U.S. News Declares the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander as the Most Improved SUV of the Year

Seeing a car undergo a redesign is always an exciting prospect, especially when the redesigns come with major improvements to the vehicle as a whole and aren’t simply cosmetic changes. One trusted car-reviewing site released its picks for the most improved vehicles of 2021, and the Mitsubishi Outlander took the number one spot. 

Learn more about the criteria used when making this list and all the improvements Mitsubishi made for its compact SUV.

U.S. News’s picks for the most improved vehicles of 2021

A white 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV parked out of a luxury home in the mountains
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Motors

U.S. News is a highly regarded reviewing website that many consumers trust when the time comes to pick a new vehicle. During each review, they provide an overall score out of 10, which provides a quick and helpful bottom line for prospective owners to consider as a new purchase or lease. 

To create its list of “The 6 Most Improved Cars of 2021”, U.S. News compared the overall scores from the 2020 model year to the new redesign. The vehicles that received the biggest positive change from last year made the list. The top six most improved vehicles on the U.S. News list include the Nissan Rogue, Buick Envision, Acura TLX, GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade, and the Mitsubishi Outlander. 

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander topped the list

The Mitsubishi Outlander hasn’t received the attention it deserves for a full redesign since its first plug-in-hybrid model debuted in 2018. Since then, it has only gotten minor upgrades, like an exterior refresh in 2019, but it has otherwise been left alone until the 2022 version debuted. 

The reviewers at U.S. News weren’t super impressed with the 2021 version, as it had unremarkable fuel economy, a boring base engine, and less-than-stellar handling. They did appreciate its easy-to-use infotainment system and cargo capacity, but it was otherwise given a tepid overall score of 6.8 out of 10. 

The 2022 Outlander, on the other hand, was met with a much more positive review from U.S. News, which gave it an overall score of 8.0. This 2.2 point jump from its previous year was enough to propel the Outlander to the top of the most improved list. This heightened score mostly came from the vastly enhanced handling of the 2022 Outlander and its much-improved interior. 

An overview of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is an excellent-looking car on the outside. Its unique front grille and massive headlights catch the eye, and it looks particularly striking in red. The interior features a much roomier cabin than previous iterations, and the inside feels comfortable, quiet, and modern.

Mitsubishi clearly put a lot of thought into increasing cargo space, as this SUV now offers more total cargo space than any other compact SUV. It provides 11.7 cubic feet of space when all the seats are up, but it increases to 33.5 and 79.7 cubic feet when the third and second rows are folded, respectively. 

This vehicle comes standard with an eight-inch touch screen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a six-speaker stereo. You can also upgrade to a much larger 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and many agree that the upgrade is worth every penny. Other optional upgrades include tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker stereo, an HD radio, and a smartphone charging pad. 

As a bonus, the 2022 Outlander gets much better gas mileage than the 2021 model year, improving from 28 MPG on the highway to 31. This total redesign by Mitsubishi will be a textbook example of taking a subpar vehicle and turning it into an appealing choice for consumers everywhere. 

RELATED: The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Isn’t the Best SUV, but It Is a Value Buy