Test Drive: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC
Class: Compact Crossover
Miles Driven: 222
Fuel Used: 9.8 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 22.6 mpg
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||B|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||181-hp 2.5L|
|Drive Wheels||All-wheel drive|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 24/30/26 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gasoline
Base price: $33,745 (not including $1195 destination charge)
Options on test car: Accessory tonneau cover ($195), Welcome Package ($160; includes carpeted floor mats, touch-up paint pen, center-console tray mat)
Price as tested: $35,295
The great: Excellent passenger space/comfort and cargo versatility; broad range of available comfort and driver-assist features
The good: Competitive pricing; topline SEL trim delivers upscale interior ambiance and several desirable features; pleasant driving character; additional flexibility of third-row seating (albeit very cramped)
The not so good: So-so acceleration; only one powertrain is available for now; Mitsubishi brand’s sparse dealer network in some markets
More Outlander price and availability information
After stepping aside for a year, a gasoline-engine Outlander compact SUV is back in Mitsubishi showrooms for model-year 2022. It’s totally new of course, but Mitsubishi didn’t have to reinvent the wheel to make it happen. That’s because this Outlander shares its platform and powerteam with the redesigned-for-2021 Nissan Rogue.
Don’t think that means the Outlander is just a Rogue in a fresh Mitsubishi wrapper. While they share a 106.5-inch wheelbase, at 185.4 inches long, 74.7 inches wide, and 68.8 inches high the Outlander is a little more than 2 inches bigger in all those dimensions than the Nissan. That gives the Mitsu enough space for its third-row seat, an extremely rare feature in the class that the Nissan doesn’t have. Plus, the Outlander’s all-wheel-drive system is its own, and features more and different terrain settings than those used by the Rogue.
Test Drive: 2021 Nissan Rogue Platinum
The Outlander didn’t go completely dark during 2021, just its previous 4- and 6-cylinder gas models; a plug-in hybrid kept the nameplate alive for the year. For ’22, though, the only way to go is a 2.5-liter four and continuously variable transmission (CVT) picked up from the ’21 Rogue (the ’22 Rogue loses this 2.5 engine and gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder instead). In the all-wheel-drive SEL model that Consumer Guide tested, the 181-horsepower engine proved itself a better highway cruiser than an in-town jackrabbit. The engine operates surprisingly quietly for a four, helped to an extent by a better-than-average CVT that doesn’t make the powerplant moan with exertion in pursuit of its power peak.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the AWD Outlander are 24 mpg in city driving, 30 mpg in highway use, and 26 combined. (Note that projections for higher-trim AWD Rogues are a mile or two per gallon higher.) However, in this tester’s 89.9-mile stint that included 66 percent city-style motoring, the truck averaged 23.2 mpg.
Mitsubishi’s S-AWC all-wheel drive (for “Super All Wheel Control”) is available on all models at an $1800 upcharge from front-wheel drive—though the line-topping SEL Launch Edition has AWD as its lone driveline. Five drive modes—“Tarmac,” “Gravel,” “Snow,” “Normal,” and “Eco”—are available to all at the twist of a knurled console dial, but a “Mud” setting is added to those with S-AWC. All-wheeler Rogues have five modes, one of which is “Sport” for different power delivery. Ride isn’t especially disturbed by highway cracks or expansion joints but the all-season tires sound off with loud thwacks. Handling is easy and maneuverability is good.
The test vehicle had a starting price (with delivery) of $34,940. SEL is the trim level at which body-color bumper and side-sill accents, roof rails, leather seat upholstery, heated rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, key-linked memory of driver’s-seat settings, 3-zone automatic climate control, and a 12.3-inch LCD instrument-cluster display are added as standard equipment. The climate system and instrument display are features new to the Outlander/Rogue.
Note that most of those items are found inside. Indeed, the test vehicle felt like a step up in cabin execution for Mitsubishi. SEL seats and imitation-leather door panels are done in the currently popular diamond-quilted pattern. There is good distribution of padded surfaces on the dash, doors, and armrests—even a little on the console sides. Driver instruments and info displays show up bright and legible. Large windows make for good outward vision all around.
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There’s plenty more in packed into the Outlander by the time it gets to SEL territory. Exteriors sport LED headlights and fog lights, 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels, and a hands-free power liftgate with adjustable height limit. The power-folding side mirrors and front seats are heated, and leather covers the shift knob and steering wheel. Infotainment features—navigation included—are displayed on a 9-inch touchscreen and conveniences run to Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring, wireless smartphone charging, satellite radio, and keyless entry and starting. The biggest of the driver-assistance features is Mi-PILOT (Mitsubishi’s name for Nissan’s ProPILOT system) that pairs adaptive cruise control with automatic lane centering to steer and change speeds with the driver’s hands contacting the steering wheel. Also included are front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keeping assist, and front parking sensors.
The audio system works with clarity and ease. The drive selector looks like it a conventional shift lever but only the grip moves forward or backward to go into Drive, Reverse, or Neutral, with Park activated via a button. In our experience, it wasn’t hard to get used to. Climate management consists of two handy dials to set up-front temperature with all other functions entrusted to lots of buttons.
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First- and second-row legroom dimensions vary between the Outlander and Rogue but both offer plenty of room in these areas. The Mitsu’s second row is quite spacious—especially if there’s nobody in the third row, because with seats back, there’s almost no third-row legroom. In truth, children are the only people with a legitimate shot at being able to inhabit the third row.
Personal-item storage is all right, but just. There’s a modest glove box, small console box, slits in the sides of the console, four small door pouches with bottle holders, and pouches on backs of the front seats. Cup holders are placed in the console, the pull-down second-row center armrest (which creates a pass-through when retracted), and in the sidewalls that flank the third seat.
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Cargo space with the third-row seats in use is tight—just 11.7 cubic feet (there is some organized small-item storage under the floor). It expands to 33.5 cubic feet with the seats down. The rearmost seats fold flat, but you’ll have to remove the tall, paddle-like headrests. Sidewall flipper levers make it possible to remotely drop the 40/20/40-split second-row seats for more than 70 cubic feet of cargo capacity.
While the reduction in engine choices appears to be a shortcoming for the new Outlander, it has gained other features that should tickle the fancies of today’s car buyers (and a new plug-in-hybrid version is slated to return soon, probably as a 2023 model). Its passenger room and seating/cargo flexibility add another layer of appeal.
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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Gallery
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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL
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