The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a pretty big deal for the automaker. It marks the first time since 2014 that the brand’s long-running small crossover has had a thorough overhaul and not just a big facelift. It also marks the first Mitsubishi model in the U.S. to take advantage of the company’s recent induction to the Nissan-Renault Alliance. The result is a crossover that combines Mitsubishi styling and tuning with mechanical bits shared with Nissan.
On the outside, the Outlander looks remarkably similar to the Engelberg Tourer concept shown at Geneva two years ago. It has the huge lower headlight units, strong character lines and distinctive upright rear pillar. Compared to the old model, the new Outlander is a bit larger. It’s 0.6 inch longer, 2 inches wider and 1.5 inches taller. The wheelbase is longer by 1.4 inches. Mitsubishi claims that the extra wheelbase has added another inch each for front and rear legroom.
Speaking of the interior, it also mirrors that of the concept with the full-width air vent design, and squared off dash, controls and even steering wheel center. The interior is particularly striking in the SEL Touring and SEL trims shown in the gallery with diamond-stitched leather. Those models also get real aluminum trim. Lower models get either cloth or suede accents with piano black trim. Another cool feature is that the various chimes and alerts were developed in collaboration with Bandai Namco. There’s no indication of whether you can opt for sounds from “Pole Position” or “Galaga.” You can see some of the Nissan influence poke through, as the infotainment screen (available in 8- or 9-inch versions), the shifter and other odd buttons and switches can be found unchanged in vehicles such as the Rogue. That’s not a bad thing, though, and they look right at home. The Outlander also boasts the unique feature of having a third row of seats. Various premium amenities will be available, too, such as a 12.3-inch instrument panel, 10.8-inch head-up display, three-zone climate control, heated rear seats, Bose sound system and a panoramic sunroof.
Under the skin, the Outlander uses a shared platform developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Though not explicitly specified, it should be the platform that also underpins the Rogue as well as the Sentra. The engine is another shared item, with the only offering for now being the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The old Outlander’s V6 option is gone, but a new plug-in hybrid model is on the way. The four-cylinder is coupled to a CVT and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy numbers haven’t been announced, but we would expect them to be comparable to the Rogue, which gets between 28 and 30 mpg in combined driving.
Although many of the underpinnings are shared with Nissan, Mitsubishi has given the Outlander unique suspension tuning as well as drivetrain and driver aid tuning. One clear example of that is in the number of drive modes available. The Outlander gets five modes in the front-drive model, and six for the all-wheel-drive one. The front-drive Rogue has three modes, and the all-wheel-drive one has five. The Outlander does get a version of Nissan’s ProPilot Assist that offers steering, speed and traffic jam assist. In the Mitsubishi it’s called MI-PILOT Assist.
The Outlander goes on sale this April. North America will be the first region to get the new crossover. The base price is $26,990, which will get you a front-wheel-drive ES. Other trims include SE, SEL Touring and SEL. We expect to have more details on pricing, fuel economy and more closer to the launch date.