You won’t find too many mega mileage Outlanders, as they’re often used as second cars.
As with any all-wheel drive vehicle, listen for whining gearboxes and differentials; look for leaky power steering, engines, gearboxes and driveshaft joints, off road abuse, tailgate and underbody corrosion and theft or accident damage.
Make sure it hasn’t been used to tow a mobile home the length of the country.
Some of the interior plastics can feel a little scratchy. They’re fundamentally tough but can lose their cosmetic appeal fairly quickly.
Don’t worry about the complicated electronics of the PHEV version: so far, these have proved to be very reliable. If you’re of the opinion that many 4x4s have just become estate cars with a little more ground clearance and a largely redundant all-wheel drive system, you might well like this MK3 Outlander.
Despite its modern styling, there’s something quite old school in the way that it drives, and we mean that as a compliment.
Set off down the road and the feeling you get is that of being in a ‘proper’ 4x4, rather than some sort of ineffectual Crossover vehicle.
You sense the meatiness of the steering and the gutsiness of the diesel engine and realise that this is a vehicle you’ll be able to rely on, a car that’ll work with you, even in a tight spot.
If you’re on a long journey that’ll finish with a bit of urban driving, there’s a useful feature that enables you to ‘hold’ battery charge and use the zero emissions stuff more effectively around town at the end of the trip.
Plus there’s a neat feature that allows you to use the petrol engine to replenish the battery’s charge up to 70 per cent as you drive. It’s all very clever. You can see why Mitsubishi didn’t want to share this MK3 Outlander’s design with other brands in the way it had with the previous version.
Some of the technology here is genuinely forward-thinking, even if you don’t opt for a Plug-in hybrid variant that sets new standards, not only for Crossovers of this kind but also for family cars as a whole.
Other rivals might offer classier cabins or a slightly more dynamic drive but they’re often pricier, less versatile and less effective when it comes to things like towing.
Or driving on the mud. This car, after all, also feels a good deal more suited to light off roading than the Crossover competition. Which is worth knowing if you and six others ever want to share a vehicle able to tackle the Rubicon Trail.
That’s not a realistic family aspiration of course - but this car very definitely is, the kind of model the brand has long needed for styleconscious folk with kids and active lifestyles. It’s unexpectedly clever, unexpectedly effective, unexpectedly... Mitsubishi.