36.5 cubic-foot measurement Nissan reports for the Rogue.

Maximum cargo volume with the second-row seat folded down is a claimed 79.7 cubic feet (78.3 for models with the panoramic sunroof) by SAE standards. This number is class-leading compared to what other companies building compact SUVs report. By comparison, Nissan says the Rogue accommodates no more than 74.1 cubic feet (72.9 with the panoramic sunroof).

Does the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander get good gas mileage?

The EPA rates the Outlander to get 27 mpg with front-wheel drive and 26 mpg with all-wheel drive. The test vehicle, equipped with AWD, returned 24.9 mpg while switching between Eco, Normal, and Tarmac settings.

With its 14.5-gallon fuel tank, the test result suggests a total driving range of over 360 miles, though you’ll likely stop to refuel not long after passing the 300-mile mark.

Is the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander safe?

As this review was published, crash-test ratings were unavailable for the new Outlander. The Rogue upon which it is based rates highly in testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but not tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Once official test results for the Outlander are available, be sure to check them before buying this SUV.

How much is the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander?

Prices for the 2022 Outlander range from $25,795 to $35,345, plus the $1,195 destination charge.

What are the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander competitors?

In the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS), the Hyundai Tucson ranked highest in the compact SUV segment. The Kia Sportage and the Chevrolet Equinox were the next highest-ranked models.

In the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study (APEAL), the Ford Escape and the Mazda CX-5 were tied to rank highest in the compact SUV segment. The GMC Terrain was the next highest-ranked model.

Other competitors to the Mitsubishi Outlander include the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Mitsubishi deals!

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL White Rear Quarter View

Photo: Christian Wardlaw

There is plenty to like about the new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander. Styling is always a subjective matter, but I like the way this SUV looks. The interior, especially with the SEL Touring Package, is premium and upscale, and the SUV is loaded with modern technologies. There is plenty of space for people and cargo, too.

Driving dynamics are dissatisfying, though. On par for this class, the powertrain is adequate, but the ride and handling are frequently unpleasant. From the steering feel and response to the ride and handling, the Outlander requires some dynamic fine-tuning.

Christian Wardlaw is a veteran digital automotive journalist with over 25 years of experience in test-driving vehicles. In addition to JDPower.com, his work has appeared in numerous new- and used-car buying guides, newspapers, and automotive industry trade journals.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2021 J.D. Power

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