Mitsubishi Outlander.
Mitsubishi Outlander.

ROAD TEST: Mitsubishi Outlander, functional but not fancy

There has never been a better time to buy a Mitsubishi Outlander. It's not the newest model on the SUV scene, or the most sophisticated, but a $27,990 drive-away starting price makes a lot of sense for anyone buying on a tight budget. Even the seven-seater model comes in below $30,000 with the current run-out deals.

THE PICK-UP

ALI: This seems to be built for families who just want a car to be a car. It's not fancy but it's functional. Is that fair?

PAUL: You're spot-on. It's hardly new, in fact quite old - but a basic front-wheel drive with constantly variable transmission, at well under $30,000 for a 2017 model, is more than good enough for some people.

ALI: The outside doesn't appeal to me, sorry to say. It's a little vanilla and I'm wondering if there anything new with this car?

Mitsubishi Outlander: Paul — “It’s hardly new but more than good enough for some.” Ali — “Built for families who want a car to be a car.”
Mitsubishi Outlander: Paul — “It’s hardly new but more than good enough for some.” Ali — “Built for families who want a car to be a car.”

PAUL: If you want new then you have to move to the smaller Eclipse Cross but that's an extra $3000.

ALI: So what is the bottom line?

PAUL: Well, it's got a five-year warranty, four years of roadside assist and capped-price servicing for three years.

ALI: Now it's making sense.

THE BAGGAGE

ALI: I'm liking the leather steering wheel but the plastic trim is a bit cheap.

PAUL: It would take just a quick test drive in one of its rivals to put the Outlander into focus. You have to pay more for a Hyundai Tucson but you can see and feel the difference. That's without going to a Mazda CX-5 at the top end.

ALI: It has Bluetooth but I find the connectivity a little trying and I needed to yell for people to hear me. Oddly, the only speaker for the phone was in the left-front door, so I could barely hear anyone. Surely I am not that deaf yet.

Outlander cabin: Leather meets plastic.
Outlander cabin: Leather meets plastic.

PAUL: It's another sign that Mitsubishi is struggling to keep the Outlander competitive.

THE COMMUTE

ALI: It's a tad snoozy when you select eco mode but it gets going if you put your foot down. So I found the performance fine.

PAUL: Yes, it's not a new-generation turbo but the 2.4-litre petrol engine works fine. I think your frustration comes from the CVT, which takes a while to wind up.

ALI: So that's it.

PAUL: I was more annoyed by the steering, which frustrated me with the lane departure tech pushing against me at times. But it's part of an impressive safety package on the Outlander ES.

THE SHOPPING

ALI: This car has a bit of the "tractor factor", so it's a little harder to turn nose-in into some tighter parking bays. The rear camera is not huge but clear enough.

PAUL: It's got a huge boot but that's no surprise when the Outlander can also be ordered with seven seats.

ALI: I wondered about that. It is pretty roomy in the back.

Ali and Paul: Outlander’s boot is huge and seating is comfortable for long trips.
Ali and Paul: Outlander’s boot is huge and seating is comfortable for long trips.

ELI: It's easy to get my bike into.

SUNDAY RUN

ALI: The Outlander is comfortable enough for longer trips, though it lacks some power heading up steeper terrain.

PAUL: The performance is fine for me but nothing special in the class.

ALI: I was a bit surprised that satnav wasn't included in our model.

THE FAMILY

ALI: The boot is huge and there is plenty of space in the back seat.

ELI: It's really comfy for me.

ALI: But why are there still third-row cupholders without the third row of seats? I think that's a bit cheap.

TICK OR NO TICK

ALI: It might seem I don't like this car but it's a good buy. I give it the Tick for value.

PAUL: It's outdated and only selling on price. No Tick.

MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER ES AUTO

PRICE From $34,990 drive-away (Great deals currently)

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. For Geelong Advertiser
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. For Geelong Advertiser

SERVICE 5 years/100,00km, $840 for 3 years (Should run for the full 5 years)

ENGINE 2.4-litre 4-cyl, 124kW/220Nm (Can be snoozy)

SAFETY 5 stars, 7 airbags, radar cruise, auto high-beam, lane departure warning (Good package for the price)

ECONOMY 7.2L/100km (Thirsty on hills or loaded)

SPARE Full-size (Good)

LUGGAGE 477L/1608L (Huge with third row down)


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