With all the hype surrounding the hybrid model, it’s easy to forget that you can also have a diesel Mitsubishi Outlander. Its long-distance fuel economy means it is the car to have if you covers lots of miles, but maybe not the pick of a class that includes heavyweights such as the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Volkswagen Tiguan.
As with its rivals, the Outlander is an excellent choice if you have a family. Its roomy cabin has space for seven people (the Outlander PHEV only has room for five) and the boot is big enough to swallow a family’s luggage for a fortnight. It’s not the most inspiring of interiors to look at, but is easy to use and feels robustly put together.
Like the interior, the drive is perfectly competent, if none too inspiring. The Outlander is at its best on the motorway where the ride is comfortable and the cabin quiet. Take to country roads and there’s little to encourage sporty driving, but it remains a serene place to travel.
The 2.2-litre diesel engine may not be as hushed as the hybrid in full-electric mode, but it’s perfectly quiet enough to take the strain out of long cruises and there’s plenty of power in reserve for fast motorway overtakes, too.
Everyone raves about the PHEV but, you know, the standard car is really good too
The basic Outlander 2 must be one of the most expensive cars to come with lowly steel wheels, but in all other respects the standard equipment list is strong – all models come with front and rear electric windows, cruise control, plus auto lights and wipers.
Look at the reviews and you’d think the Outlander deserves a better score than it gets. And maybe it does – if value, space or economy are your priorities, then there’s plenty to recommend the Outlander as a usable family vehicle.
However, it doesn’t truly excel in any one area, it’s fairly average to drive and there’s little to delight with the interior or exterior styling. The Outlander is competitive, but it may not be long until the market takes another step ahead of it – take a look at the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage for alternative takes on the affordable crossover theme.