Based on the ‘I-Fu-Do-Do’ product concept - which means authentic and majestic in Japanese - the all-new Outlander features bolder styling and plusher interior trim features than the outgoing model, while promising enhanced performance both on and off road.
The 2022 Outlander’s styling is highlighted by a next-generation 'Dynamic Shield' front fascia that extends into the LED daytime running lights, chunky horizontal lines, big 20-inch wheels and a carved tailgate that’s a nod to the recently-discontinued Pajero’s rear-mounted spare wheel.
Step inside, and the cabin is clad with soft padding and, in upper-spec variants, stitched leather that provides a premium look and feel.
Mitsubishi says space and comfort has been enhanced by increasing the wheelbase by 25mm to 2705mm, resulting in additional legroom for the first and second row seats.
In addition, features such as seat heaters, three-zone automatic climate control, and rear window sunshades are also available down back to make the rear seats more comfortable for family members.
Up front there are two types of gauge clusters, also depending on trim level, including a 12.3-inch digital instrument display with customisable views and functions.
Infotainment is viewed and operated via a 9.0- or 8.0-inch floating touchscreen, again dependent on troim level, with Smartphone-link Display Audio navigation system and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity. A 10.8-inch head-up display (HUD), showing driving and navigation information, will also be available.
Two- or three-row options
The all-new 2021 Outlander will continue to offer a choice of five or seven seats.
Seats can be flexibly arranged into multiple configurations to suit the number of passengers and their luggage. Second-row seats have a sliding and reclining function, as well as a 40:20:40 split-fold division. They also have a one-touch folding mechanism to simplify access to the third row.
Space for storing objects such as smartphones is provided in the centre console tray, centre console side pockets, driver's seat back pocket, and quarter trim pockets.
The centre console tray also has a 15w wireless phone charger, with type A and C USB charging ports also provided at the front and back of the centre console.
Advanced driver assist features include smart adaptive cruise control with stop and go function, lane-keep assist and speed sign recognition that, using satellite navigation data, can adjust the Outlander’s speed to suit the speed limit.
Other available active safety features include radar-based autonomous emergency braking, collision warning, active blind-spot assist that will prevent the Outlander changing lanes if there is another vehicle to the side, driver attention alert, rear auto braking, and rear cross traffic alert.
There are also 11 airbags, including a front centre one that deploys between the driver's seat and front passenger seat in the case of a side impact.
Performance and handling
Engine wise, the Outlander rides on a new platform with power coming from a newly developed 2.5-litre petrol engine that Mitsubishi claims improves output by 8.9 per cent, and is 2.6 per cent more fuel efficient.
The engine is coupled with an eight-speed continuously variable transmission that, according to Mitsubishi, changes speeds crisply like a multi-stage automatic transmission for more powerful acceleration, while feeling smooth and quiet when cruising.
Last night’s reveal did not mention the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, which will be announced at a later date and is expected to from part of the new Outlander range when it arrives in Australia in September or October 2021.
The 4WD versions feature an electronically-controlled torque distribution system incorporating a hydraulic clutch that provides extra traction when taking off on slippery surfaces.
The new Outlander also has an improved S-AWC integrated vehicle dynamics control system and brake AYC (Active Yaw Control) on the rear wheels, making it possible to provide front and rear wheel distributed control.
The all-new platform offers improved torsional rigidity over that of the previous model for improved handling. This is further enhanced, according to Mitsubishi, by the multi-link suspension and dual pinion electric power steering that improves cornering and “achieves high-quality ride comfort while also providing operability with a direct, linear feel”.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander is slated to launch in the US in April 2021 and is due to arrive in Australia in September or October 2021, which will be a few months ahead of its closest rival, and cousin, the all-new 2022 Nissan X-Trail.
Local pricing and features will be revealed closer to launch.
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