The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is Sleek and Affordable

Mitsubishi Outlander Driver Side Exterior. Photo: Diana Rowe
Mitsubishi Outlander driver side exterior. Photo: Diana Rowe

And it made me remember why I loved my old one.

Why hello there Mitsubishi, it’s been a long time! I could hardly contain my excitement to test-drive the sexy and sleek 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. Just the thought brought me back to my late twenties when I owned a 1989 Mitsubishi Cordia, my only second brand-spanking new vehicle. And it was a shiny red – and with my lead foot, it was a magnet for speeding tickets.  But I LOVED that car.

Enough about that ol’ thing. As cute as it was, it didn’t have the amenities that the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC has: a surround-view parking camera system (amazing!), wireless AppleCar Play, paddle shifters, 20-inch wheels (sexy!), heated front and rear leather seating, TRI-zone automatic climate control and a third row. 

My Mitsubishi test model was fully loaded and priced at about $38,000; this included the $2,700 Touring Package which adds a number of luxuries such as the super cool heads-up display, heated steering wheel, incredible sounding BOSE sound system, sunroof, and rear door pull-up sunshades. 

Related: How does the 2023 Mistubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric compare?

Mitsubishi Outlander Front Navigation. Photo: Diana Rowe

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander front navigation. Photo: Diana Rowe

Thumbs Up to the Sleek Redesign of 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

This all-wheel-drive SEL Mitsubishi Outlander is a beauty, and a totally redesigned for the 2022 year. It’s decked in alloy silver metallic with black highlights, sharp corners, LED lighting package and a muscular frame that begs a second look. The angular contours, upper headlights and taillights reminded me of my mechanic-drag-racing Dad’s muscle cars back in the day. 

The 2022 Outlander was redesigned by Mitsubishi slightly increasing the height and width, allowing for more passenger space and cargo room. The company also improved the ride quality and handling of this SUV. Mitsubishi also included higher end interior materials, more advanced technology and safety features.

Related: The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: This Value Brand Delivers Even More for the Money

Mitsubishi Outlander Front Exterior View. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander front exterior view. Photo: Diana Rowe

Hello, Affordable Luxury

When I settled into the 2022 Mitsubishi, and fired her up, the first thing I noticed was the 10.8 inch heads-up display, a graphic display projected on the windshield in front of me. It features the vehicle speed, radio station and a few other details (you can pick what you want to see). I admit, at first, it was a bit distracting, but ultimately, the heads-up display is a cool tool that keeps your eyes on the road.

The heads-up display also can show the route guidance and traffic sign recognition. Drivers manage this display through the digital driver display using the steering controls.

My 6-foot 3-inch, 280-pound husband was equally impressed with this Mitsubishi SUV and loved the comfort of the leather seats. However, he felt the center console encroached on his driving space, as he is a big dude. 

Related: The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Is Designed to Delight with Features Galore at a Price You Can Stomach 

Mitsubishi Outlander Led Screen. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander LED screen. Photo: Diana Rowe

Driver Controls Were Easy in the Outlander

The interior cabin is clean with a large LCD touchscreen. The controls are easy to use and easy to reach. However, shifting back into park was at first a puzzling issue; there is no “P” setting on the gear selector. So I pulled out the driver’s manual to find out it is so simple – simply push the “P” button on the gear selector to place the car in park (you can also just turn the car off and it will go into park automatically).

Related: The World’s Best-Selling Plug-In Hybrid SUV Gets Even Better: The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi Outlander Center Console. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander center console. Photo: Diana Rowe

Multiple Drive Modes For Whatever the Road, or Weather, Has in Store

Another cool feature is the option to choose the six driving modes to adjust to different weather conditions and terrain. Simply turn the dial and choose eco, normal, tarmac, gravel, snow and mud. Each of those options is pretty much a season here in Colorado, and they allow drivers to take the Outlander off road, too.

The 12.3 inch digital display and dashboard lights are easy to read and see, even for my “older” eyes. And speaking of old, I did struggle at first connecting via Bluetooth, but I believe that was due to my older Samsung phone, not the car’s system. Rear and front USB connectivity was solid. 

One of the biggest delights–and a true luxury detail– is the “puddle light” that is seen at night. When I opened my car door the “Mitsubishi Motors” logo flooded the the ground outside the car. Besides being a snazzy promo for Mitsubishi, it was a welcome light when I exited the car.

Other SEL Features On the Mitsubishi Outlander

  • Drivers will appreciate the Mitsubishi’s suite of standard safety systems, which include  automatic high beam headlights, emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane change assist, front parking sensors, driver attention alert and rear cross-traffic alert
  • And, the Outlander carries Mitsubishi’s 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty
My Granddaughter In The Front Seat Of The Mitsubishi Outlander. Photo: Diana Rowe

My granddaughter in the front seat of the Mitsubishi Outlander. Photo: Diana Rowe

How is Acceleration in the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander?

Mitsubishi fans love this brand for its hearty performance: Not super charged, but definitely spirited and capable, and that’s something I enjoyed experiencing again as we headed to our granddaughter’s state championship softball game. A mostly interstate drive into east metro Denver, this was the perfect opportunity to test its acceleration power.

The Outlander’s mechanical features are what make its performance solid: 2.5L DOHC 4-cycliner direction-injection engine that generates 181 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft of torque, 8 speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) with sport mode, all wheel drive and paddle shifters.

While 181 horsepower not super-car range, it makes this size SUV capable with the demands we put on it. The 181 torque was fine for accelerating onto the highway, and the power gave us a smooth as silk ride.

Mitsubishi Outlander Steering Wheel. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander steering wheel. Photo: Diana Rowe

How Much Does the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Cost?

Starting price for the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC.  is $33,745 (MSRP). Definitely worth adding the $2,700 Touring Package bringing my model’s Total MSRP to $37,995. This keeps the Outlander affordable and family-friendly for a small SUV.

It’s also fuel efficient with a combined 26 miles per gallon (24 mpg in the city, and 30 on the highway).

Mitsubishi Outlander Front Seats. Photo Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander front seats. Photo Diana Rowe

Who Will Love the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL?

After driving this Mitsubishi Outlander for a week, I’m tempted to trade in my current SUV and return to my first love, Mitsubishi. For my husband and I, the ride felt more like a luxury sedan than an SUV, and except for the center console, it was more roomy, sleek and sexy. This is a perfect road trip vehicle for Baby Boomers: dropping the third row offered us enough space for our needs, and putting it up gave us extra seats for grand kids.

This new and improved 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is also perfect for small families or first time car buyers who might need the space for outfitting a new home, road trips or weekend adventures. Larger families might be enticed by that third row, but it should be considered more of a convenience than a daily seating option.

Mitsubishi Outlander Interior Front Seat To Back View. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander interior front seat to back view. Photo: Diana Rowe

A Few Third Row Caveats

On paper, the third row is 11.7 cubic-feet, one of the smallest third rows. However, a family with smaller children who can seat and buckle themselves in the third row, and kids who can   move that the second row seats forward, it might work. But the enticing base price and Mitsubishi’s warranty makes this a car to consider for families who want an SUV.

One caveat about the third row: The high head restraints in the third row block the rear view, so drivers will rely on their side mirrors and cameras if there are passengers in the third row.

Mitsubishi Outlander 3Rd Row Trunk. Photo: Diana Rowe

Mitsubishi Outlander 3rd Row trunk. Photo: Diana Rowe

Remembering Why I Loved My Mitsubishi

It was good to get behind the wheel of the Outback and rediscover why I loved my Cordia all those years ago, and also, to see how the brand has evolved into the modern age. The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL 2.5 S-AWC’s high points are worth noting: sharp looking, AWD, good power, easy to handle, roomy interior for two rows, two third row seats (small but available if you need it), heated front and rear leather seats, wireless phone charger, and a good selection of standard safety devices. Maybe it was all the luxury features that allowed me to relax and enjoy time in this SUV and made me less of a magnet for speeding tickets!

Disclosure: Mitsubishi provided the 2022 Outlander for this review; all opinions are my own.

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Diana Rowe is a Denver-based freelance writer, with more than 16 years experience and hundreds of articles published both... More about Diana Rowe