Regarding major facelifts, few are as big of a deal as the one that the Mitsubishi Outlander has received for 2022. The Outlander’s last revamp was back in 2014, and it has slipped behind rivals ever since. While our previous exposures to the Outlander did allow us to soak in its impressive fuel economy numbers, it also showed just how behind the times it was, especially regarding interior quality and technology. The 2022 model aims to change that, and here are our four favorite things about this revamped Mitsu.
Concept Car Styling In A Utility Driven World
The exterior styling of the 2022 Outlander shares many traits with the Engelberg Tourer Concept that originally made its debut two years ago at the Geneva Motor Show (remember when those events happened?) The headlights are much larger than before, and the Outlander actually has bolder character lines. The rear fascia is also more composed, and it seems that this Outlander is finally ready to embrace its inner identity. When compared to its outgoing predecessor, the Outlander is slightly larger in multiple categories. It may only be 0.6 inches longer, but it’s also 2 inches wider and 1.5 inches taller. Mitsubishi reps also revealed that the wheelbase has grown slightly, too, with the bulk of the length being used to enhance front and rear legroom.
If you’re looking at the whole package carefully, you might catch a faint whiff of Nissan Rogue in its lines. That’s not by accident, with the Outlander being the first Mitsubishi model to benefit from the broader Nissan-Renault parts bin with some of the Rouges platform bleeding through in the front fascia and the side profile.
Outlander’s Interior Mixture of Nissan and Futuristic Cues
The interior also shares many cues with the concept, which means a very squared-off design theme, especially with the full-width air vents, the square center of the steering wheel, and even the squared-off dashboard and its accompanying controls. Don’t worry, though; the Outlander has not transformed into a Nissan Cube, with the rest of the interior embracing its own distinct flair.
Materials here are a massive step up over outgoing models, and the cabin can look very striking when buyers choose to equip it as either an SEL model or the slightly ritzier SEL Touring. Diamond stitched leather seats are available, with the shapely accents even making their way to the door panels. Real aluminum trim is also on deck, but only on certain trim levels like the fore-mentioned duo.
A cool feature that we liked is that all the various chimes and alert tones were not just plucked from a generic sound bin but were actually engineered by the folks at Bandai Namco, which is a subtle hint at some of the fun that Mitsu designers are trying to add back into the model. The Nissan influence does occasionally make its presence felt, but thankfully in several welcome ways. The infotainment screen lineup, for example, is life from the Rouge, while the shifter and some other minor pieces are also carried over from other Nissan models.
The Outlander also even manages to squeeze in third-row seating, and it appears that occupants in this long-neglected space could finally receive some much-needed pampering. The seats look much more comfortable, and it seems that some of the high-end leather even makes its way to that lonely stretch of real estate. Move your way back to the front seats, and you can see some of the other goodies that the Outlander brings to the table. They include an optional Bose audio system, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and tri-zone climate control.
Sharing Is Caring When It Comes To Performance
The biggest contribution that Nissan has made to Mitsubishi is found under the skin, with the 2022 Outlander receiving extensive updates in this arena. All Outlander models will initially be powered by a 2.5 liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that makes a balanced 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. A CVT is the lone transmission available, and while the old V6 has been put out to pasture, Mitsubishi reps confirmed that the PHEV variant would make its return soon. The Outlander can be equipped with either front or four-wheel drive, and while Mitsubishi did not release official fuel economy figures, we would not be too surprised if they mirror those of the Rouge.
The Outlander’s suspension is where the two diverge with Mitsubishi engineers giving it a unique tune to be slightly sportier. This is also apparent in the available drive modes, with front-wheel-drive models getting five modes and all-wheel-drive variants getting a sixth option. This is in stark contrast to the Rouge, which only gets three and four driving modes, respectively. A version of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist also comes along for the ride, but here in the Outlander, it’s called M-PILOT Assist though it retains many of the former’s core automated driving features.
When Can I Buy One?
The biggest question here is when customers can buy one for their garage? Mitsubishi revealed that the first units will begin arriving in showrooms this April, with the U.S. being the first market to get their hands on it. Pricing will start at $26,990, which will reward you with a base front-wheel-drive ES model. As for the SEL Touring and SEL models, we suspect that the pricing for those will allow the Outlander to sit comfortably in the $30,000 to $35,000 range.
Mitsubishi did not release any final fuel economy figures and other details to go along with today’s unveiling. Still, the 2022 Outlander’s arrival will be a welcome sigh of relief for Mitsubishi dealers. Unlike other companies, the firm’s dealer network is small, and they have been heavily reliant on the outgoing Outlander as well as the Eclipse Cross CUV to help keep the lights on. The 2022 Outlander will undoubtedly be a big step up in technology and allow customers to get a glimpse into Mitsubishi’s future, especially as it has a chance to use more Nissan sourced technology in its models.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.