Mitsubishi has given the Outlander another update. Again, though, it’s purely cosmetic…
Mitsubishi tends to stick to tried-and-tested methods, which is also the preferred philosophy in Japan. It’s not a bad thing, either, almost always ensuring reliability and longevity. In the case of the recently revised Outlander, that means the changes which have been affected are mainly cosmetic, with the old-school 2,4-litre engine – part of a global manufacturing alliance with Chrysler and Hyundai – remaining in service. Balance shafts help keep it relatively smooth, and it should be dependable, but the pistons are large and the engine does not rev freely and uses more fuel than the latest, smaller, turbocharged engines. Our fuel-index figure, for example, is 9,84 L/100 km and our fuel route resulted in 10,3 L/100 km.
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is retained, too, but has certainly been improved from our last test, and now has six artificial steps to simulate a conventional auto ‘box. For those who prefer a sportier feel, Mitsubishi has provided large aluminium paddles to provide a fully manual mode. For the rough stuff, you can choose between 4×4 eco, 4×4 auto – which gives front-wheel drive until slip is detected – and, finally, 4×4 lock mode, which engages the centre diff.
The suspension, meanwhile, is well tuned to tackle poor roads and body roll in corners isn’t pronounced. It steers fluently, too. During flat-out acceleration, the engine revs rise to 6 000 r/min and stay there as the speed increases. The Outlander needed a comparatively tardy 11,44 seconds to reach 100 km/h, which is marginally slower than the previous model, due perhaps to an increased mass of 42 kg.
Jumping inside, the new centrally mounted touchscreen is neat, but the touch sections are a tad on the petite side. The sunroof is a welcome feature on this family vehicle, as are auto headlamps, and audio fundis are well catered for with a Rockford Fosgate system with eight speakers plus a subwoofer at the back. Rear-seat passengers will appreciate the overhead DVD player provided with infra-red headsets. The middle row slides to toggle legroom to the third row of seating. The aft row is perfect for children, there’s still sufficient room behind them for luggage, and the seats fold away in the boot floor.
Additionally, there is a storage bin under the floor, with the full-size alloy spare wheel located in a cage under the body. A neat touch is a powered tailgate as standard. Storage space for various bits and bobs abound, and the large glove box is especially useful. Dual 12 V outlets are an up-to-date touch for modern electronic gadgets and cellphone-charging requirements. Overall, the Outlander is perfectly suited to a family’s needs.