The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Has Little in Common With the 2021 Model, and That’s Great

It’s that exciting time of year when new cars come out. Sometimes a particular model brings minor upgrades. In other instances, automakers go back to the drawing board and introduce entirely new designs of last year’s lineup. And that’s the case with the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Indeed, the new Mitsubishi Outlander is nothing like last year’s model. And that’s a good thing. Here’s what you need to know about this compact SUV that’s finally ready to compete in a crowded class.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander isn’t the worst crossover SUV, but it isn’t great either

A white 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander compact crossover SUV parked on a brick road outside a brick storefront
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Motors

It’s not as if there’s anything horribly wrong with the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander. After all, U.S. News named it the “most improved SUV of the year” last year.

It’s a small crossover SUV ideal as a utility-on-a-budget option, as Consumer Reports calls it. And it comes with industry-standard driver’s aids, including forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and pedestrian detection.

And the plug-in hybrid version of the 2021 Outlander tried to keep up with the times, pairing a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with an updated electric motor for 221 hp total.

But that about covers the pros for the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander. Otherwise, this disappointing crossover has a tiny available third row, clumsy handling, and slow steering response. Last year’s Outlander didn’t step up, with marginal upgrades over the 2020 model, less-than-inspirational styling, and a bouncy lean while driving. The 2021 Outlander begged for a makeover.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is ready to compete in the big leagues

If the 2021 model is the ugly duckling, the 2022 Outlander is the magnificent swan. Mitsubishi must have listened to critics and consumers because the 2022 Outlander returns redesigned and “ready to be relevant,” according to Consumer Reports. The latest model addresses all the pain points head-on and now offers more comfortable seating for seven. Plus, the handling is more than decent, and the design is stylish.

The Mitsubishi Outlander returns with a slightly more powerful engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder harnessing 181 hp. And consumers will appreciate the available all-wheel drive in this fun crossover. Another plus? The Outlander offers that third row of seating, something most other compact SUVs fail to do. 

This redesignged compact crossover SUV rates highly

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has little in common with its predecessor, and that’s great. U.S. News gives the latest model a perfect 10 in safety, 8 for the interior, and a 7.8 critics’ rating. It’s “a good compact SUV no matter how you slice it,” the site declares.

If you thought the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander was mediocre at best, don’t ignore the redesigned 2022 model. Across various test drives and reviews, the 2022 Outlander outperforms in almost every category. It offers more poised driving dynamics and handling.

It also boasts high-quality interior materials, a user-friendly infotainment system, robust safety extras, and a large cargo area. And it’s not only better but also bigger, with a half-inch added to its length that Forbes says makes the 2022 Outlander look huge.

So if you’re considering a compact crossover, check out the Mitsubishi Outlander. You won’t recognize the 2022 model compared to last year’s version. And that’s a good thing for this small SUV with a big future.

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