Picking the Best 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Trim Is Easy

The Mitsubishi Outlander is unique in its segment — a compact crossover SUV that comes standard with three rows of seating. Despite that perk, earlier Outlander model years haven’t impressed critics and consumers. But the Japanese automaker plans to turn that around.

Here’s a look at the exciting new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, including how it improves upon previous model years and which trim is the best.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander fixes past issues

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUVs parked in a large rustic home's driveway
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Motors

When it comes to cars, Mitsubishi hasn’t had a hit for a long time. That continued to be the case with the Outlander. The compact SUV debuted in America in 2003, and most of its model years have been flops. It enjoyed a few good years as a decent option, but later models have sat at the bottom of many lists.

That’s because it’s had numerous issues over the years, including reliability. The Outlander has been unreliable compared to other options in the segment. On top of that, though the Outlander offers seating for seven, the third row is cramped. Thus, many customers looking for more passenger space chose larger SUVs instead.

But the good news for the Outlander is that Mitsubishi has completely redesigned it. The 2022 Outlander is the first of a new generation, and it’s much better than before.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander trims and models

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander comes in several trim levels. The standard model is the ES, retailing for around $27,000. Then there’s the SE at $30,000, the SE Launch Edition at $31,000, the SEL at $33,500, and the SEL Launch Edition at $36,500, Car and Driver reports. At these price points, the Outlander is more expensive than it used to be. Other compact SUVs in the segment are also slightly cheaper, too. 

That’s why C/D says the top trims aren’t worth the price. Although feature-packed for $36,500, the SEL Launch Edition can’t compete with the range-topping Mazda CX-5. And though the Outlander performs well in some areas against the top-trim CX-5, it’s not where Mitsubishi’s small SUV shines. 

The SE trim offers the best balance of features and price. It costs just over $30,000 and provides plenty of extras the base model doesn’t. For example, it has a 9.0-inch touchscreen, an inch larger than the standard screen. Smart safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist also come standard with the SE.

Plus, this trim boasts a hands-free power liftgate, while the standard Outlander has a manual liftgate. The SE also has Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. However, C/D suggests purchasing the optional Tech package for a Bose sound system, 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and panoramic sunroof.

What else does this new compact SUV offer?

As for power, all 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander trims have the same 2.5-liter inline-four engine. It produces 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque, and though it doesn’t make the Outlander fast, it improves upon previous model years’ performance abilities. You can also choose to upgrade to all-wheel drive. And Mitsubishi plans to offer a plug-in hybrid model soon.

In addition, the Outlander’s interior boasts big upgrades. The cabin now uses nicer materials than before, making the SUV feel higher-quality. Additionally, the first two rows of seats are more spacious. Unfortunately, the third row is still cramped.

Regardless, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander offers a better balance of qualities than it used to at a still-affordable price.

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