The Nissan Rogue is one of the best-selling compact crossovers on the market. It’s also sold — for less — by Mitsubishi.
The Outlander, which shares a platform and mechanicals with the Rogue, seats seven in three rows versus five in two.
It also has a smaller price tag — and a bigger warranty.
What It Is
The Outlander is Mitsubishi’s take on the Nissan Rogue, which serves as the starting point for this compact crossover. It is one of very few crossovers its size that offers seating for seven — and the only one you can get at this price.
The base ES, which has three rows, standard, stickers for $25,795 with front-wheel-drive; with the optional AWD system, the MSRP is $27,595.
A Nissan Rogue, which does not offer third row seating, stickers for $26,050 to start.
A top-of the line Outlander SEL Launch Edition with AWD, panorama sunroof, 10 speaker audio system, three zone climate control and a 12.3-inch driver-configurable digital display instrument cluster stickers for $35,345.
The 2022 Outlander is all new. It is based on the new-last-year (this calendar year) Nissan Rogue but has its own look as well as a different ensemble of standard and optional equipment.
The least expensive three-row crossover on the market.
A better deal — with a much better warranty — than the same thing (mechanically) sold under the Nissan label.
Tows more than its Nissan-badged sibling.
What’s Not So Good
Third row is a tight squeeze for people — and squeezes out cargo room, which the Outlander has less of with its seats in place than the Rogue’s got without the extra seats.
Like the Rogue, there’s only one engine — and one transmission — regardless of trim.
The mechanically identical Rogue advertises significantly higher gas mileage: 27 city, 35 highway for the FWD version versus 24 city, 31 highway for the same thing under Mitsubishi skin.
Under The Hood
Regardless of trim, every Outlander comes standard with the same 2.5-liter, 181 horsepower four cylinder engine, paired up with the same continuously variably automatic transmission.
It is also the same Nissan-built engine used in the Nissan-bodied Rogue — but for some reason the Mitsu-bodied version is rated as delivering only 24 MPG in city driving and 31 on the highway versus the Rogue’s 27 city, 35 highway.
Actually, there is a reason — though it has nothing to do with the engine (or the transmission).
The Mitsu-bodied iteration of this crossover is 222 pounds heavier than the Nissan-bodied version (3,593 lbs. versus 3,371 lbs.) probably because of the extra row as well as the extra couple inches of length.
There’s another interesting difference between these mechanically identical crossovers: The Mitsu-bodied version is rated to tow up to 2,000 lbs. while the same thing wearing Nissan panels carries a much lower 1,350 lb. maximum tow rating. Whether the Nissan can handle up to 2,000 lbs. isn’t the point — unless you don’t care about the coverage.
If you tow more than what the company that made your vehicle (and issued the warranty) says it can tow — and something breaks — you’ll be paying to fix it, not them.
On The Road
The Outlander feels bigger than it is — as Mitsubishi intended.
Though the underthings are largely the same, there are some important differences to which this can be attributed. Both the Mitsu-bodied and the Nissan-bodied versions ride on the same 106.5-inch wheelbase, but the Outlander is wider than the Rogue by more than two inches (74.7 inches versus 72.4 inches), and this sense of broad-shoulder’d-ness is accentuated by the Mitsu’s flat — and wide — hood versus the Rogue’s more round-shoulder’d stamping.
Power delivery gives a deceptive sense of the power that’s available — a thing both good and bad. What I mean by this is that the 2.5-liter engine hasn’t got a lot of power to spare but it feels much stronger than it is – at first – due to very deep (5.694) final gearing.
Because it has all that leverage down low, it practically lunges forward from a dead stop.
You could be persuaded it has a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood.
At The Curb
If you didn’t know, it’d be hard to tell.
But the main sell — is the Outlander’s extra row. Though it’s a tight squeeze back there, it is there.
The cost of that extra row is less cargo room behind that row, which is only 11.7 cubic feet in the Mitsu versus 31.6 in the two-row Nissan. However, if you fold the Mitsu’s second and third row, you end up with a little more total cargo room — 79.7 cubic feet versus 74.1 in the Nissan.
Mitsubishi backs Nissan’s engine/transmission for ten years, 100,000 miles — whereas the same engine/transmission under the hood of the Nissan iteration of this crossover is only warranted for five years and 60,000 miles.
All trims, including the base $25,795 ES, come standard with 18 inch wheels, LED headlights, dual zone climate control and a six speaker audio system. The more expensive Rogue comes standard with 17-inch wheels, manual AC and a four speaker stereo. If you want the amenities that come standard with the Mitsu in the Nissan, you have to step up to the SV trim, which costs even more ($27,470) than the as-it-comes Outlander.
The Bottom Line
Sometimes the same thing is better when it’s wrapped differently.
View the Mitsubishi Outlander this week.
Eric’s latest book, “Doomed: Good Cars Gone Wrong!” will be available soon. To find out more about Eric and read his past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
View the Mitsubishi Outlander this week.