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Mitsubishi has struggled over the years to make anything that got buyers excited. The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander seems to be trying to change that. After years of irrelevance, Mitsubishi is picking its head up and throwing something into the ring that will at least play a role in the battle of the best SUV. 

A Mitsubishi logo seen on a parked 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander car in Dublin city center.
Mitsubishi logo | Artur Widak/NurPhoto

Is the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander a contender for the best SUV?

“Best” is a bit hard to nail down. The SUV segment has become inflated to massive proportions. There are so many companies not only building SUVs, but they are building good ones. Although the Outlander has been around for a bit, the 2022 Outlander seems to be cutting through all the noise. 

Consumer Reports is currently testing the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, and the testers are already reporting that it might deserve a seat at the table of the best SUVs of the year. 

CR mentions right from the top that Mitsubishi hasn’t impressed CR lately. However, this new three-row version of the Mitsubishi Outlander has its ears perked.

The updated kid hauler looks to be checking all the boxes on what CR looks for in this segment. The interior is nice, the ride seems decent, and the handling is surprisingly agile. 

Is the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander a good SUV? 

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $25,795 for the 2.5 ES and tops out at $35,345 for the SEL Launch Edition S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control which is what Mitsubishi calls its AWD system). 

CR has first to log 2,000 break-in miles before testing the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander in earnest. CR conducts over 50 tests, everything from acceleration and braking to ride comfort and interior quality.

Although the more rigorous testing hasn’t started yet, Consumer Reports is beginning to form their thoughts on Outlander. So far, at least, the thoughts are looking to be pretty favorable. 

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE Launch Edition 2.5 S-AWC comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 181 hp. The four-cylinder is paired with a CVT and Mitsubishi’s AWD system. This trim starts at $31,795. CR’s tester that they bought also had an extra $1,350. 

Unlike the previous Outlander’s clumsy handling, sluggish acceleration, noisy engine, and overall outdated demeanor, the 2022 Outlander is flipping the script. 

Mitsubishi really stepped up to the plate for 2022

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander was upgraded across the board. One major upgrade is the addition of the third row, albeit a small row. This seems to be an increasingly common trend for automakers shooting for the best SUV. 

Again, the testing hasn’t been finished for the Outlander, but CR seems to like the interior quality and seat comfort so far. Everything from roomy, soft seats to the dash button layout and quality, CR is all but gushing. 

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander in red driving down the road. Consumer Reports is currently testing this model
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi

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The outlander isn’t a powerful SUV by any means, but CR says the CVT feels well-tuned and smooth to keep even the meager 181 hp in line. It even goes so far as to “simulate” shift to feel more comfortable for traditional users. 

Even though the transmission is decent and most things have been tended to well by Mitsubishi, the 2.5-liter four is still pretty sluggish. CR hasn’t tested 0-60 mph yet, but they seem to think it won’t fare overly well there.

The only other major gripe so far is how small the third row is. This is a common flaw in two-row SUVs, making the switch to three-row. This might be the thing that holds it back from being a true fighter for the best SUV. 

We’ll have to wait to see Consumer Reports full assessment

CR’s testing is particularly in-depth, and it tends to take a while compared to more traditional car reviews. They pride themselves on getting in on the nitty-gritty details and remaining objective throughout. If the initial assessment is any indicator, this might be on the high side of the best SUV contenders.