What's the used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 like?
On paper at least, the Mitsubishi Outlander sounds interesting: a 4x4 based on the same platform as the manufacturer's awesome Evo performance car. However, the real thing is a thorough disappointment. The standard automatic gearbox has just four ratios, so you need to work the engine very hard - and then it sounds coarse and strained.
The car's not even that great to drive. Its raised ride height and tall body mean it leans a lot in bends, the firm ride fidgets around town and the steering is too light. Decent refinement at speed is one of the few saving graces.
The cabin is less attractive than many rivals', but at least it's all well laid out and there's decent space inside. However, the small rear doors make getting in and out tricky, and loading larger bags into the boot is awkward because of the narrow opening.
Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4?
The great thing about Mitsubishis is that they are tough little devils. According to figures from Warranty Direct, although they are among the oldest of all the cars on their fleet, they are well below average in terms of the number of the claims on them.
Not many Outlanders have been sold as new cars, but owners certainly reinforce the impression given by Warranty Direct. There are precious few reliability issues reported, and any problems that do appear are dealt with quickly and efficiently by the dealers.
The only consistent complaint is of poor fuel consumption, but there have been no recalls on the Outlander, and we have heard of no problems with the car. So, if it follows the example of other Mitsubishi 4x4s, such as the Shogun, we expect it to be thoroughly reliable as long as it is well looked after.
What are the most common problems with a used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4?
Is a used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 reliable?
What used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 will I get for my budget?
How much does it cost to run a Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4?
The Outlander's rivals, such as the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4, generally had smaller engines and manual gearboxes as standard, so the Mitsubishi typically has worse fuel consumption, doing just 28.0mpg, and it has no diesel option.
However, the Mitsubishi's one advantage is that, at any given age, it is generally cheaper to buy than rivals that were similarly expensive as new cars.
The trouble is you'll need to recoup a lot of money that way, because insurance bills and regular servicing look costly on the Outlander. Although you shouldn't need too much unscheduled maintenance, if you do, it will probably be costly.
Warranty Direct tell us labour rates at Mitsubishi dealers are only a little higher than average, but the cost of repairs is very high - more than those for not only prestige brands, such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but also for other 4x4 makers, including Land Rover and Jeep.
Which used Mitsubishi Outlander 4x4 should I buy?
There's no choice of engine or transmission. Every Outlander comes with a 158bhp 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol and a four-speed automatic gearbox.
So, other than finding the colour you want, it's down to which of the three trim levels you fancy. All are well equipped, so there's no point in buying anything more expensive than the most basic Equippe model, which comes with alloy wheels, climate control, all-round electric windows and four airbags.
Choosing a Sport will cost you a few hundred pounds more, but adds an electric sunroof and cruise control to the list of standard equipment. Top-of-the-range Sport SE is another few hundred pounds more, but adds leather upholstery and wood trim in the cabin.
The only option you might look out for is metallic paint. This would have cost just under £300 on a new car, but should have no effect on a used car's price.
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