Outlander puts accent on comfort
■ Mitsubishi Outlander is an important vehicle for the Japanese company, competing in one of the strongest market areas in Australia, midsize SUVs.
Outlander first arrived in Australia in 2003 as a smaller brother to Pajero and has sold consistently since.
Our road test this week was of the facelifted and mechanically improved Outlander.
Big radiator grilles are all the rage and Outlander’s is positively huge.
Less controversial are silver roof rails, a new design of 18-inch alloy wheels and LED daytime running lights and tail-lights.
Rear styling sees a new design bumper and silver diffuser.
Inside, the 2016 Outlander has a large display screen, a redesigned steering wheel, new accent colours and materials, and better seat bolstering.
The latest Mitsubishi Outlander comes in three model variants: LS, GLS and top-spec Exceed. Our test vehicle was the Exceed. Mitsubishi Outlander’s complex powertrain options continue.
You can buy a 2.0-litre petrol with a five-speed manual (LS model only) or continuously variable transmission (LS and XLS); a 2.4litre petrol, only with a CVT (all models); or a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel with a six-speed torque convertor auto (only offered in the Exceed).
Two-wheel-drive (the front wheels) or all-wheel-drive transmissions are offered and you can choose five or seven seats.
Our test Outlander Exceed had the 2.4 petrol, all-wheel drive and seven seats.
The 2016 Outlander range continues to have five-star ANCAP safety rating. It has front, side, curtain and knee airbags. We found the seats more compliant than the outgoing Outlander — you now sit in the seats, not on them. The interior is also quieter.
The engine has enough power, but only just enough at times, with a load on board and hills under its wheels there are times you feel that more grunt would be nice.
Fuel consumption during our test was impressively low, in the high sixes and low sevens on motorway trips, but rose sharply to 10 to 12 litres per 100km around town.
Modifications to the CVT mean less of the “slipping clutch”. The transmission also has manual overrides.
Outlander is no sports SUV but it clings on nicely on twisty roads, albeit without it feeling really happy at being hustled along. Mitsubishi’s revised Outlander continues the company’s tradition of high build quality.
The latest changes improve interior comfort and this SUV can be used on extended trips in a manner that will leave all occupants relaxed.
The huge radiator grille of the Mitsubishi Outlander makes a strong styling statement.
You now sit in the seats, not on them, yet they still have plenty of support.