2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Review: Struggle Buster

I have fond memories of the Mitsubishi Outlander. I spent hours and hours behind the wheel of the first- and second-generation models before my writing career, when I was delivering press cars to many of the people I’m fortunate enough to call colleagues now. I believed then and still do now that the Outlander, particularly the second-gen car with the MIVEC V6, third-row seat, and solid tech suite, was incredibly underrated.

Mitsubishi was already struggling when that second gen rolled out and its fortunes were positively bleak when the third-gen car hit the market. But this Nissan Rogue-based model? It’s a revelation. Short of the legendary Lancer Evolution, this is the best vehicle Mitsubishi has sold in years. Just as importantly, the 2022 Outlander might finally be the vehicle to attract crossover customers that forgot about the first three times Mitsubishi tried to break into this segment.

Quick Stats2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC
Engine:2.5-liter I4
Output:181 Horsepower / 181 Pound-Feet
Efficiency:24 City / 30 Highway / 26 Combined
Base Price:$25,795 + $1,195 Destination
As-Tested Price:$38,590
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander exterior

Design

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀8/10

  • Exterior Color: White Diamond
  • Interior Color: Black And Saddle Tan
  • Wheel Size: 20 Inches

The Outlander is an excellent crossover, but it’s not exactly an attractive one. Mitsubishi has threatened squinty headlights and an oversized Schick razor blade grille for years via its concept cars, and with the Eclipse Cross, the styling finally came to pass. The Outlander leans into this unfortunate trend too, with slim LED running lamps up high and more substantial headlights below it.

While I don’t care for the design, the broader public is onboard. Throughout my week at the helm, I had regular conversations with friends and family about the Outlander and almost all of them were positive. Perhaps I need to associate with a better class of consumer. But beyond the questionable face, the rest of the Outlander is inoffensive.

I like how the two-box profile doesn’t scream “three-row,” with its short rear overhang, unfussy character lines, and interesting wheel arches, which mix black off-roadey bits with more substantial accents in the sheetmetal. The slim horizontal taillights are good too, but the rear bumper and its blatantly false exhausts are lackluster.

But holy hell, this cabin is stunning. Diamond stitching on the seats and door panels and a classic black-and-tan mix are so classy I’m willing to overlook the switchgear from the Nissan parts bin. Moreover, the material quality is excellent – soft-touch plastics in high-traffic areas mingle with padded faux leather on the door pockets that’s so good I didn’t realize it was synthetic until doing the research for this review. Mitsubishi resisted the lazy urge to cover the center console in cheap-feeling piano-black trim, opting instead for a textured aluminum-look plastic. The handsome touch lends a flash of brightness to the subdued cabin.

I have only one quality and material niggle: The electric gear lever feels flimsy and tends to jiggle if you move it side to side. It’s an odd misstep that’s also present in the Rogue.

Comfort

⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 7/10

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