Muscular, economic update
Mitsubishi’s petrol and diesel version of the Outlander offer an interesting choice, PETER BARNWELL writes
WE have been fortunate enough to get a drive of Mitsubishi’s two top of the range Outlander Aspires in petrol and diesel, which sell for $43,890 and $46,890.
Both SUVs have a lot going for them and after initially thinking we would prefer the diesel, now we are undecided because the petrol is a pretty good thing, too — and it costs three grand less.
The Aspire is full of kit in terms of luxury, safety and driver assist, including forward collision mitigation, reverse camera, power tailgate and radar cruise control.
It gets leather, premium audio, the full digital connectivity suite in Mitsubishi’s MMCS system satnav, Bluetooth phone and audio and paddle shift — the proper system with large paddles on the steering column and not the wheel.
Aspire is a seven-seater with a compact third row down the back folding into the floor. Some luggage room is still available with all pews in place.
Mitsubishi revised the Outlander this year, giving it a more muscular look on the outside, bigger wheels, more chrome on some models and more kit.
It looks heaps better than the first iteration of this model.
In terms of performance, the diesel gets the gong thanks to its strong torque, which is available low in the rev range. It moves the 1530kg Outlander body easily and economically.
The 2.2-litre diesel engine has been around for a while and is good for a reasonable 110kW and a handy 360Nm. Drive is through a conventional sixspeed auto and the all-wheel drive system has auto, lock and eco functions — same for petrol and diesel.
The petrol engine is a 2.4-litre four that’s also been around for some time. It’s good for 124kW/220Nm, which also moves the Outlander easily and economically. We got 5.8l/100km out of the diesel and 7.5l/100km out of the petrol — bang on the factory claims and, in fact, they did better than that on the highway.
The petrol’s CVT auto works well with minimal flaring and more of a conventional auto’s feel. No doubt, it assists in that good fuel figure. Mitsubishi tweaked it for improved launch feel and sharper changes.
The Aspire rolls on 18-inch alloys and has a more purposeful look to its flanks with selective use of chrome body hardware. We like the power assistance fitted to various functions like the driver’s seat and the tailgate, but the latter still doesn’t go up far enough for taller people.
It’s a five-star rated vehicle and has plenty of active and passive safety kit.
The driving feel is good for an SUV, due in part to the recalibrated suspension and overall dynamic tweak Outlander was given this year.
It has an impressive fiveyear 130,000km warranty.
Which one? The petrol for us this time.