Test Drive Notes Library
- It’s alive! By the 20-teens, Mitsubishi appeared to be fading away as a viable car company in the United States. Their vehicles were outdated, they failed to invest in new ones, and they were in what appeared to be a death spiral. Thanks to a partnership with Nissan, announced in 2020, Mitsubishi has been able to rush a new Outlander to market. And while it’s not going to save Mitsubishi on its own, it’s a pretty nice crossover.
- Three row Rogue, anyone? Mitsubishi borrowed Nissan’s redesigned and well-regarded Rogue crossover, lengthened it to accommodate a third row of seats, restyled it to make it look a little worse, and introduced it as the 2022 Outlander. As such, it shares a lot of the Rogue’s attributes. The Outlander is well-equipped, has a capable 2.5 liter, 181 hp engine, a particularly good continuously variable transmission, a ride height that’s just right, good handling, and an interior that’s well laid out and easy to live with.
- Third row. If you’d like a smallish crossover that includes third row seating, there aren’t a lot of options. So Mitsubishi fills a niche here.
- Comfy. The Outlander is a soft-roader. Its suspension is on the cushy side, giving the Outlander a comfortable ride most of the time. Mitsubishi also did a good job “fancying up” the interior, with supportive front seats, roomy, adjustable rear seats, and seat coverings that mimic the current “quilted leather” trend in luxury cars.
- Ergonomics. The controls on the Outlander are well-thought-out, logical, and easy to use. The 9-inch screen is large and well-placed.
- Handling. While the ride is soft, handling is actually pretty good. The Outlander feels agile and responsive due to the solidity of the Rogue chassis.
- Standard safety. We’re pleased to see the Outlander has everything a car buyer in 2022 wants in terms of safety. Our SEL version came with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping and more.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Doesn’t like the bumps. While the ride is mostly soft and comfortable, bumps of any significance sometimes crash into the passenger compartment. The Outlander has a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde quality ride. Most of the time, the good doctor provides an easy going, soft ride. But when you hit a pothole, Mr. Hyde jars you out of your slumber and you say “what the hell was that?"
- Darty. We found the steering to be oddly annoying on the highway. It requires constant correction, and seems to dart back and forth with the slightest steering input. It was not noticeable around town, but really bugged us during highway driving.
- Third row seat room. The third row seating is nice to have. But anybody over the age of 12 who sits back there is going to resent you after about 15 minutes. And if it’s your kids, remember that someday in the distant future, you’re going to need them to think fondly of you and spoon-feed you mush. It’s cramped back there. It’s fine for kids or short trips. But if you need a third row of seats to regularly carry lankier teens or adults, you should look for a bigger vehicle.
- Headlights. They work just fine, but what a weird styling choice. We understand Mitsubishi had limited ability to change things, as they were adopting the existing Rogue. But it’s like the headlights got a botched plastic surgery job.
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