First drive review: Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi hasn't launched a new car for more than two years. In that same time frame Audi has rolled out no fewer than 24 new cars. So has the wait been worth it? Autoblog grabbed the keys to find out.
What is it?
New Mitsubishis don't come along very often, so this all-new Outlander is much anticipated by customers and Mitsubishi dealers alike. The Japanese maker has dumped Peugeot/Citroen, who sold a version of the previous generation Outlander, and is now going it alone.
This model has been designed from the ground up. Why has Mitsubishi done that? Well, they intend to make the Outlander cater for a forthcoming plug-in hybrid drivetrain. It also shows off the new design all future Mitsubishis will take.
What's under the bonnet?
In the UK, the Outlander will only be offered with a 2.2-litre diesel engine and 4WD. It's barely audible inside (but is a little clattery outside). When it arrives in November, Mitsubishi hopes it'll emit under 130g/km of CO2 (down from 165 g/km). It's powerful, too – it produces 148bhp, top speed is 125mph and it'll crack 60mph in less than 10 seconds.
We bagged any early drive of the car, and full spec had not been finalised. But the car we drove was loaded with kit. There's an improved sat-nav and multimedia system, electronic tailgate, adaptive cruise control, anti-collision system and lane departure warnings, to name but a few gadgets and gizmos.
Is it any good?
It's clear fit and finish was high on the agenda for the new Outlander team. Prices have yet to be announced, but we're told it will be slightly more than the current model (which costs between £21,418 and £31,029). The new seven-seat layout is clever and practical, but if only the Outlander looked a little more interesting...
The Outlander competes in the SUV sector – and that's one of the most competitive in the UK market. There's a wide variety of rival machines around for similar money. The Japanese competition includes the Honda CR-V (soon to be refreshed too) and the British-built Nissan Qashqai, while from Korea there's the Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35.
The Autoblog Verdict?
The Japanese firm has done a good job with the Outlander. With the possibilities of new drivetrains coming – such as the plug-in hybrid which is rumoured to return as much as 150mpg – and some clever technology, the Outlander looks tempting. Pricing will be crucial, though.