£25,184 - £33,739 Price range
5 - 7 Seats
48 - 53 MPG
Mitsubishi has come to market with a car that meets the class standard, but no more.
Critics have found plenty to like about the new crossover, but too many rivals offer just a little more in too many areas for it to really stand out in a competitive class.
But you might find the Outlander fits your particular needs quite well – read on and find out if that’s the case.
Cheapest to buy: 2.2-litre GX2 diesel
Cheapest to run: 2.2-litre GX3 diesel
Fastest model: 2.2-litre GX2 diesel
Most popular: 2.2-litre GX3 diesel
The Outlander’s interior has improved over that of the last model, not least in terms of space. The larger exterior has paid dividends for interior volume, and with all the seats flattened up to 1,022 litres of space is available.
Alternatively, you can go the other route – all Outlanders come with seven seats as standard. One or two reviews say it’s a little fiddly to erect and stow the seats, but most seem to find it easy enough. It’s really a children-only zone, though.
The remaining seats are generally pretty comfortable, and several testers note a fairly high driving position – a positive attribute for most customers. Interior quality isn’t as bad either, and well-assembled, even if it “lacks the sparkle and freshness you’d expect from a new model”.
Mitsubishi has shed plenty of weight from the old Outlander, and the new model is much more nimble as a result. It also rides nicely, according to most testers.
For some it’s a little firm, but never uncomfortable – just nicely judged for the class of car. Refinement is also pretty good as a result, though tyre noise does creep through at motorway speeds more so than some rivals.
The Outlander’s handling is less adept, but it covers the basics – it’s predictable and easy to drive. The brakes are strong, but the steering doesn’t allow much information from the road to reach your fingertips. One reviewer sums up the experience as being “somewhat forgettable”… but if driving pleasure isn’t your goal (and realistically, it probably isn’t for a crossover), it should suit you fine.
There’s just the one engine available here (unless you go for the petrol hybrid), with standard four-wheel drive and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes. All refreshingly simple in fact, and the engine pretty much does the job you require of it. Combined economy is 52.3 mpg for the manual and 48.7 mpg for the auto.
That doesn’t tell the whole story, as most reviewers seem to prefer the relaxed nature of the auto – it’s no B-road blaster, after all – and it’s quick, smooth and easy to use. Helps with refinement a little, too – something the Outlander does well for the most part. The four-cylinder diesel unit can get a little noisy under hard acceleration and there’s some clatter at idle, but these have improved over its predecessor.
Lots of buyers, however, are opting for the more interesting Outlander PHEV petrol hybrid, which improves performance and economy.
Critics also say it has plenty of usable torque, and is best paired with the automatic gearbox - what you lose in economy, you gain in refinement, smoothness and speed. That economy is 48.7 mpg for the auto, 52.3 for the manual - not class-leading, but respectable enough.
If it’s a family crossover that you’re looking at, you expect it to be as safe as possible, and the Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t disappoint. Seven airbags (including one for the driver’s knee), an AWD (all wheel drive) system, and Isofix child seat mounts come as standard.
But at the same time Mitsubishi has added a couple of driver aids to make the Outlander better. There’s the standard ABS and stability control, and the range-topping versions come with lane departure warning, and automatic braking (to prevent low speed collisions).
The Outlander scored five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash tests with exemplary performance: 94% in adult protection; 83% in child protection; 64% in pedestrian protection; and 100% in safety assists.
Here, too, the Outlander scores well. It’s a little more economical on paper than most immediate rivals, and offers more seats than most too. While the highest-spec cars can creep over £30,000 and therefore into territory occupied by more prestigious rivals, at the lower end of the scale pricing is pretty competitive – a GX2 model is under £24,000, and you still get the same economical engine as any other Outlander. Tax is also cheaper than many rivals.
There’s a lot of kit in the top-end versions, including features like lane-departure warning and cruise control. And the diesel engine is pretty frugal as well, returning about 50mpg. There’s always the electric-hybrid Outlander PHEV which offers a better efficiency but loses out on the diesel engine.
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.