Review Of Mitsubishi Outlander - Mitsubishi has a long and storied history of building tough vehicles for off-roading, from the L200 pick-up to the mighty Shogun. Still, tough and sturdy doesn’t usually mean economical and comfortable. This is the Mitsubishi Outlander, a compact SUV in the same vein as the Hyundai Tucson, and which aims to swap some of the ruggedness for a much more family-friendly approach. Its plug-in hybrid version of the same car, the PHEV, has enjoyed quite a bit of success, but how does the more traditional diesel-powered model stand up? The Mitsubishi Outlander used to have something of a reputation for being a bit drab inside. Thankfully, this test model isn’t all bad with a full leather interior, plus these smart-looking trim panels on the dash and door sides. Plastics don’t look or feel overly cheap, though I’m not a massive fan of the way they carry over to the steering wheel here. Controls are big, easy to reach while driving and simply laid out, which is always a plus, while the infotainment system is also particularly good. It’s quick to respond compared with others, intuitive to use and there’s also integrated sat-nav and Bluetooth connectivity for your phone.
You’ve also got lots of smart mod-cons like plenty of big cubbyholes and storage bins. A large smartphone binnacle up the front is handy, along with these USB and 12v connections that are neatly tucked away behind this sliding shelf under the armrest. Mitsubishi goes a long way to stress the practicality and family-friendliness of its Outlander range, and as such you’ve these got two ISOFIX attachments in the rear and lots of space for three people in the seats. Taller passengers might find themselves bashing their heads off the low roof however, but legroom is decent at least.
There is also a third row of seats in the very back, but in all honesty it’s hard to envision anybody fitting back here except, say, a pair of double amputees. Even for kids there’s not much breathing space in the third row at all, and it’s therefore probably best just folding the seats flat and using them as extra storage space. Speaking of storage space, if you fold the back seats flat you’re left with this large 591-litre boot, with a flush loading lip that makes it easy to pack in larger items. Slide and fold the second-row seating away and storage capacity soars to 1,022 litres - more than enough for what most drivers could throw at it. While its size and boxiness is perfect for offering lots of space, on the road the Outlander feels rather cumbersome.
The steering to me feels shockingly wispy and quite lifeless, and unlike many other cars of its type, you can feel every bit of this car’s size on the road. If you’re the sort of driver who just wants to get from A to B with as little fuss as possible, then its marshmallow-y ride will probably suit you quite well, but if you’re looking for something with a bit more life in it, then you’re probably better off with something like an S-MAX or Kia Sorento. Where it does stand out from its rivals is with its four-wheel drive ability; pushing this button down here can lock up the centre differential for more grip when the ground gets tough and traction is low.
Outside of that, the single 2.2-litre 148bhp diesel engine available is okay; it feels a little bit on the weedy side, but 0-62mph is brisk enough for a big car, taking 11.7 seconds with this automatic gearbox. It’s not the quietest diesel around, but then it’s far from the noisiest either, and on the whole it’s relatively refined when at speed. Still, what it lacks in enthusiasm, the Outlander makes up for with decent fuel economy compared to its rivals. Able to return around 53mpg on the combined cycle, CO2 emissions clock in at 138g/km. Of course, if low running costs are your main priority, then you’re much better off with the Outlander PHEV.
Totally exempt from road tax altogether, it can return up to 148mpg, making it one of the most economical SUVs on earth. Prices for the Outlander range start at £24,798 for the entry-level model, while the PHEV is priced from £29,248 when taking the government’s plug-in grant into consideration. As a result, the diesel’s cheaper to buy up front, but overall running costs might tip your favour in the direction of the hybrid. It’s certainly not the best driving SUV around, but then it’s not really meant to be.
Mitsubishi has always been a name associated with functionality, and with lots of space it’s plenty functional indeed. Sure, the PHEV is much better in terms of economy, but then plug-in hybrids aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a good blend of practicality, comfort and ease-of-use, then the Outlander might just be for you. Thanks for read Review Of Mitsubishi Outlander.