The Outlander’s diesel is no fireball but it’s keen enough at low and medium revs that driving it is a relaxed affair. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on diesel versions, but an optional six-speed automatic is available on GX3 models and above. Diesel auto versions have slightly less pulling power, but it’s unlikely you’ll notice it on the move.
The auto-only, petrol-electric hybrid is brisk enough around town, but can feel leisurely at higher speeds, , and the way the electric and petrol engine interact can sometimes result in an unpredictable power delivery. Of course, when in electric only mode you get a seamless stream of power, although you’ll be lucky to get 20 miles of pure electric travel even in gentle use.
All versions of the Outlander have four-wheel drive, so they never struggle to put their power down.
Mitsubishi Outlander ride comfort
Diesel versions of the Outlander ride reasonably comfortably, although a Hyundai Santa Fe is better at sponging up sharp-edged bumps, which can have the Mitsubishi jolting and thumping quite a bit. Body movement isn’t especially well controlled, either, so the Outlander can bounce around at higher speeds, and it leans a fair bit in corners.
The heavier hybrid model feels more stable in corners, although it has a firmer ride than the diesel. Both versions tend to thump loudly over potholes, too.
Mitsubishi Outlander handling
No matter which version you go for, the steering becomes disconcertingly light at higher speeds. Combined with the pronounced body lean in corners, the Outlander isn’t a particularly reassuring car to drive on faster roads.
It’s fine if you’re just cruising around, and ambles along happily enough on the motorway, but press on and it soon gets flustered. Nothing unexpected should happen, however, thanks to standard-fit stability and traction control.
Mitsubishi Outlander refinement
The diesel engine and turbocharger are a little noisy. You don’t feel much vibration through the controls, although in the automatic version you feel a very slight shimmy through the body. It’s pretty quiet on the motorway, but there’s a fair amount of wind and road noise at higher speeds, making the Outlander a little tiring on long journeys. The manual gearshift is notchy; the auto gearbox is smoother.
The hybrid is very quiet when running in electric-only mode, and is still pretty hushed when the petrol engine kicks in, but the revs can surge annoyingly and the auto ’box can be hesitant.
Eager enough but can be a bit clattery, although it does settle when cruising. It’s available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic gearbox. Automatic versions offer slightly less pulling power, though, to protect the transmission.
Our pick PHEV
The hybrid version has a 2.0-litre petrol engine coupled to a hybrid drivetrain with front and rear electric motors. It accelerates eagerly at lower speeds but feels breathless at higher speeds, and the petrol engine can be harsh.