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What is it?

Outlander is a longtime favourite here at Cars4starters.

It’s a car that represents excellent value for money for a young family.

It’s a good size, comes at a price to suit every budget and if necessary can be specified with seven seats.

In fact, I talked my daughter into getting one and it has been a good choice — it’s smooth, practical and reliable with excellent fuel economy.

But now, with two growing children, she and her husband are starting to think it might be time for something a little larger as the child seats and luggage continue to multiply.

The trouble is finding something larger and that is still affordable, because it’s quite a jump in price to a larger wagon.

In fact, there’s a $16,000 difference in the entry price of Mitsubishi’s Outlander and the basic Pajero Sport — or about the cost of a small car to put it in perspective?

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What’s it cost?

Prices for Outlander start from $29,290 for the 2.0-litre, two-wheel drive model.

The same car with a larger, more powerful 2.4-litre petrol engine is $31,290, there’s a 2.2-litre turbo diesel for $39,790, and even a plug-in hybrid from $45,990.

Our test vehicle this time around was the top of the line Exceed, with a 2.4-litre petrol engine, CVT transmission, all-wheel drive and seven seats — all priced from $42,290 (or $45,790 driveaway).

Somewhere along the line Outlander has picked up a seven-year warranty, which shows faith in the product and gives it a fighting chance in this competitive segment.

And, contrary to every other Mitsu that we driven in recent times (top of the line or not), the Exceed comes with built-in satellite navigation — halle-bloody-lujah.

Exceed comes with a swag of safety features, including seven airbags, rear view camera, Forward Collision Mitigation system (FCM) with pedestrian detection, Ultrasonic misacceleration Mitigation System, Blind Spot Warning, Multi Around Monitor, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Automatic High Beam.

Standard kit also includes leather and dual zone climate air conditioning, now with rear air outlets, 18-inch alloys, LED lights, speed limit display, adaptive cruise control, front and rear park sensors, auto lights and wipers, auto dimming mirror, 7.0-inch touchscreen with eight speakers, DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — plus electric sunroof with slide and tilt.

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What’s it go like?

Like the Eclipse Cross that we drove previously it gets a CVT style transmission.

The 2.4-litre, four cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol engine produces 124kW of power and 220Nm of torque at 4200 engine revs.

With no steps or gear change paddles, there’s no facility to change gears manually — but it seems to function better with the torquier engine because it doesn’t have to work as hard.

Driven sedately and the wagon is more than up to the job, even with four full-size adults aboard.

And, if you happen to venture on to a dirt road, you can lock in gravel model with the drive selector for sure-footed handling.

Although the CVT seems happier with the larger engine, it still dozes off too easily.

It never feels like it’s in a state of readiness. If for example you need to accelerate quickly, say to overtake another car, it takes a second or two for the car to get with the program and this can be annoying.

We were excited however to find this model includes satellite navigation, but it’s not a particularly user-friendly system.

Also equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, It begs the question why supply both if the aforementioned systems are supposed to provide this functionality in other models?

The unit in our vehicle kept reverting to 2D instead of the 3D we had specified in settings, but it does keep you posted about the current speed limit and delivers speed camera warnings.

Drilling down through the system the settings aren’t comprehensive either.

Other niggles include the lack of digital speed display and no separate knob for audio volume control (you have to go looking for the steering wheel controls).

The second row seats are smallish, but there is plenty or room in the back and air outlets for back seat passengers.

Third row which packs flat is for small children only.

The tailgate in this one is also power operated, but responded sporadically to key fob instructions.

Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.2L/100km using standard unleaded.

We’d love to tell you exactly what we got, but of course like other Mitsubishi models the trip computer keeps resetting itself every time you get back in and drive the car.

We can tell you however that it got 6.2L/100km on the journey to return the car.

This model can also tow a 1600kg load.

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What we like?

  • 7-year warranty
  • Satellite navigation
  • Value for money
  • Rear air outlets
  • Power tailgate

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What we don’t like?

  • Awkward, gated shift selector
  • Bloody trip computer
  • Where did the hell did they get the satnav from?

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The bottom line?

Mitsubishi knows its stuff.

It builds realistically priced cars for real people, and in the case of Outlander, there’s a version that caters to just about every taste and budget.

There is however a space between Outlander and Pajero Sport in the lineup for something larger and cheaper.

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CHECKOUT: Mitsubishi’s plug and play hybrid

CHECKOUT: Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross: CVT the thing

 

Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed 2WD, priced from $43,290
  • 7.5/10
    Looks - 7.5/10
  • 7/10
    Performance - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Safety - 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    Thirst - 7.5/10
  • 8/10
    Practicality - 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    Comfort - 7.5/10
  • 7.5/10
    Tech - 7.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Value - 8.5/10
7.7/10

Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.