Aug 26, 2021
By John Morris
For many boat owners who have gear to tote and the occasional stretch of bumpy road to negotiate, a mid-size SUV is just the ticket. Recently, I borrowed a 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander and found it to be a fine ride with quite a few bonuses.
One of those extras is a third row of seats. This is surprising for a vehicle that’s basically the same size as many of its competitors; the seats are not really roomy, but they are there. When you don’t need them, and I didn’t, they fold into the floor nicely. The second row folds down too, so you can create a significant amount of carrying space.
room for stuff
This Outlander has a number of other happy features (I borrowed the top of the line of course). The panoramic sun roof opens twice the distance of conventional hatches – lots of fresh air. The vehicle comes with a very complete set of safety features including front and rear crash avoidance, blind spot beeping, adaptive cruise control. In fact the whole vehicle is pretty high tech including a big centre screen that shows navigation, a buffet of audio options, HVAC settings plus all-round cameras (more on that in a sec.)
In place of the conventional instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel is a separate screen that monitors all vehicle functions on top of the basic speed, tach, fuel etc. I kept the heads-up display on all the time and set it to show speed limits as well as vehicle velocity – hate those tickets! Two multi-adjust power seats, and pretty most of you’d look for on a luxury car are there. The look and feel of the interior with those snazzy screens and some really some really tasteful, cushy upholstery will appeal to your spoil-me self. As a lower volume player in the Canadian market, Mitsubishi is clearly trying catch your eye with a very aggressive package of perks to the $40k-ish marketplace.
the screen shows the entire picture as you back to the hitch
The central screen also shows all-round video, nice for parking of course, but as an exercise I backed up to a trailer hitch. This becomes a pretty easy matter even without people standing behind the vehicle yelling and waving their arms. Electronic technology is truly helpful.
So any concerns? Not much although initially the exterior was a bit of a moment. Perhaps I am getting old and staid, but the shape of the Outlander really is quite a departure. Thanks to a Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the Rogue and the Outlander are sibs in many drive train and mechanical ways but not in suspension goals and not at all in looks. The Mitsubishi designers have really created a whole new look with a dramatic front end, repositioned headlights and lots of sculpture. The Mits has 20-inch wheels, the Rogue 19s. It looks bigger and more powerful in a Land Rover kind of way. It took me a minute, but when the folks at the boat club came over to check it out, it was clear that maybe the world is ready for a re-fresh.
The Outlander may not have the instant recognition of a Rav4 or CRV, but it’s a very worthy Japanese rival and well worth considering as your drive to the boat.