Review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander GT-S AWC
Mitsubishi refines and upgrades its popular Outlander for today’s aspirational driver
I have never understood why Mitsubishi does not excite more vehicle owners in Canada. Whenever I mention the company or its vehicles, I am often given what can only be called an indifferent shrug.
Which is a shame. Ever since Mitsubishi arrived in Canada, Mitsubishi has been providing solid and affordable vehicles to Canadian drivers. And in the last few years, Mitsubishi has upped its game by rolling out vehicles that deliver a lot of car for the money, often more than what should seem reasonable at the price points offered.
The Outlander is a good example. Compared to its more ostentatious competitors in the fast-growing SUV market, Mitsubishi has always positioned its Outlander as a solid, practical, and affordable vehicle. It did what it was supposed to very well while not creating a huge hole in one’s pocketbook.
Now, Mitsubishi looks to bring the Outlander to a whole new generation of Canadian vehicle buyers. Where the Outlander was as a vehicle driven by older drivers who favoured value and utility, this new 2022 Outlander looks to bring to the Outlander family a younger demographic, those new or growing families that want all that the old Outlander brought to the table, while desiring all the latest technologies and safety features.
So, does Mitsubishi’s new Outlander succeed in that? The answer is yes.
This new generation of Outlanders start at $31,998 for the base ES S-AWC, then moves up to the SE S-AWC at $34,648 and the LE S-AWC at $34,648. Going up a rung gets the LE S-AWC at $34,648 and the LE PREMIUM S-AWC for $38,238, followed by the SEL S-AWC at $40,208, the GT S-AWC at $41,678 and the GT PREMIUM S-AWC topping out at $42,178.
The version I had a chance to drive was the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander GT-S AWC and fully loaded with taxes coming to $43,328. Pretty reasonable I must say. The sterling-silver coloured exterior has a new Dynamic Shield design that is wider and thicker with a firmer fender design giving this Outlander a bolder stance than the previous Outlander design. The sides have a more sculpted and flowing design that meshes nicely with the ‘jet fin’ rear pillar that adds to the longer length of the vehicle. The wheelbase has increased a tad as has the overall vehicle length. The rear has also been updated to now feature a sculpted hexagon motif and horizontal taillights. Added to this are the 20-inch two-tone alloy wheels that further add to the firm stance of this Outlander.
Taking a page from Mitsubishi’s concept vehicles of late, the interior is updated adding room and comfort with a clean modernist design. Some may grumble at what one might call the minimalist interior design, but I happen to like that aesthetic. Everything I needed to reach was cleanly laid out with no ostentatious flourished that mars some more luxury interiors. For example, the triple-zone climate controls were easy to reach and simple to use, and the drive-by-wire shifter fit comfortably in one’s hands and was simple to use. Driving comfort was enhanced by the quilted-leather seats that offered plenty of support and adjustments to get the feel exactly right for both passenger and driver. Second row passengers are not neglected as the second row can seat two comfortably with good legroom to spare, and a third person in the centre if needed. A third row is there, but be warned, it is very cramped. Good for little ones or just as a jump seat, but I would not recommend sitting in them for any length of time.
The 2022 Outlander has several other notable enhancements, such as a customizable digital display screen which becomes addictive as you set up what vehicle information can be displayed and how it should look. Equally as addictive, but incredibly useful, is the customizable head-up display that you can set to show you speed, navigation details and even display incoming texts and calls, on top of safety system notifications. The 9-inch infotainment screen was easy to use and supported Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity and wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, SiriusXM satellite radio support, and wireless smartphone charging. A nice feature was the 10-speaker Bose Premium audio system.
Mitsubishi has not skimped on safety in any way. The 2022 Outlander comes with a wide range of now standard safety technologies from active stability control, traction control and brake override system, to hill decent control, rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and lane change assist along with rear auto emergency braking, blind sport warning, rear cross traffic warning and driver attention alert. On the GT trim, you get active blind spot assist, lane departure prevention and MI-PILOT assist with Navi-link, along with adaptive cruise control with stop and go.
Again, that is a lot of technology for what you are paying.
Some complained that driving the earlier Outlanders was underwhelming. I never thought so. This new new 2022 Outlander felt solid and performed well with its 2.5 L DOHC 4-cylinder direct injection engine mated to a CVT producing 181 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Yes, you will not be racing in this Outlander, but then it was not made to be raced. It is made to do exactly what it does, provide a smooth, comfortable ride that handles well in tight corners never giving you the impression that the Outlander is never firmly planted to the ground either when you are traveling at high speeds or taking a tight corner.
There is also a 6-mode drive selector knob, allowing one to choose Eco, Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow and Mud modes. Most often people will select either Eco or Normal. Now well past winter weather, I did not get a chance to try Snow or Mud. However, I did have a chance to try Tarmac on the winding back roads in a drive I took to Port Colborne and Fort Erie. Put the 2022 Outlander into Tarmac mode and you get a firmer suspension, extra stability, and the highly responsive steering for tackling sharp turns even at high speeds.
So how would I rate this 2022 Outlander? Like with all of Mitsubishi’s other vehicles, you get good value for your dollar, along with extra style and substance as well; more than enough to compete with other similarly priced SUVs on the road, and in fact, you are getting more than what some others are offering right now.
The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander GT-S AWC
BODY STYLE: Four-door SUV
CONFIGURATION: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, S-AWC
ENGINE: 2.5-litre DOHC 4-cylinver direct injection engine (181 hp @ 6,000 r.p.m. and 181 lb-ft torque @ 3,600 r.p.m.)
TRANSMISSION: Continuously variable automatic (CVT)
FUEL ECONOMY: 9.7/7.9/8.9L/100 KM (City/Hwy/Combined)
CARGO CAPACITY: CARGO AREA (BEHIND 2ND ROW SEAT)
(L/CU. FT.) 950 / 33.5
TOWING CAPACITY (kg/lb): 907 /2000
PRICE: $43,328 (as tested)