Unlike Isuzu and Suzuki who pulled out of the US market years ago, Mitsubishi has somehow been able to hang on as a small Japanese automaker with vacillating interest in selling cars here.
But now that they are part of the Renault Nissan alliance we should expect to see more competitive products in Mitsu showrooms starting with this Nissan Rogue-based, all-new 2022 Outlander.
The 10-year old compact-sized Outlander Sport is still far and away Mitsubishi’s best-seller but it’s this bigger Outlander – which has nothing in common with the Sport – that wears the flagship mantle, even available as a plug-in hybrid way before that sort of thing was fashionable. It’s done very well for Mitsubishi and for its next act it leans on Alliance partner Nissan for its bones and just about everything else.
For all intents and purposes, this is the Nissan Rogue with cooler styling and a minuscule 3rd row. This fully-loaded SEL Touring trim with all-wheel drive is priced about $1,500 less than the Rogue Platinum I tested and comes with a better warranty. And while the Rogue did away with its Slid-N-Recline 2nd-row seat, the Outlander does both of those things.
There’s more people space in here than before as this Outlander is 2” wider than the previous model. Though the engine is slightly larger than the 2020 model’s standard 4-cylinder motor, gas mileage remains the same at 26mpg though with a smaller driving range of 377 miles.
But this Outlander’s story is really about improved quality, greater breadth of features, and its newfound appeal. The design is a grand slam for Mitsubishi, here in the upcharge Diamond White paint looking tough yet elegant, sporty yet functional.