Mitsubishi Got a Much-Needed Win With the Redesigned 2022 Outlander

New car models see either minor refreshes or more comprehensive redesigns every year. The Mitsubishi Outlander is no different. Compared to the 2021 and 2020 Outlander, the 2022 model is quite a change. And it’s not just automotive publications that think so. Consumers have noticed the improvements — and rewarded Mitsubishi with increased sales.

A white 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander on display.
The redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Media

A look at the old Mitsubishi Outlander

While 2021 saw the release of a new Mitsubishi Outlander, it was only a slightly refreshed version of the 2020 plug-in hybrid. The company did not release non-hybrid versions of the 2020 Outlander in 2021. So, to understand the improvements of the 2022 version, it’s best first to take a look at the 2020 model.

The 2020 Outlander was affordably priced with a starting MSRP of $26,090, as per Car and Driver. A mainstream compact SUV that could seat up to seven, the 2020 Outlander came with three available powertrains.

The base model trim was equipped with a 2.4-liter I-4 engine that generated 166 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. There was a 3.0-liter V-6 option that came with GT models and produced 224 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque. And finally, the plug-in hybrid version paired a 2.0-liter I-4 engine to two electric motors, allowing drivers to travel up to 22 miles on the electric system or 310 miles when fully fueled.

The powertrain options were respectable but not spectacular for vehicles in the segment, as were fuel economy numbers (25/30 mpg city/highway for the 2.4 liter and 20/27 mpg for the V-6). But while the 2020 model seats seven, it was a pretty tight fit.

There were just 10.3 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 34.2 cubic feet with that row down, and 63.3 cubic feet with the second and third rows down. With those rows up, passengers in the last row wouldn’t find themselves with much leg space. Also coming in a bit small was the touchscreen, as a 7.0-inch came standard, with just an 8.0-inch available on higher trims.

The new and improved 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

As per Cars.com, unlike its predecessor, the 2022 Outlander comes with just a single powertrain option: a 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated I-4, offering drivers 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a CVT automatic transmission, this engine offers 24/30-31 mpg city/highway, which is solid for the segment and price.

The 2022 Outlander’s powertrain isn’t a marked improvement over its predecessor. Instead, Mitsubishi concentrated its efforts on improving this model’s size and interior. The 2022’s third row is still best for children than adults, but the new Outlander is longer, wider, and taller than the Outlander offering passengers a bit more legroom.

Inside the Outlander, you’ll find an 8.0-inch infotainment screen and a 7.0-inch instrument display in base models. A 9.0-inch and 12.3-inch instrument display are now available options, along with a head-up display. The 2022 model also now offers more advanced safety systems on the base model. Unlike in 2020 base models, all new Outlanders come equipped with lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear automatic emergency braking, and auto high beams.

How consumers are responding to the improvments

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Despite consumer recession fears and well-documented supply chain issues in the automotive sector, the 2022 Outlander seems to be a hit. Mitsubishi recently announced that year-to-date Outlander sales by the third quarter of 2022 were the second highest in the vehicle’s history. That’s pretty impressive, considering the current environment.

This year, the Outlander might have sold even more. However, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Ian resulted in port closures that impacted sales. While those closures may also have depressed sales a bit at the beginning of the fourth quarter, it’s clear that the Outlander is on track for a banner year.

And the 2022 model’s improvements likely have quite a bit to do with the brand’s sales performance this year. With an affordable starting MSRP of $26,995, the Outlander is a great choice for consumers searching for value and seating capacity in their next daily driver.