May 25, 2022

Vehicle Definition

Comfortable Vehicle

2022 Subaru Forester vs. 2022 Mitusibishi Outlander Comparison

The 2022 Subaru Forester gets a light update for the new year, while the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is all-new. Here’s how they compare.

2022 Subaru Forester

2022 Subaru Forester Starting Price: $25,195 | Price yours or View listings near you

Above Average: Reassuring safety scores; spacious for the class; lots of standard equipment.

Below Average: No hybrid offered; CVT transmission; 1,500-pound tow rating is unremarkable.

Consensus: The 2022 Subaru Forester gets a slightly refreshed look and a new Wilderness off-road-oriented trim. We’ve given our 5-Year Cost to Own award for compact SUVs to the Subaru Forester five years in a row, the most recent being 2021.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Starting Price: $25,795 | Price yours or View listings near you

Above Average: Seating for seven; contemporary looks; plug-in hybrid; great powertrain warranty.

Below Average: Plug-in hybrid based on carryover 2021 model; no wireless Android Auto; small third row; full safety features only available on higher trims.

Consensus: Longer and wider, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is completely redesigned for 2022, with more space for passengers in its three rows. The third row is still best only for children, however.

Forester vs. Outlander: Off-Road or Third Row?

Subaru Forester

The 2022 Subaru Forester isn’t just any compact crossover — it’s an award winner. In a vibrant, popular, and hotly contested class that includes the excellent Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the Subaru Forester has been a multiple recipient of the Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own title.

A restyled front end with new headlights and a new front bumper differentiates the 2022 Forester from last year’s model. Not that it really matters — the Forester is already a hot-selling Subaru, appealing to a certain section of automotive buyers who are willing to ignore any aesthetic shortcomings and concentrate instead on the vehicle’s many positive and tangible traits.

The new Forester Wilderness variant debuts this year with slightly more ground clearance compared with a regular Forester: 9.2 inches to 8.7. It also wears all-terrain tires to better cope with any off-road adventures its owners will embark upon.

Automatic Emergency Steering is a new driver assistance feature this year. Working at speeds up to 50 mph, it helps with evasive steering maneuvers. It’s optional in Premium trim and standard above.

One of our favorite features of the Forester is the large cargo opening. This is an aspect that’s easily overlooked until there’s a big item to stow in the cargo area. Golf bags don’t need tilting to slide in sideways. This aperture, 51.3 inches wide, has a 6-inch advantage over the nearest rival.

Higher trims bring the usual nicer appointments, with the Wilderness receiving its own set of dedicated features. Among these are a dedicated transmission and all-wheel-drive system, driving modes for deep mud and deep snow, automatic low gradient control, 17-inch alloy wheels wearing Yokohama Geolander all-terrain tires, and a 180-degree front-view monitor.

Mitsubishi Outlander

Having skipped the 2021 model year except for the plug-in hybrid, which carries over as a ’22 model, the Mitsubishi Outlander comes roaring back completely redesigned from the ground up for 2022. The plug-in hybrid version of this new model is expected to follow in a year or so.

We’re happy to say that the Outlander shows improvement all around, with a bigger footprint translating to more space for cargo and passengers, and a contemporary, modern look inside and out.

A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine sends power via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) to the front wheels or optionally all four. Its 181 horsepower may not seem like much, but it moves the Outlander along and earns up to 31 mpg on the highway. We also don’t dislike the CVT, which in Sport mode actually mimics shifting via paddles. There’s also a drive-mode selector so the Outlander can be tuned for conditions such as gravel, snow, and mud.

Inside, the look is modern and comfortable, with such touches as soft padding on the instrument panel and illuminated interior door handles. The base ES trim gets a cloth interior and an 8-inch touchscreen, plus safety features including a blind-spot monitor and automatic emergency braking.

Upper trims get such things as a suede-trimmed interior, a multiview camera, navigation, and more safety features. The top SEL trim is downright luxurious, with full leather seating, heated rear seats, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.

Similarities

Standard 4-cylinder drivetrains; fuel economy; optional all-wheel drive.

Subaru Forester Advantages

Standard AWD; greater ground clearance; 5-Star NHTSA rating.

Mitsubishi Outlander Advantages

Cargo space; 7-passenger capacity; powertrain warranty.

Which Is Right for Me?

The 2022 Subaru Forester’s 5-Star NHTSA safety and its off-road ability, especially with the new Wilderness model’s greater ground clearance, may justify its lack of a third-row.

If you have a growing family and need seating for seven, the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a great choice. It’s confident AWD system can get you through any kind of weather.

Ready to buy a Subaru Forester or Mitsubishi Outlander? Shop for one on sale now near you

2022 Subaru Forester 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter flat-4 2.5-liter I4
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 181 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
Transmission CVT CVT
Fuel Economy 29 mpg (26 city/33 hwy) 27 mpg (24 city/31 hwy)
Also Available Plug-in hybrid AWD
Specs
Basic warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 5 years/60,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 10 years/100,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 stars n/a
Max Seating Capacity 5 7
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 106.5 inches
Overall Length 182.1 inches 185.4 inches
Width 71.5 inches 74.7 inches
Height 68.1 inches 68.8 inches
Turning Diameter 36.0 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 41.2 inches 40.6 inches
Headroom, 2nd Row 39.6 inches 39.1 inches
Headroom, 3rd Row n/a 34.5 inches
Legroom, Front 43.3 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, 2nd Row 39.4 inches 39.9 inches
Legroom, 3rd Row n/a 18.7 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.2 inches 57.9 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row 57.2 inches 55.9 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd Row n/a 51.2 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 111.9 cubic feet 125.5 cubic feet
EPA Cargo Volume 76.1 cubic feet 79.7 cubic feet