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Wondering why you could not get an Outlander in 2021? Well, that is because Mitsubishi pulled the Outlander for a total overhaul. After its year-long hiatus, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander returns with some bold changes.
Things have been rough for Mitsubishi in the past decade. The automaker had pared the line-up down to just the Mirage and a few smaller SUVs. With the Outlander off the market for 2021, there were not that many buying options. But, with the Outlander's return for 2022, things are indeed looking up. Mitsubishi's recent partnership with Renault and Nissan is apparently just what they needed to pump some vitality into their autos.
The 2022 Outlander's most obvious change is its outward appearance. There is absolutely no mistaking a 2022 Outlander for a 2020 version. They are two totally different vehicles. The new 2022 Outlander has a more concept-car-esque front fascia, which sets the Outlander apart from every other vehicle on the market. And this is a good thing since the design is so eye-catching and well sculpted for athleticism.
Underneath the hood, you get a 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine that is exactly identical to the one found in the Nissan Rogue. (The benefits of a Nissan partnership at work!) This means you get 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque just like you do on the Rogue. The outgoing 4-cylinder only made 166 hp, so there will be a difference in terms of acceleration. Don't expect anything terribly speedy, but it should be about as smooth and practical as what you get on the Rogue. It gets paired up with the Rogue's continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), so you get something with smooth shifts and that is built for fuel efficiency. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard, but all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional and adds Mud mode.
So, what else can you expect to find on the new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander? And is it something you should consider investing in over the competition? Which trim level might have the most to offer you for your money? Let's take a closer look at each of the Outlander's trim levels and see what they each have to offer.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander ES vs SE. What is the difference?
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander starts off its line-up with the base ES trim level. The ES offers 7-passenger seating in its three rows. It rides atop standard 18-inch alloy wheels. It does receive some of the typical infotainment features you will see on the base Nissan Rogue, such as smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can access your infotainment features through an 8-inch Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA), which comes with 3-month trial access to SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Bluetooth wireless connectivity comes equipped, and push button start does too.
The base ES also gives you a few handy driver aids. It comes with a forward collision mitigation system, rear automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot warning with lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The new Outlander goes above and beyond expectations with its interior alterations. The cabin materials have been massively upgraded and look far more expensive than they did on the outgoing model. Mitsubishi worked to create more interior space, better outward visibility, and boost the maximum cargo space to 80 cubic feet (from 66 cubes).
On the SE trim level, you get everything that is offered on the base ES plus quite a bit extra. For starters, Mitsubishi equips the SE with 20-inch two-toned alloy wheels. Up front, the revised fascia gets LED fog lights. The side door mirrors come with a standard heating function, and there is a hands-free power remote liftgate for easy access to the newly enlarged cargo area.
The steering wheel comes wrapped in leather, as does the gear shift knob, reflecting Mitsubishi's focus on enhanced material quality. Not only do you get that, but there is synthetic leather upholstery adorning the seats, and the two front seats have a built-in heating function. The FAST-Key entry system allows you quick and secure access to the Outlander, and Mitsubishi Connect gives you Safeguard and Remote services along with a 24-month trial period.
There are more safety and driver aids equipped on the SE as well. The SE comes with a multi-view camera system and a front parking sensor. It also has MI-PILOT Assist, which bundles together features like adaptive cruise control (and its built-in traffic jam assist), a traffic sign recognition system, lane departure prevention, and lane keep assist. In other words, these features give you semi-automated driving capabilities that keep you safe while on the road.
As far as infotainment features go, the SE sees quite a few upgrades. On this trim, you get to access your infotainment features from a 9-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation. There are also several rear USB charging ports, HD radio, and wireless charging for smartphone devices.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE vs SE Launch Edition. What is the difference?
If you happen to get your hands on the Outlander SE Launch Edition, you do get some special features equipped on it that give it a boost of luxury. It comes with everything that is on the SE, but it adds things like a power panoramic sunroof and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror to make it worth the price jump.
Other features that you will get on the SE Launch Edition include the new 12.3-inch full LCD meter cluster display in the cockpit and a 10-speaker Bose premium sound system. Add to that ground logo illumination, dynamic shield illumination, a chrome hood badge, a 3-month Audible subscription, a 6-month Amazon Prime Music subscription, and standard Amazon Echo Auto. That makes for quite the upgrade indeed.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SE Launch Edition vs SEL. What is the difference?
Want even more luxury features than what the SE or SE Launch Edition have to offer? Then you might want to consider going up the trim level ladder to the Outlander SEL. The SEL gives you full leather-appointed seating and adds a key-linked driver position memory system. Up top, you get roof rails added on for a sportier vibe. The second-row's outboard seats gain a standard heating function, and a tri-zone automatic climate control system helps heat and cool the vehicle as needed in each row.
An auto-dimming rear-view mirror comes standard on the SEL. Also, it gets the 12.3-inch full LCD meter cluster display that also comes on the SE Launch Edition. So, if you cannot get your hands on the SE Launch Edition, you can pay a little bit more to get these features on the SEL trim level.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL vs SEL Launch Edition. - What is the Difference?
Speaking of the SEL, it too comes with its own Launch Edition. The SEL Launch Edition takes everything that comes standard on the regular SEL and makes a few fun additions. Like the SE Launch Edition, it gets a power panoramic sunroof, the 10-speaker Bose premium sound system, the ground logo illumination, the dynamic shield illumination, the chrome hood badge, Amazon Echo Auto, a 6-month subscription to Amazon Prime Music, and a 3-month subscription to Audible. However, it adds a head-up display, shades for the rear doors, and aniline premium leather appointed seating for an extra touch of class.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL Launch Edition vs SEL Touring. - What is the Difference?
The SEL Touring is pretty similar to the SEL Launch Edition. It does get treated to some gorgeous semi-aniline leather seating with cool cross-stitching that comes in a bright orange hue. While Mitsubishi has yet to release more details about the SEL Touring, you can expect it to be sporty but still very sophisticated as it is the line-topping trim level here.
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Which Trim to Choose?
It is going to be hard to go wrong with the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander. While we have long held complaints about Mitsubishi not equipping its vehicles with powerful enough engines or high-quality interior materials, we cannot really lodge those complaints anymore. Mitsubishi has taken these factors into consideration, and through their partnerships with Renault and Nissan, made some significant improvements to the Outlander SUV.
The new 2.5-L 4-cylinder engine is truly the highlight of the line-up, giving the Outlander the boost of power it has needed for a long time. It should be a formidable rival for its inspiration, the Nissan Rogue. While the acceleration will not exactly be enthralling, it should feel as though it has more initial thrust than the lackluster performance you got from the 2020 Outlander's engine.
Bear in mind that any of these trim levels can be equipped with all-wheel drive if you want more traction and stability control for some light off-roading adventures. You will get drive modes for Gravel, Snow, and Mud if you equip it. Also keep in mind that there is no V6 engine option available for the model year, which is a 'first' for the Outlander. You can only choose the 2.5-L engine. A hybrid powertrain is also not available on the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, whereas previous model years have given buyers that option.
With all of that in mind, we do think that one trim level stands out above the rest. And that trim level? Why, it is none other than the SE. The ES is a decent base trim with quite a few good features equipped on it, but for just a little bit more money, the SE packs in a lot of cool - and helpful, mind you - additions. The FAST-Key system should come in handy when you need to quickly access your Outlander. All you need to do to unlock your vehicle is to have your remote in your pocket or purse and just grip the door handle. You can also press a button located close to the door handle on either of the front doors or the button on the trunk in order to open the vehicle without taking out your key.
We also recommend the SE because it upgrades you to the bigger infotainment touchscreen and slaps on built-in navigation for good measure. You can opt up to the SE Launch Edition for the 10-speaker Bose premium sound system, but the standard audio system honestly is not that bad. In fact, you get some decent sound from it and will not hear much distortion when you crank up the volume. And, with the engine being as quiet as it is, you won't have to worry about needing to crank it when you do not want to. You will be able to hear your tunes just fine.
If you can, though, consider taking advantage of the SE Launch Edition. It offers a ton of amazing features, especially when it concerns connectivity. The panoramic sunroof is also downright awesome. But if you cannot get your hands on one, the regular SE should suit most buyers just fine since it is so well loaded with standard features.
• Compare the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Trim Levels