MIT­SUBISHI OUTLANDER: GO OFF-ROAD IN COM­FORT

Mit­subishi has trans­formed its Outlander 4x4 into a wellde­signed, spa­cious and com­fort­able off-roader. Let’s check it out

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

MIT­SUBISHI OUTLANDER WHAT’S NEW?

Mit­subishi has a record of build­ing rugged, no-non­sense off-road­ers as well as some very in­ter­est­ing sa­loons and hatch­backs.

But its lat­est it­er­a­tion of the Outlander SUV fol­lows the de­vel­op­ments across the range – com­fort­able, ef­fi­cient and ca­pa­ble cars for a wide range of users.

The new Outlander 4x4 is a well-de­signed, spa­cious and com­fort­able off-roader.

There’s even a petrol-hybrid ver­sion aimed at town­ies and green-minded folk, which is a par­tic­u­larly com­pelling propo­si­tion in the mid-sized SUV seg­ment.

WHAT DO YOU GET?

Since Mit­subishi has a solid track record of mak­ing tough off-road­ers, the lat­est re­vamp might sur­prise some. Es­pe­cially the com­fort, im­proved cabin qual­ity, driv­ing dy­nam­ics and es­pe­cially the hybrid en­gine.

This is no Jag or BMW (no is it try­ing to be). But it is a big step be­yond the tra­di­tional sturdy, rugged diesel work­horse of old.

Th­ese days 4x4s need to be more so­phis­ti­cated to com­pete with the Nis­san X-trails, Ford Ku­gas and even Jeep Chero­kees of this world – a tru­ism not lost on Mit­subishi.

There’s a seven-seater choice, too, which adds to its ap­peal as an all-round fam­ily car.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The range of­fers a good en­gine choice par­tic­u­larly the 2.2 diesel pow­er­plant ver­sus the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid.

That diesel unit is a 50PS 2.2-litre en­gine, to which you can choose to pair ei­ther a six-speed au­to­matic or manual trans­mis­sion.

Top speed is 124mph, and the sprint from 0-62 takes 9.7 sec­onds, al­though the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion will add an ex­tra 1.5 sec­onds to that time.

The diesel en­gine is ef­fi­cient, not least be­cause Mit­subishi has stripped 100kg of weight from the old model, and in­tro­duced start­stop tech­nol­ogy.

The of­fi­cial fig­ures for an en­try-level diesel model are 53.3mpg on the com­bined cy­cle and 139g/ km of CO2.

PHEV PLUG-IN HYBRID

The PHEV Plug-in hybrid vari­ant is rather dif­fer­ent. It con­sists of a 2.0-litre petrol en­gine helped by a 70KW gen­er­a­tor and a brace of 80bhp elec­tric mo­tors.

Th­ese mo­tors are placed at the front and rear of the Outlander, giv­ing it a kind of all-wheel drive. The power out­put is a very de­cent 220bhp.

Much of the time – most of the time, pos­si­bly, for city-dwellers – the PHEV will op­er­ate in bat­tery mode, (known as ‘Pure EV’) , which has a range of around 30 miles.

If you need rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion, the car will switch into the sec­ond driv­ing mode: ‘Series Hybrid’. This sees the gen­er­a­tor crank into ac­tion, pow­er­ing the bat­tery and mo­tors.

The third mode is ‘Par­al­lel Hybrid’, in which the petrol en­gine kicks and the ex­pe­ri­ence be­comes more like a nor­mal car, al­though the range, of­fi­cially at 547 miles, is good even for petrol cars.

The PHEV petrol/elec­tric hybrid is said to eke out 156mpg and 42g/km of CO2. It will ap­par­ently charge to 80% in 30 min­utes, mean­ing if you live, say 10 miles from work, you should be able to do the jour­ney there and back ev­ery day with­out us­ing any petrol at all.

LOOKS AND DE­SIGN

So that’s the me­chan­ics. What about the rest? Well, the new car has had a nice re­vamp in 2015, fol­lowed by a fur­ther up­date last year, mak­ing it less rugged and eas­ier on the eyes to the mod­ern SUV owner.

It is lower and sleeker than pre­vi­ously, and the ex­ter­nal re-styling make it fresher, younger and more ap­peal­ing than its pre­de­ces­sor.

The cabin has been im­proved too, and space is very good. En­try-level diesel mod­els – the lineup runs from GX2 to GX4 – are well equipped, in­clud­ing air-con, al­loys, a full suite of airbags and sta­bil­ity con­trol. The PHEV model, be­ing fur­ther up the range, gets even more good­ies.

Prices range from around £25,000 to around £36,000.

The PHEV starts at around £30,000 af­ter you’ve sub­tracted the £5,000 gov­ern­ment Plug-in Ve­hi­cle grant.

It re­mains a stand-out elec­tric car in the mid-sized SUV sec­tor, and is one of the cheap­est SUVS to run.

“Top speed is 124mph, and the sprint from 0-62 takes 9.7 sec­onds, al­though the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion will add an ex­tra 1.5 sec­onds to that time. The diesel en­gine is ef­fi­cient, not least be­cause Mit­subishi has stripped 100kg of weight from the old model, and in­tro­duced start-stop tech­nol­ogy.”

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