2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Awarded Highest IIHS Safety Rating After Improving Headlights

The redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has got people talking. It is so impressive, it might even rank as one of the best SUVs, which is no easy feat and not typically associated with the Outlander. It has already been named the most improved vehicle of 2021 by U.S. News because of the extensive redesign.

Mitsubishi made upgrades and improvements throughout the Outlander, both inside and out. And one of those improvements even earned Outlander its latest award, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) top safety rating. 

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

A white and black Mitsubishi Outlander sitting in front of a stone garage.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Motors

The 2022 redesign includes a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, a CVT, front-wheel drive standard, and all-wheel drive optional. Even though the engine is improved from previous years, it is better suited for driving around town, as at faster speeds on the highway, the Outlander tends to struggle and lag.

Reviewers note that both the steering and braking are quick and responsive. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is a pretty impressive 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway. Upgrading to AWD only drops the highway rating by 1 mpg. With the new third-row, it seats seven and can tow up to 2000 lbs when properly equipped.

A more modern and well-insulated cabin gives the Outlander a more luxurious feel. The infotainment system is intuitive and responsive and comes standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. You can upgrade this to a nine-inch touchscreen that comes with navigation and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display. There are 11.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, which expands to 33.5 cubic feet when you fold the third row down, and 79.7 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded.

The base trim starts at $25,795 and has eight other available trims. The ES trims include the base trim and an AWD model, which starts at $27,595. The next trim level is the SE trims and includes FWD, AWD, and a Launch Edition FWD and AWD, ranging from $28,845 to $31,795. The top trim levels are the SEL trims, including FWD and AWD, and a Launch Edition AWD, and range from $31,945 to $35,345. 

The IIHS safety rating and what it means

According to the IIHS, the 2022 Outlander was awarded the Top Safety Pick+, the highest rating available, due to vastly improved headlights that were adjusted to reduce glare. The IIHS has two safety awards, the Top Safety Pick and the Top Safety Pick+.

For both awards, vehicles must have a good rating in the six IIHS crashworthiness tests and have an available front crash prevention system that is rated either advanced or superior in vehicle-to-vehicle, as well as vehicle-to-pedestrian, evaluations. To earn the Top Safety Pick+, vehicles must have headlights rated as good or acceptable across all trims. 

Available driver-assistance safety features for the 2022 Outlander


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In keeping with its Top Safety Pick+ status, there is an impressive number of driver-assistance safety features available, including Mitsubishi’s MI-PILOT Assist, which uses adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and traffic sign recognition.

Depending on the trim level, other features include forward collision mitigation, predictive forward collision warning, blind-spot warning, lane change assist, automatic emergency braking, hill descent control, a multiview camera system, and lane departure warning and prevention, to name a few.

If you are searching for a new compact SUV, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is looking to be an excellent choice. With the improvements, particularly to safety features, it should be a contender. And if you have an older Outlander model, Mitsubishi will adjust your headlights at no cost.