Mitsubishi Outlander has been upgraded in appearance by having alloy wheels and black-coloured roof rails

Mitsubishi Outlander has been upgraded in appearance by having alloy wheels and black-coloured roof rails

Well aware of the white heat of competition in medium SUV sales in Australia, Mitsubishi, one of the original players in the SUV field in Australia, has added features to its Outlander 4WD. Appearance changes are minimal – the fitment of18-inch alloy wheels and a black-coloured roof rail in all models – but equipment changes are generous.

The entry level Mitsubishi Outlander has what Mitsubishi tells us is $1500 worth of extras. These include reversing sensors, as well as a camera. Parking reference lines are shown on the central touch-screen. Mitsubishi’s Link audio system provides AM/FM radio, CD and MP3 player, Aux and USB inputs with full iPod control. There’s voice control by way of Bluetooth connectivity for media streaming and free phone use.

The mid-level Outlander LS now has the top spec Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS). It uses a larger 7-inch colour touch-screen than that in the base-level. Outlander LS also gets satellite navigation with 3D mapping functionality. There’s SD card input.

Also fitted as standard on the LS are automatic headlights and wipers. Mitsubishi tells us these additions to the Outlander LS represent $2500 added value.

Outlander Aspire, the topline model, has approximately $5750 worth of extra gear. The biggest addition is a sunroof. Other items include HID headlamps and a powered tailgate. Major safety technology in the Outlander Aspire are Forward Collision Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Mitsubishi Outlander received a major overhaul in its appearance just 12 months ago. This did away with what some said was too radical a shape of the previous Outlander, instead for a more elegant look. We must admit to having a preference for the older, bolder shape, but Mitsubishi is well aware it’s targeting conservative buyers so probably made the correct decision in going for a neater appearance.

It wasn’t just done for the sake of appearance – the co-efficient of drag was reduced from 0.36 to 0.33 to cut fuel consumption and emissions. Our review at the time commented on there being less interior noise because of the smoother flow of air over the body.

Inside, the new generation Mitsubishi Outlander has a neat design and uses materials of high quality. The front seats offer good space, the centre row has good legroom and the third row of seats, not fitted to all models, is better suited to children, though adults can use it without being overly cramped.

The centre-row seat folds flat in a single motion to add to luggage space. Previously, the seat was tumble-folded in two stages, the new arrangement adds significantly to the length of the cargo that can be carried.

Japanese Mitsubishi engineers teamed with Australians to fine tune the Outlander’s suspension and steering in this country – it’s always good to be taken seriously by overseas car makers.

Engines are 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol and 2.3-litre turbo-diesel. We find the smaller engine to have marginal performance, particularly if you have a load on board. The others are fine.

The Outlander has achieved an ANCAP safety rating of five stars. Active Stability Control is standard across the range and can recognise understeer and oversteer, then applies braking force to the diagonal wheel to assist in keeping the Outlander on-line through corners.

Mitsubishi Outlander has proven popular in Australia for many years and this upgraded new model for 2014 seems certain to keep up that tradition due to the increase in value it offers.

The complete 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander range is:
ES 2.0-litre petrol 2WD: $27,640 (manual), $29,890 (CVT)
ES 2.4-litre petrol AWD: $32,890 (CVT)
ES 2.0-litre petrol 2WD: $33,490 (CVT)
LS 2.4-litre petrol AWD: $36,490 (CVT)
LS 2.2-litre diesel AWD: $39,490 (automatic)
Aspire 2.4-litre petrol AWD: $43,790 (CVT)
Aspire 2.2-litre diesel AWD: $46,790 (automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Mitsubishi dealer for drive away prices.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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