That Outlander you may have driven or heard about in the past, toss it all out. The all-new, fourth-generation Mitsubishi compact SUV has been reborn with a fresh power train, extended fascia and an almost luxury-like cabin. Essentially, it is now taller, longer and wider, opening up more legroom space for rear-seat passengers. And make that a seven-seater with a third row.
Sharing a chassis and power train with its corporate cousin Nissan Rogue, the 2022 Outlander is equipped with a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 181 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 181 pounds-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. However, the slightly noisy continuously variable transmission continues as is, to our detriment.
Our test vehicle had the Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) so it would be more than a relief if it were taken off the beaten path, such as gravel, mud and even snow if you drive up north this winter. A MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension handles uneven bumps on the road with confidence. The electric power steering conveys an immediate and communicative feel.
No doubt, the Outlander sports a fresh look with horizontal LED headlights and fog lamps, flanking what the Japanese carmaker terms a “dynamic shield” grille with the familiar Mitsubishi emblem. The rear too shows off a horizontal-themed, T-shaped tailgate. The cabin is now even roomier with plentiful head and leg room for second-row seat passengers. Space in the third row, found only in another small SUV, the VW Tiguan, is miniscule.
The analog instrument cluster of speedometer and tachometer with silver accents hosts digital fuel and temperature gauges. Several comforts are offered, such as tri-zone auto AC, thick-rimmed leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel, eight-way driver and four-way power and heated front-passenger seats, 9-inch infotainment touchscreen display, panoramic sunroof, power liftgate, 12.3-inch digital display and power windows.
Safety features at no extra cost include dual front, side and airbags, side curtain airbag, rearview camera, active stability and traction control, blind spot and lane departure warnings, lane change assist, rear-cross traffic and hill start assists, four-wheel antilock brakes, anti-theft alarm, electronic parking brake, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system.
Though deficient in power, the four-cylinder and brand-new Outlander is a tempting proposition. After all, it makes up for the deficit with considerable cargo and passenger space, decent fuel mileage (our mixed driving average was around 26.8 mpg) and a price that isn’t astronomical, so to speak.