In the Equippe model, the engine returns 42.8mpg on the combined cycle (40.9mpg in the Warrior and Elegance models) and posts a tax-effective CO2 figure of 174g/km (183g/km for the Warrior and Elegance models). Towards the end of the year, the powertrain line-up will be bolstered by the arrival of a more powerful 154bhp 2.2 turbo diesel four-cylinder engine as well as the first iteration of Mitsubishi's 'World Engine', an all-new 168bhp 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developed in collaboration with DaimlerChrysler and Hyundai Motor Company. It will come with a six-speed CVT constantly variable transmission as standard.
The Outlander's cabin design reflects its sporting aspirations, with a number of motorcycle motifs like its deeply cowled instruments and the arching centre console that's reminiscent of a motorbike's fuel tank. Particular attention has been paid to the quality of the plastics, leathers and fabrics used, and their fit and finish.
Outlander will offer an outstanding degree of packaging flexibility. At 4640mm long, 1800mm wide and 1680mm high (1720mm with roof rails) Outlander casts a smaller shadow than many traditional family estates, while still offering a spacious and well proportioned five-seater cabin with generous head, leg and shoulder room. A split tailgate, capable of supporting 200kg, provides easy access to the large and regularly shaped 541-litre boot, which can be extended to a vast 1691-litres with the second row of seats folded away.
Outlander owners won't have to follow any complicated routines to fold down the seats - by holding down a small button secreted in the side of the boot for three seconds, the second row seats electrically flip forward to create a flat load bay for accommodating larger objects. This feature is standard on all derivatives. This versatility is further boosted on Warrior and Elegance models by Mitsubishi's innovative 'Hide&Seat' third row of seats, which lies beneath the floor of the boot. When two further seats are needed, they simply fold out from the boot floor to create a third row of seats, complete with integrated head rests, turning the five-seater Outlander into an occasional seven-seater as and when needed.
As with all Mitsubishi vehicles, the new Outlander will combine generous levels of standard luxury and safety specifications with an aggressive pricing policy. The model line-up starts with the £19,449 Equippe, which comes with twin front airbags, air conditioning, keyless entry, six-speaker CD/MP3 player, ASTC Active Stability and Traction Control safety system, electric windows and mirrors, and rear spoiler as standard.
To this, the £21,999 Warrior adds, among other features, 18inch alloy wheels, 'Hide&Seat' folding third row seats, side and curtain airbags, a striking body kit, cruise control, Bluetooth handsfree telephone kit and a leather-covered steering wheel and gearlever. The flagship Elegance model adds heated leather seats, sunroof, satellite navigation complete with its own 30GB music server and hard disc drive for high speed data access, DVD player and a nine-speaker 650W Rockford FosgateTM Premium Sound System, as well as numerous other standard features.
Mitsubishi expects to sell around 5,600 Outlanders in the UK within the first 12 months of sales - some 10% of the annual UK mid-sized SUV market. At 60%, the Warrior range will account for the bulk of sales, with the Elegance model appealing to 30% of buyers and the remainder opting for the budget-conscious Equippe.Published 17 December 2006