Hardly out­landish

An SUV based on the Lancer is al­ways go­ing to be doggedly re­li­able

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Review - GRAHAM SMITH graham.smith@cars­guide.com.au

ABOUT the only ma­jor thing that the ZG Out­lander shared with its pre­de­ces­sor was its name, which was prob­a­bly for the good.

The ZG was based on a new ver­sion of the Lancer but it also looked bet­ter, had a choice of en­gines for the first time and a seven-seat op­tion.

Gone was the front-heavy, clunky look of the first Out­lander. The ZG looked more bal­anced with a much more ap­peal­ing front.

The ZG en­gines were a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der that de­liv­ered 125kW at 6000rpm and 226Nm at 4100rpm; or a 3.0-litre V6 that packed a punchy 162kW at 6250rpm and 276Nm at 4000 revs.

Those who chose the four got a smooth, con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion that could also be driven man­u­ally through six pre­set­tings.

Those who picked the V6 box drove away with a six-speed auto with se­quen­tial shift slot. A year af­ter the launch, a five-speed man­ual gear­box was added.

The Out­lander’s cabin won praise for its roomi­ness com­pared with its ri­vals and for its boot and use­ful dou­ble tail­gate. Vis­i­bil­ity was great, with a com­mand­ing driv­ing po­si­tion and lots of glass.

The front seats were com­fort­able but the rear seats were crit­i­cised for be­ing firm and flat. For fam­i­lies need­ing more, Mit­subishi added a seven-seat op­tion, with the third row prov­ing best left for young chil­dren.

On the road the Out­lander had im­pres­sive per­for­mance, even with the four-cylin­der, a com­fort­able ride and a tight turn­ing cir­cle.

The LS opened the bid­ding and came stan­dard with air, cruise, power mir­rors and win­dows and four-speaker CD sound. The XLS added 18-inch al­loys, fog lamps and sixs­peaker CD sound. Round­ing out the range were the VR and VR-X, which came with elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol.

IN THESHOP

Mit­subishi gen­er­ally makes ro­bust and re­li­able ve­hi­cles and the Out­lander is liv­ing up to that im­age. We have had few com­plaints from Out­lander own­ers, which serves to un­der­line the over­all dura­bil­ity. Check for a ser­vice record to con­firm a reg­u­lar main­te­nance rou­tine with the oil and fil­ter changes that are the keys to pro­long­ing en­gine life. Care­fully test-drive the CVT for any hes­i­ta­tion, slip­page that might sug­gest a prob­lem with the trans­mis­sion.

INACRASH

Dual front airbags were stan­dard in all mod­els but the VR-X also had head and side airbags for added safety. The Out­lander’s pri­mary safety pack­age in­cluded ABS and elec­tronic brake dis­tri­bu­tion, while the VR and VR-X added the im­por­tant safety fea­ture of elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol. ANCAP’s crash test­ing awarded the Out­lander four stars out of five.

ATTHEPUMP

The four-cylin­der CVT model was the fuel miser of the range with a claimed av­er­age of 9.5L/100 km and the V6 re­turned 10.9L/100 km.

Out and proud: Styling was more bal­anced, with a much more ap­peal­ing front; the Out­lander’s cabin (be­low) won­praise for its roomi­ness

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