I’ve this vehicle for more than 2 years now and recently it went in for maintenance at the 40,000 Kilometer mark. A lot of people keep asking me about this particular model so I guess writing a review would be the logical thing to do.
First off I’ll get the specs out of the way so that I can concentrate on the more important things like user experience, driving and handling and creature comforts.
Body: Monocoque chassis, running gear based on the new generation Lancer and EVO
Engine: 2.4 Liter MIVEC (Similar to Honda’s VTEC system of dual profile cams for optimum performance)
Transmission: CVT with manual option that lets you select 6 preset gear ratios
Drive: Selectable 4 wheel drive with a LOCK option. Its not a differential lock but rather sends more than 50% torque to the rear wheels in case of ‘sticky situations’
First impression: The first thing you notice is that the entry and exit from the vehicle is surprisingly effortless. Its not low like a sedan and not too high like an SUV and once you’re settled in you can make adjustments to the seat and steering to get that perfect setup. The leather covered steering wheel and gear lever is a joy to hold and texture feels great.
Driving: The small steering wheel is great for attacking corners and the well balanced chassis gives you a lot of confidence, the only weak point here are the tires (Yokohama Geolanders) which come standard. The roof is made from Aluminium which further brings down the Center of Gravity (CoG) and thus you get a lot less body-roll in the corners. The engine develops just under 170 BHP which is sufficient to make a fast getaway at traffic lights and cruise comfortably with 5 adults on board. The MIVEC kicks in after about 3,500 RPM so if you use the manual transmission mode you can use the surge of power in each gear 😉 The CVT transmission works fine and doesn’t have the ‘jerk’ when changing ratios like other automatics. Using the Magnesium Paddle Shifters are fun but if you’re feeling lazy just leave it in full-auto.
1. Fully automatic climate control
2. 6 CD changer with MP3 and Id3 tag support
3. Felt-lined storage for your mobile or sunglasses
4. 5 cup-holders across the vehicle
6. Steering mounted controls for Audio System and Cruise Control
7. Illuminated glove box, upper storage compartment and center console storage
8. 12 volt power outlets in the boot and center console and another power outlet/cigarette lighter in the dash
Key-less entry and Ignition: This feature lets me enter the car and turn it on without ever taking the Transmitter/Key out of my pocket. In fact I’ve never used the key in more than 2 and half years. There are 3 proximity sensors in the car which senses when the owner is 70 centimeters near the car. The driver and passenger door have sensors inside the handle so all you have to do is gently place you hand on it and it unlocks the car. The rear tailgate also has a sensor and you have to squeeze the electronic lock to unlock it. Once you’re inside just turn the knob below the steering and it functions like a normal vehicle. To lock the car when leaving, just press the lock button on any of the handles and the car goes into ‘anti-theft’ mode. Despite my initial apprehension about this system it has worked fine since the day I’ve had it.
Rear passengers: The rear seats are split 60-40% to increase loading space based on your requirements and both seats are recline-able. You can also combine both front and rear seats together to make a HUGE recliner that’s perfect for sleeping in if you’re on a camping trip. It involves removing the head-rest of the front seat and I’ve only used this feature once.
Luggage space: I’m not sure about the volume of the boot in terms of Liters but its more than enough for the average family. I once picked up a colleague and his family when they came back from vacation and it held all their luggage with room to spare. While moving from my old apartment I managed to fit our 4 burner gas stove and even a small refrigerator, individually, in the back. The Outlander has a split level tail-gate that makes it easier to load heavy objects. Its supports up to 200 Kilograms so a couple of people can sit on it, but we mostly use the tailgate to hold the water-can and food when we go on picnics. The boot is covered by a retractable Tonneau cover that provides privacy for stuff you’re carrying.
OK, now for the stuff I don’t like about this car;
1. Standard tires suck
2. Mirrors do not fold electrically
3. Engine can be a little noisy at times, wind noise is also high on expressways
4. Factory installed tinted glass is very light, almost invisible
I think that’s about it for my review on the Mitsubishi Outlander.