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2022 Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander: Three new SUVs hitting Australian showrooms soon to take on Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester is expected to hit Australian showrooms before year’s end.

There’s good news for anyone looking to buy a mid-size SUV, but not so good for segment leaders Toyota and Mazda.

That’s because there’s a trio of new or updated models on the way to shake-up up the battle behind the RAV4 and CX-5 – the Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander

The three models are the sixth, seventh and third best-selling medium SUVs respectively, and while they are well behind the RAV4 in overall sales, the arrival of fresh metal will attract attention and should provide a sales boost.

The Forester has been given a mid-life update, with new headlights as well as updated front suspension settings and tweaks to the X-Mode all-terrain system.

The Sportage and Outlander are effectively all-new models. 

The Kia features bold styling and the same underpinnings as the Hyundai Tucson that launched earlier this year. The Mitsubishi is now based on the same architecture as the new Nissan X-Trail (which is due to arrive in 2022), as the two Japanese brands co-operate more as part of their alliance.

Importantly, in the face of increased customer demand, both Subaru and Mitsubishi are offering electrified powertrains to compete directly against the popular RAV4 Hybrid.

The Forester carries over the same engines as before, with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder boxer petrol engine making 136kW/239Nm or a 110kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with a 12kW/66Nm electric motor.

Mitsubishi is introducing a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for the majority of the range, but will also update the plug-in hybrid system with a more powerful motor and larger battery for more performance and greater range.

Kia Australia has not announced any plans for a Sportage hybrid locally, but it will offer three four-cylinder engine options – a 115kW/192Nm 2.0-litre petrol, 137kW/416Nm 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and a 132kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbo-petrol (which replaces the out-going model’s 2.4-litre non-turbo engine).

Pricing for the Sportage hasn't been announced by Kia yet, but given the significant change it’s likely to incur some incremental price increases. 

But we do know details of the Subaru and Mitsubishi ahead of their impending arrival.

The Forester starts at $35,990 before on-road costs for the 2.5i and stretches to $44,190 for the 2.5i-S, while the two-model hybrid range costs $41,390 for the Hybrid L and $47,190 for the Hybrid S.

Mitsubishi has increased pricing for the Outlander by between $2000 and $4000 for its new model, with the range now beginning at $34,490 for the ES front-wheel drive, five-seater and running all the way to $49,990 for the Exceed Tourer all-wheel drive, seven-seater. And you can expect the range-topping PHEV to carry a price premium above these models when it launches early in 2022.