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
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.”