It’s been a while since Mitsubishi has introduced a new model, which has probably made buyers forget about the brand. Well thanks to its partnership with Nissan and Renault, Mitsubishi is making a comeback. The redesigned 2022 Outlander is a major improvement over its predecessor – turning it into a competitive compact crossover.

The three automakers joined forces in 2016 and thanks to that partnership, Mitsubishi has created the best Outlander yet. Mitsubishi didn’t do the new Outlander alone though, since under the skin it shares its platform and engine with the Nissan Rogue. Although both SUVs are closely related, you can’t tell by looking at them. That’s great news, since the Outlander stands out more than the Rogue with its aggressive styling and luxurious interior.

The 2022 Outlander is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that’s mated to a continuously variable transmission. The naturally aspirated engine generates 181 horsepower and 181 pound feet of torque. Around town the engine has enough power to get the Outlander moving down the road, but if you need to push it hard, the engine runs out of steam fast. A turbocharged engine would do wonders here, like what you can get in the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. The CVT is pretty good here too with its responsiveness and simulated gear changes, that make you think it actually has gears.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

On the road the Outlander prioritizes comfort over sport. There’s a bit of body roll when entering a corner, making it not as fun to drive as the Mazda CX-5. The steering is nicely weighted though. At the end of the day we just wish the Outlander had more power under the hood, but for most buyers the Outlander’s performance will be satisfying.

The Outlander is rated at 24 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined, while the all-wheel drive version is rated at 24/30/26 mpg. Those are pretty good specs, but the Outlander isn’t as efficient as the Honda CR-V, which gets up to 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. The Toyota RAV4 is rated at 27/35/30 mpg. If you want a more fuel efficient Outlander, you’ll want to hold out for the 2023 Outlander Plug-in Hybrid.

The Outlander’s exterior is a big improvement over its predecessor, but inside there are even bigger improvements. The interior now feels more modern with high quality materials that makes it feel a step above the CR-V and RAV4’s interiors. There’s real aluminum trim on the center console and the semi-aniline leather seats look great. The overall design is clean and minimalistic.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

The front and second row seats are comfortable. The Outlander stands out from its rivals, since it comes standard with a third row of seats. These seats are great for families with small children, but if you hope to be able to fit adults back there, good luck. There’s not enough legroom for adults in the third row. The good thing though is that the cabin is really quiet with only a small amount of road and wind noise.

There’s lots of new tech features as well, like Apple CarPlay that can connect wirelessly on upper trim levels. Android Auto is also included, but you have to still plug in your phone to operate it. USB type-A and type-C ports are also included. The Outlander comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen, but a nicer 9-inch screen is optional. The larger screen also adds navigation and there’s a wireless charging pad for your phone. In front of the driver there’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 10.8-inch color head-up display is optional.

On the safety front, the option to choose is the Mi-Pilot Assist system, which is Mitsubishi’s version of the Nissan’s ProPilot Assist adaptive cruise control with lane centering. The system tracks road lines perfectly, making it better than some systems in the Outlander’s rivals. It also comes standard with a blind-spot monitor with lane change assist, automatic high beams, front and rear automatic emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

The pricing for the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander starts at $27,500, including destination. It’s available in several trim levels: ES, SE, Black Edition, SEL and SEL Special Edition. The most expensive version is the SEL with the Touring Package and all-wheel drive that starts at $38,345.

At the end of the day, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a major improvement over its predecessor. The new Outlander is more stylish with a more luxurious feeling interior and refined driving experience. In many ways the Outlander is a better SUV than its cousin, the Nissan Rogue. It’s been a while since we’ve had such high praises for a Mitsubishi branded vehicle and the new Outlander is a strong step in the right direction.