Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH -

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.

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