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The completely redesigned crossover is the only compact with a third row of seats standard.

COURTEY MITSUBISHI - The completely redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has a substantial presence for a compact crossover and can tow up to 2,000 pounds.The Mitsubishi Outlander is perhaps the most unjustly overlooked compact-plus SUV on the market today. I call it a compact-plus because it's a bit bigger than most compact SUVs, while still remaining a little smaller and more nimble than a mid-size.

The Outlander's slightly larger size means it's more comfortable on the road, and it comes with the compact segment's only standard third-row seat. Admittedly, the third row in the Outlander isn't spacious; it's more of an occasional use seat, but it's nice to have it when you need it.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Thye interior of the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander features a large display screen mounted high on the dash so drivers do not have to take their eyes off the road for long to read it.

For 2022, Mitsubishi has reworked the Outlander inside and out. When you see it on the road, the first thing you notice is its substantial presence. Mitsubishi's designers have squared up the Outlander to meet modern tastes. This is an SUV that looks the part, and there's no sloping coupe-profile roof here. If you want that, Mitsubishi offers the equally attractive Eclipse Cross model. I'll give you a report on that SUV next week. Along with the new look, the Outlander offers all-LED lighting and a completely up-to-date safety package.

For those who use their SUVs for more than just carrying the family around, the Outlander will tow up to 2,000 pounds and offers 79.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the front seats, and 33.5 cubic feet behind the second row.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The attractive 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander can be ordered with the Super All-Wheel-Control all-wheel-drive system.

Inside, the new Outlander is spacious and comfortable. You get a sense of stability and heft when you get into the driver's seat. Like most automakers, Mitsubishi has moved the large center display screen high on the dash, which allows you to see it without having to take your eyes far away from the road ahead. The console is clean and uncluttered, taking a cue from the European designers. Soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin and really, there's nothing to distinguish the Outlander interior from a premium brand except the price. In the top trims, the seats are outfitted in leather and both front and second-row seats offer heat.

If you add the SEL Touring Package, you get a heated steering wheel, too. Plus, the package adds better leather, a head-up display, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, rear side window pull-up shades, and a power panoramic sunroof. It's a good deal for $2,700.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - The second row of seats in the 202 Mitsubishi Outlander can hold three adults and there is a standard third row behind it.

Under the hood, the Outlander comes with a smooth-running 2.5-liter engine. There's no turbo or other power adders, but the Outlander makes good use of the 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. It's got a well-made continuously variable transmission, and Mitsubishi was among the first to adopt that style of gearbox. It's been developed to the point that you won't notice a difference between this CVT and a standard automatic. All-wheel-drive is optional, and Mitsubishi calls it "Super All-Wheel-Control," which can be confusing, but now you know what it is.

On the road, the new Outlander feel solid, quiet, and in control. There's plenty of acceleration power under your foot, so don't get hung up on horsepower numbers. Everything about the Outlander feels premium, and that's the main point. This SUV starts at $25,795, and if you select the luxury options you're still looking at less than $38,000 for a truly nice SUV.

PMG PHOTO: JEFF ZURSCHMEIDE - Cargo space in the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is impressive with the third roww of seats folded down.

Put it all together and the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander provides an excellent value for your money. Finally, if you want a hybrid option, Mitsubishi still has the last generation Outlander Plug-In Hybrid, and the Eclipse Cross if you want a crossover with a sportier outlook. So if you're shopping for a new SUV this spring, you should keep our area Mitsubishi dealers on your test-drive list.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

Base price: $25,795

Price as tested: $37,995

Type: Compact SUV

Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder (181 hp, 181 lbs-ft)

Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission

EPA estimated mileage: 24/30

Overall length: 185.4 inches

Curb weight: 3,803 pounds

Final assembly: Okazaki, Japan


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