Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 full 9 point review
The Outlander's diesel engine has 148bhp and 280lb ft of pull, and even though it's no fireball when you rev it hard, it's keen enough in the low and mid range to keep life easy. Low-end models come with a six-speed manual gearbox, while posher versions come with a smooth (if slightly hesitant) six-speed automatic. The (auto-only) PHEV hybrid is brisk enough around town, but can feel a little leisurely at higher speeds.
Ride & Handling
Diesel models ride more comfortably than many rival SUVs, and are generally forgiving over bumpy roads. That loping gait means that body movement isn't especially well controlled, though, so it can bounce around at higher speeds, and there's quite a bit of lean in corners. The heavier hybrid model feels more stable in corners, although it doesn't ride quite as smoothly as the diesel. No matter which version you go for, the steering is disconcertingly light at higher speeds.
The diesel engine transmits unwelcome vibrations through the steering wheel, but it stays pretty quiet if you keep the revs below 3000rpm. In fact, you don't hear much noise from anywhere on the motorway; road noise is very well suppressed and you'll hear only a little wind noise around the huge door mirrors. The manual gearshift is notchy, but the auto is smoother. The hybrid is very quiet when running on electric-only mode, and is still pretty hushed when the petrol engine kicks in.
Buying & Owning
The Outlander has a lower starting price than that of the rival Hyundai Santa Fe, but the versions you’ll actually want don’t look such good value. At least the Outlander will be cheaper to run than many rivals – including the Santa Fe – thanks to the efficiency of its engines.
Quality & Reliability
The Outlander’s cabin has some piano black inserts and metallic accents, but the other plastics feel quite cheap and the overall design is rather dated. Mitsubishi’s reliability record is poor; it finished near the bottom of the manufacturers' table in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey that it featured in.
Safety & Security
All versions come with stability control and seven airbags, including one to protect the driver's knees. Top models get even more sophisticated safety measures, such as lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and a collision-mitigation system (which applies the brakes automatically if it senses an impending crash). The car has received the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. Security kit is similarly comprehensive.
Behind The Wheel
Finding a comfortable driving position should be easy, because the seat has height adjustment and there's a good range of steering wheel adjustment. Most of the dashboard controls are simply laid out, too, but some of the buttons you won't use very often are tucked away out of sight, and the touch-screen sat-nav system has complex menus and small, hard-to-hit icons.
Space & Practicality
All but entry-level Outlanders get seven seats as standard. There's plenty of space in the front five, and the rear pair are reasonably comfortable; space in them is tight, but there's enough for kids, or adults on short journeys. The five rear-most seats fold flat, which liberates a huge amount of room for that trip to the dump. The boot is generous in five-seat mode, too, and there's enough room for a few bags even with all seven seats in place.
Entry-level GX2 models are pretty poorly equipped, so we'd go for GX3, which gives you dual-zone climate control, automatic wipers, Bluetooth and alloy wheels. GX4 trim adds keyless entry and engine starting, electrically adjustable leather seats, a reversing camera and parking sensors, while GX5s also come with a powered tailgate and a DAB radio; they're both pretty expensive, though, so are hard to make a case for.