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2022 Mitsubishi Outlander or 2022 Mazda CX-5: Which Is Better?

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a new look at an established model from Mitsubishi, while the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is that company’s best seller. Which is better?

Quick Facts

  • Mitsubishi Outlander: Mechanically, a sibling of the Nissan Rogue.
  • Mazda CX-5: The 2022 Mazda CX-5 has been redone in a new luxurious style.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Front Right in WhiteBase Price: $25,795 / Find out more about the new 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander

What we like:  Bold looks unlike others on the road today; shares platform and more with Nissan Rogue; Super All-Wheel Control AWD; seating for up to seven passengers.

What we would change: Improve fuel economy; make the powertrain more responsive; rear seat best left to small children.

Overview: The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander is a sign that the long-established company is on its way to a resurgence. Thankfully, now residing under Nissan/Renault Alliance umbrella, it gets an assist from its adoptive family, and the results are striking. With styling that begs a second look and an upscale interior on higher trim levels, the Mitsubishi kids are alright.

In a rare move, Mitsubishi has made the Outlander a three-row vehicle, although that third row is best reserved for elementary school-age kids rather than those of the college variety. Another shortcoming is how that third row gobbles up precious cargo space in the back. Fold the third row forward, and the space grows to 33.5 cubic feet. Place both the second and third rows in the folded and locked position, and that space grows to a very competitive 79.7 cubic feet.

Power for the Outlander comes from a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine from the Nissan Rogue. Available in front- (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the powertrain is controlled by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). It includes programming to make it feel like it is climbing through the gears. The EPA estimates an average fuel economy of 27 mpg (FWD) and 26 mpg (AWD).

What’s new for 2022: The Outlander is all-new for 2022. This new crossover shares its platform and powertrain with the Nissan Rogue. Despite the commonality, the Outlander is slightly larger and squeezes in a third-row seat, which the Rogue does not.

Features and technology: The Outlander is available in three trim levels: the entry ES, the mid-level SE, and the top-of-the-line SEL model. There are various ways to enhance the trims, such as with the Convenience package, Tech package, and Touring package. The base ES includes safeties like forward-collision warning with emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and automatic rear braking. An 8-inch touchscreen display is also onboard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The SE steps up with a 9-inch display with navigation, wireless charging, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and more. Other features, including a multi-view camera, premium audio, digital instrumentation, and a panoramic sunroof, are part of the Launch trim or SE Tech package. The SEL steps it up even further with leather seating, three-zone climate control, and heated rear seats. Finally, the Touring package and SEL Launch Edition package upgrade the leather and add a head-up display and a heated steering wheel.

What does the future hold: A plug-in hybrid model will join the Outlander lineup in the second half of 2022. See 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander models for sale near you

2022 Mazda CX-5

2022 Mazda CX-5 in red.
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $27,000.

Base price: $27,000 (estimated) / Find out more about the 2022 Mazda CX-5

What we like: Refreshed exterior moves towards the luxurious realm; all-wheel drive now standard; enhanced interior design; improved suspension; enthusiastic road manners; available turbocharged engine.

What we would change: Add conventional or plug-in hybrid versions; enlarge the interior; increase cargo capacity; strengthen base engine power.

Overview: The 2022 Mazda CX-5 has jostled the luxury side of the meter but still retains its enthusiastic driving demeanor. It does a fine job of separating itself from other also-ran compact SUVs. The restyled appearance maintains much of the drama from before but now with fewer flourishes. The interior is well thought out and appears more upscale than ever.

The powertrain carries over from the 2021 Mazda CX-5. The standard 2.5-liter engine makes 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. It’s perfectly adequate for in-town runs but may feel a bit underwhelming on the highway. The available 2.5-liter turbo makes 227 hp on regular fuel (250 hp on 93-octane) and delivers quick acceleration more fitting for the CX-5’s excellent chassis tuning. The fuel economy is middle of the road, however, with EPA estimates of 28 mpg (FWD) and 26 mpg (AWD) for the base engine, and 25 mpg (FWD) and 24 mpg (AWD) for the turbo. The CX-5’s destination fee is $1,175 (estimated).

Both engines connect to Mazda’s 6-speed automatic transmission. The CX-5 delivers power with a now-standard all-wheel-drive system. Once optional, Mazda will include AWD across the entire range of CX crossovers and SUVs. G-Vectoring Control Plus modulates engine torque and brake force for improved cornering and handling.

What’s new for 2022: New, subtle exterior restyling has given the CX-5 a more luxurious look. The Grand Touring Reserve model is now renamed Turbo. Starting in 2022, all-wheel drive is now standard through the entire CX range.

Features and technology: The CX-5 is available in trim levels ranging from Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, Turbo, and Signature Editions. All are standard with the base 2.5-liter engine and AWD. Turbo and Signature trim levels include the turbo engine. The Signature model goes further with exclusive wood trim, a 360-degree-view monitor, and Nappa leather. Extras include a head-up display, adaptive headlights, and a digital instrument cluster.

The Mazda CX-5’s voice-controllable infotainment system now includes a 10.25-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is also included with Bluetooth and two USB ports.

Active safety features are standard on all 2022 Mazda CX-5 models. The suite includes blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go.

What does the future hold: For 2022, Mazda has restyled the CX-5 to be more refined outside, but we don’t anticipate anything significant for the coming year. Mazda recently announced plans for a CX-50 and larger CX-90 in 2023. See 2022 Mazda CX-5 models for sale near you

Outlander or CX-5: Strengths Comparison

Mitsubishi Outlander Benefits: Third-row seating; excellent 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty coverage.

Mazda CX-5: Turbo engine’s acceleration; available AWD; fun to drive; exterior styling; interior design and cargo space; reliability.

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander or 2022 Mazda CX-5:  Which Is Better?

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander or 2022 Mazda CX-5 interior
Top: The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander front row and dash. Bottom: The 2022 Mazda CX-5 front row and dash.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander uses its Nissan-Renault Alliance connections to make a quantum leap in quality and features. It also offers seating for seven and a stellar 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. The 2022 Mazda CX-5 offers more powerful engine choices and fun-to-drive characteristics. We think both would be welcome in driveways nationwide.

See 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander models for sale or See 2022 Mazda CX-5 models for sale

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander 2022 Mazda CX-5
Popular Powertrains
Engine 2.5-liter inline-4 2.5-liter inline-4
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 181 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission CVT 6-speed automatic
Fuel Economy 27 mpg (24 city/31 hwy) 28mpg (25 city/31 hwy)
Also Available AWD Turbocharged and AWD powertrains
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 10 years/100,000 miles 4 years/50,000 miles
NHTSA Safety Rating Not Rated 5-star
Max Seating Capacity 7 5
Wheelbase 106.5 inches 106.2 inches
Overall Length 185.4 inches 179.1 inches
Width 74.7 inches 72.5 inches
Height 68.7 inches 65.4 inches
Turning Diameter 36.1 feet 36 feet
Headroom, Front 40.6 inches 39.7 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 39 inches
Legroom, Front 41.7 inches 41 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.9 inches 39.6 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.9 inches 57.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.9 inches 54.8 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 125.5 cubic feet 103.6 cubic feet
Cargo Volume 11.7/33.5/79.7 cubic feet 30.9/59.6 cubic feet


Mark Elias
Mark Elias
Mark Elias is a writer and photographer specializing in automotive topics ranging from new and used cars to classics and motorsports. His first car was a Matchbox Jaguar D-Type. From there, things have only become larger. During his professional career, he has been a staff photographer for the Associated Press, a contract photographer for Bloomberg News, and a contributor to automotive outlets... Read More about Mark Elias

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