Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi Outlander

That’s better. For me, the old Mitsubishi Outlander wouldn’t have won any prizes for beauty but the new one is sleeker with a more elegant look and feel to it.

And, it’s attracting attention in a good way. It has been a while since I’ve been approached by someone wanting to give a test car the ‘once-over’. But that’s what happened during the test week. The seven seats and interior checked out, impressed by the size, space and quality of the car, he went away, a happy man, in search of a Mitsubishi dealership.

Now classed as an SUV2, the new Outlander is based on the Pajero Evo concept. It sits on Mitsubishi’s first ever, global platform, which was developed in conjunction with Daimler Chrysler. It also forms the basis of the Peugeot 4007 and Citroen C-Crosser. It looks big, hefty and capable of dealing with family life and the great outdoors but we are told that actually has a smaller footprint than a BMW 5 series, a Passat and a Mondeo but with more seats, of course. Competitors for your favour in this segment are listed as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV 4, Land Rover Freelander 2, Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-TRAIL - the Outlander compares favourably with most of them.

The front end features a rounded, curved bonnet, similar to that of the Nissan Murano and necessary for a good pedestrian safety score. Below this is a large bumper with integrated grille and protective panel that combines to remind me of Churchill’s (the dog) mouth. Actually, Mitsubishi call it a ‘Mount Fuji’ grille.

However, it is at the rear end where the biggest improvements have been made. Wrap-around LED lights are just part of the attractive solution. Pretty as they are, I was more impressed by the thoughtful, split tailgate. In most cases a split tailgate means that the glazed area can be opened separately but in the Outlander’s case, it is just the middle section of the deep, rear bumper that opens independently of the large, lifting door. It doesn’t mean that you can slide in luggage, as the main door has to be opened first. The difference is that the lowered bumper offers a load platform, impromptu seat and makes it easier to raise or lower the third row.

Published : 15/07/07 Author : Melanie Carter

Mitsubishi Outlander News

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