Out­lander puts ac­cent on com­fort

Pilbara News - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

■ 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.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

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.

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