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 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?
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.
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.
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|
|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|
|Fuel Economy||29 mpg (26 city/33 hwy)||27 mpg (24 city/31 hwy)|
|Also Available||Plug-in hybrid||AWD|
|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|