The past decade has been a little rough for Mitsubishi Motors. Once known for imbuing its vehicles with rally-inspired technology and performance, its model line has been reduced to a smattering of SUVs and the subcompact Mirage. But a relatively recent partnership with Nissan and Renault looks to have breathed new life into the quirky brand, with the Outlander the first model to undergo a radical transformation.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander
Thanks to its corporate partnerships, Mitsubishi was able to borrow the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine used in the Nissan Rogue. The motor produces 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque in Nissan's crossover, and we expect the same from the Outlander. It's unlikely to deliver thrilling acceleration, but it does represent a significant step up from the previous Outlander's 166-hp four-cylinder. For the first year at least, a more powerful V6 or plug-in hybrid will not be on the options list.
Mitsubishi has gone to considerable lengths to improve the Outlander's cabin. We hope the end result is successful since the interior of the previous-generation Outlander was, literally, a bit of a sore spot. Mitsubishi says the redesigned front seats are more comfortable and supportive than the previous attempt, which had few adjustments and oddly angled headrests.
The 2022 Outlander comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, while higher trim levels will receive a 9-inch screen. Techies are sure to be impressed by the available wireless charging pad, head-up display and fully digital instrument panel. Mitsubishi also upgrades to a 10-speaker Bose audio system on upper trim levels.
With a 1.4-inch increase in wheelbase, as well as a small increase to interior width, the Outlander looks to provide a bit more cargo capacity than the outgoing model. Though a full list of official figures has yet to be released, the cargo floor opening is nearly 6 inches wider, and the cargo floor length behind the first row is increased by a whopping 13.9 inches. The second-row seats don't fold completely flat, but the Outlander should be able to swallow a bicycle without an issue. As with ultimate cargo capacity, tow ratings have not been revealed, but we anticipate it will be similar to the Nissan Rogue's 1,350-pound maximum.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has been languishing for some time, but this new model looks to be on the right track. We were rightfully hard on previous Outlanders, but Mitsubishi has taken steps to improve performance and comfort in the redesigned version. We look forward to testing and reviewing this new generation of Outlander and hope that it sets a new trend — not only for the model but for the brand as well.