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Mitsubishi Outlander 2022 review: Exceed Tourer

The flagship Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer looks the part, inside and out. (Image: Matt Campbell)

The new-generation Mitsubishi Outlander is an eye-catching midsize model, and in top-spec Exceed Tourer trim it has a bit more flash to add to the inherent function of the seven-seater SUV.

Is it worth fifty grand, though? And can it compete with rivals in this price and size bracket, such as the 5+2 seater Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail, and more purpose-built seven-seaters like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento?

I spent a week with it to see how it coped with family life for myself, my partner and our six-month-old. My two dogs didn’t get a ride in this one.

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What does it look like?

I really like it, for the most part. 

The new-generation model has adopted the brand’s Dynamic Shield styling language, and as a result it’s a really distinctive looking SUV, particularly in this high-spec Exceed Tourer trim.

You can tell it apart from the outside because it’s the one with the painted black roof, the black-and-tan leather interior trim, and it also gets massage seats. Ooh la la!

it’s a really distinctive looking SUV, particularly in this high-spec Exceed Tourer trim. (Image: Matt Campbell) it’s a really distinctive looking SUV, particularly in this high-spec Exceed Tourer trim. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Back to the outside, and the front is dominated by the twin-light fittings (which we all thought looked super odd years ago on the old Jeep Cherokee, but is now pretty mainstream), with the upper section being LED daytime running lights and the lower light cluster being the headlights themselves.

In profile you’ll notice just how big and blingy those 20-inch rims look, and to my eye it appears almost cartoon-ish in its appearance because the wheelbase (distance between front and rear wheels) is relatively short. 

The 20-inch rims are big and blingy. (Image: Matt Campbell) The 20-inch rims are big and blingy. (Image: Matt Campbell)

But it is a nice looking thing, and the rear light signature - with two wide tail-light clusters spanning more than two-thirds of the tailgate - is a nice, neat look.

So, the exterior is neat, and the interior looks great too. The quilted leather trimmed seats, the caramel/tan material trim on the doors and dashboard, and the simple, smartly designed dashboard with digital instrumentation and a proud touchscreen media system all add up to a pretty posh place.

The interior looks great with quilted leather trimmed seats. (Image: Matt Campbell) The interior looks great with quilted leather trimmed seats. (Image: Matt Campbell)

How does it drive?

Don’t go expecting a game-changing drive experience, but it’s definitely better than the old Outlander and competitive with some of the mainstream rivals in its class.

The 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers adequate power and torque, but isn’t going to blow your socks off. And the continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic gearbox is mostly good - not lovable, but thankfully not hateable. It has standard all-wheel drive, which Mitsubishi calls “Super All Wheel Control (SAWC)”.

The 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers adequate power and torque. (Image: Matt Campbell) The 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine offers adequate power and torque. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Some rivals have much more enticing petrol powertrains - the 1.5L turbo in the CR-V, 1.6-litre turbo in the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, and the 2.0L turbo in the Ford Escape all spring to mind.

And the fact that the Outlander is launching with a purely-petrol-driven line-up is a bit odd, too. There are no turbocharged petrol engines and while the plug-in hybrid model is coming later in 2022, there’s no mainstream electrified hybrid model like you get in the Toyota RAV4

These 2.5L naturally aspirated petrol four-cylinder units are starting to feel a bit outdated, however I didn’t have too many issues with it during my time with the car and for family driving with a young child in the back (which is when you tend to drive most carefully!) it’s totally adequate.

The steering requires quite a lot of constant adjustment. (Image: Matt Campbell) The steering requires quite a lot of constant adjustment. (Image: Matt Campbell)

What could be better is the suspension tune – it is clumsy at times especially over broken surfaced roads, so if you drive over an area that has a lot of potholes and pockmarks you will find that this is a bit jumbled in terms of its ride comfort and compliance. On the highway it is mostly fine, but when you do hit sharp joints in the road you will notice it.

The steering requires quite a lot of constant adjustment and it feels a little bit too sporty in terms of the feel and the tune of the steering, as in it’s too direct but doesn’t actually have that much feel through the wheel. 

Overall the drive experience is okay, but nothing better. And for a brand-new car in 2021, you might expect more.

How spacious is it?

For families thinking, “do I really need a seven-seater?”, this could be just about the right size for you. 

The fact you don’t have to step up to a size above this one is an advantage. I’ve got family that would love a 5+2 version of the RAV4, and are baulking at the idea of spending $20K extra for a Kluger.

Third row of the Outlander and it was very cramped. (Image: Matt Campbell) Third row of the Outlander and it was very cramped. (Image: Matt Campbell)

But is it a true seven-seater SUV? No. Not compared to a Kluger, which I had the week before the Outlander and there’s a definite difference between them in terms of size.

However, you might be surprised how close the interior space is between this, and a Honda CR-V seven-seater, for example. The Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe are both a touch bigger for third-row occupants, if you know you’re going to use the third row more than just occasionally.

Now, that is something you must keep in mind if you’re a family car customer. The rear-most seats don’t have airbag coverage at all, so be mindful of how you use them. There are no child-seat attachment points back there, either.

For argument’s sake, I got in the third row of the Outlander and it was very cramped. The second-row slides fore and aft to allow additional room, but it’s really best left for those less than 160cm (or about 5’2” to 5’3” tall).

Boot space is okay at 478 litres (VDA) of cargo space with five seats in play. (Image: Matt Campbell) Boot space is okay at 478 litres (VDA) of cargo space with five seats in play. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Accessing the third row isn’t as easy as it could be either, as the larger portion of the 60:40 split fold/slide seat being on the passenger side/kerb side of the car. That’s not ideal - you’d arguably prefer the smaller portion on the kerbside, so it makes it easier and safer to load people into the third row if you need to. 

Boot space is okay. There is 478 litres (VDA) of cargo space with five seats in play, and 1461L (VDA) of cargo capacity with all rear seats folded.

You can see from the interior images that we managed to fit all three CarsGuide suitcases (124L, 95L and 36L) in with room to spare with the third-row seats down, but with the backseat up it was impossible to fit all three suitcases, as the total space available is 163L (VDA). Even so, it’s still a pretty decent size for a seven seater of this size.

We managed to fit all three CarsGuide suitcases in with room to spare with the third-row seats down. (Image: Matt Campbell) We managed to fit all three CarsGuide suitcases in with room to spare with the third-row seats down. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Second row space? My week with the Outlander included fitting a rearward-facing child seat for my six-month old, there was definitely enough to fit it with enough room to spare for the front passenger to be comfortable for longer trips. The dashboard is still close to the knees, but not too close, and the scalloped shape of the dash actually helps with that. It was great to have this context, as in my long-term Skoda Octavia wagon, the rearward-facing seat actually makes the front passenger experience pretty tight.

We also had an honorary uncle along for the ride on one of our longer drives, and the reports from him on comfort were mostly good, although – even though he’s not the tallest person, at about 170cm – he felt that headroom could be better. 

My week with the Outlander included fitting a rearward-facing child seat for my six-month old. (Image: Matt Campbell) My week with the Outlander included fitting a rearward-facing child seat for my six-month old. (Image: Matt Campbell)

No doubt that has something to do with the fact that this model has the big panoramic roof and the ceiling does drop down to accommodate that. If you are tall or have taller occupants who regularly ride with you, make sure you test it out. You could theoretically fit three across, though it might be a bit squishy if all three occupants are adult-size.

In the back you get lined map pockets as well as top smaller pockets for phone or tablet or toys or lollies or whatever. And there are bottle holders in the doors, plus you can lower the middle section of the second-row seat to offer an armrest with cup holders, and it wasn’t impeded by the baby seat, either.

The rear doors open nice and wide too, making for easy access when putting in or taking out a baby capsule. The back doors also have mesh sun protectors for the windows, but as with most factory-fit mesh screens they are a little thin.

The second-row slides fore and aft to allow additional room. (Image: Matt Campbell) The second-row slides fore and aft to allow additional room. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Wondering about ISOFIX? There are two in the outboard second row seats. Top tether attachments number three, all in the second-row, and the middle one is a ceiling mount job, which could be messy if you plan to have people in the third-row, too. 

How easy is it to use every day?

The proximity/hands-free locking system isn’t as good as it could be. 

On multiple occasions, with the key in my pocket, I pressed the unlock button on the driver’s door and set the horn off (I don’t know why!). And there is no proximity unlocking at all, like many rivals offer (you have to press a button).

Further to that, for busy parents who always seem to have their hands full (me, I’m one of them!) it’s annoying that the rear doors don’t have an unlock button at all. That means you may have to fumble for the key in your pocket, or hit the button on the front door, which could set off the horn, which could wake the baby, which could ruin your trip. Okay, that last bit was a bit dramatic, but you get my drift.

There's an electronic tailgate for this grade, which is good for when you have arms full of baby stuff or grocery bags, and it has a kick-to-activate hands-free mode, too. Nice.

There's an electronic tailgate for this grade, which is good for when you have arms full of baby stuff or grocery bags. (Image: Matt Campbell) There's an electronic tailgate for this grade, which is good for when you have arms full of baby stuff or grocery bags. (Image: Matt Campbell)

As for day-to-day driving usability and interior stowage, there are two cup holders between the front seats, bottle holders with additional storage spots in the doors, a couple of small loose item trenches down by the transmission tunnel, and a small centre console bin and small glovebox. There’s also a very compact zone in front of the gear selector for you to place your mobile phone including a wireless charger, though the loose items storage up front could be better.

I like the layout of the interior – everything feels well put together and considered, and I like the material choices as well. You feel like you’re getting something a bit special in this version of the Outlander, which isn’t the case lower down the model/price range. 

In addition to those fold down cup holders in the back, there are bottle holders in the doors as well. This spec also scores you rear seat heating and climate control in the back, too – both of which were welcome but not really required during my time with the car.

The layout of the interior feels well put together and considered. (Image: Matt Campbell) The layout of the interior feels well put together and considered. (Image: Matt Campbell)

The instrumentation and media system are all very clever, crisp and simple to use, and the fully digital dashboard is a nice touch. I had one issue with USB-connected CarPlay during testing, but it wasn’t a major drama.

One thing you might love is the massage function for the front seats on this top-spec Exceed Tourer, which you can’t get on any of the other grades.

How safe is it?

The 2022 Outlander doesn’t have an ANCAP safety rating just yet, but we believe it’s in the process of being tested right now.

However, it comes with heaps of safety technology and equipment that family car buyers will appreciate, including forward auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assistance and blind-spot warning - and that’s on all grades. This version also scores reverse AEB, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, auto high-beam lights, auto headlights and wipers, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree surround view camera (which Mitsubishi weirdly calls the Multi Around Monitor, or MAM). 

It comes with heaps of safety technology and equipment that family car buyers will appreciate. (Image: Matt Campbell) It comes with heaps of safety technology and equipment that family car buyers will appreciate. (Image: Matt Campbell)

As mentioned above, the airbag coverage could be a consideration for you - the rear row seats are not covered by the curtain airbags. It has front head, driver’s knee, front side, front centre, and first/second row curtain airbag coverage. 

What’s the tech like?

There is a 9.0-inch touchscreen media system in all grades, which has both wired and wireless Apple CarPlay, and wired Android Auto.

This grade also has built in sat nav, a Bose sound system with 10 speakers and a subwoofer, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, DAB digital radio as well as AM/FM radio, and 2 USB inputs for the media system.

There are additional charging points in the second row (x2) and there are air vents to all three rows, too. The heated outboard second-row seats and three-zone climate control got a couple of “wow, isn’t this a Mitsubishi?” comments, too.

There is a 9.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Matt Campbell) There is a 9.0-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Image: Matt Campbell)

Another “ooh” moment is the multi-terrain selector, a rotary dial with a bunch of different drive modes. Kids will love how choosing different modes makes for animations on the digital dashboard.

Oh, and just be aware that if you have a backseat driver with you and they’re sitting behind the driver’s seat, they can read the head-up display!

You might also think that a car that looks this modern inside and out should have been eligible for LED interior lighting, too. But nope, they're dull ambient lights that will remind you of that moodily-lit restaurant you went to that time where you couldn't read the menu and you got your phone out to use the torch and felt old. Yep. They're not great. However, on the plus side, they aren't so bright as to startle a sleeping baby in the back when you open the door.

How much does it cost to own?

The list price of the Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer is $49,990 (MSRP), but Mitsubishi has drive-away deals on all of the models in its range, and this one is promoted at $53,490 drive-away at the time of writing.

Fuel consumption for the Outlander AWD Exceed Tourer is stated at 8.1 litres per 100 kilometres on the official combined cycle. Amazingly, I managed to better that with my predominantly highway test, with a return of 7.7L/100km. You can expect it to creep up towards and beyond 10L/100km if you do mainly urban stop-start driving.

The list price of the Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer is $49,990 (MSRP). (Image: Matt Campbell) The list price of the Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer is $49,990 (MSRP). (Image: Matt Campbell)

One of the Outlander’s strongest selling points for customers is the fact it has up to 10 years of warranty. The brand’s 10-year/200,000km warranty plan is the benchmark in the Aussie market, but you have to service your car at a Mitsubishi dealership to enjoy that level of cover, otherwise you score a five-year/100,000km warranty.

It’s cheap to service, based on the 12 month/15,000km intervals of the 10-year/150,000km capped price service plan. The first five years are just $199 per visit, but if you average out the cost over the decade of cover, the average per annum is $319. Still incredibly affordable… and that’s an argument for not having a more complex powertrain with turbos and hybrid bits.


The Wrap

The Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer is a commendable midsize SUV option, and for those who are ‘seven-seater-curious’, it could be the right size and price, too.

It isn’t the best car to drive in this class and nor is it the most spacious seven-seater, but in terms of its cabin smarts, safety tech, interior finish, styling and that amazing conditional warranty plan, it’s sure to win over plenty of buyers. 

With a bit more fine-tuning of the drive experience, this could be a real contender at the top of the list of SUVs in this segment.

 

Likes

Looks interesting
Interior a massive step up for the Outlander
Conditional 10-year warranty

Dislikes

Third row airbags not included
Back row space limited
No turbo?

Scores

Matt:

3.5

The Kids:

4

$47,990

Based on new car retail price

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.