The brash new Mitsubishi Outlander is already a success story for the brand, luring in buyers who want more than just sharp value-for-money.
That’s not just our two-cents: Mitsubishi says its dealers took more than 4000 orders in the first 25 days of sales. That’s serious volume.
Here we take a look at the top-of-the-range variant – the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer.
The flagship Outlander costs $49,990 before on-road costs, which at the minute equates to an advertised national drive-away price of $53,490.
That retail price is $6000 higher than the previous-generation Outlander petrol flagship’s RRP.
You can read a break-down of the whole Outlander range here. The line-up kicks off at $34,490 and there are five specification variants, of which Exceed Tourer is the top.
Size-wise, the 4710mm long Outlander actually closer in length to a Hyundai Santa Fe (60mm shorter) than a RAV4 (95mm longer). This allows the Mitsubishi to once again offer the occasional-use third seating row that folds away.
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander pricing:
- ES 2WD: $34,490
- ES AWD: $36,990
- LS 2WD: $37,990
- LS AWD: $40,490
- Aspire 2WD: $41,490
- Aspire AWD: $43,990
- Exceed AWD: $47,990
- Exceed Tourer AWD: $49,990
All prices exclude on-road costs
This is the flashiest Outlander, with blingy 20-inch wheels and two-tone paint.
Other exterior highlights include:
- Auto-levelling adaptive LED headlights
- LED tail lights
- LED daytime running lights
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Auto-dipping side mirrors with memory
- Roof rails
- Privacy glass
- Powered tailgate
- Panoramic sunroof
Inside there are “high grade” leather seats which for, both front occupants, are heated, powered, have memory presets, and even offer massage functions controlled with a small button near the other seat controls.
Other interior features include:
- Proximity key access
- Three-zone climate control
- 360-degree parking camera
- Parking sensors front/rear
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- Projecting head-up display
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Electric park brake switch
Entertainment is controlled via a 9.0-inch touchscreen, and comprises :
- Apple CarPlay (wireless)
- Android Auto (wired)
- Traffic sign recognition
- Digital radio
- 2 x USB-A and 2 x USB-C
- Wireless charger
- 10-speaker Bose audio system
Oddly enough, the Exceed Tourer only comes in two colours combinations: the White Diamond with Black Mica roof pictured here, or Black Diamond with a Deep Bronze roof. Other Outlander grades offer more choices.
The Outlander does not yet carry an ANCAP crash test score, which we are awaiting eagerly.
But, the left-hand drive model was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the American IIHS test body, which is a sound guide for what to expect.
It’s certainly well-equipped with safety features, which include basic such as front, front-side, and full curtain airbags, plus a driver’s knee airbag and a front-centre airbag. The middle seat row has two ISOFIX anchor points and three top-tether restraint points.
Driver assist features include forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist functions, driver attention alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure alert that also vibrates the steering wheel and uses electric wheel braking to nudge the vehicle back into line.
The absence of a lane-centring aid with steering overrides is a little unusual, but the one-side braking does noticeably change the car’s course, should you ignore numerous chimes and buzzes telling you that you’ve strayed beyond your lane.
This is quite unlike the typical basic, simple, kind-of dated Mitsubishi interior.
The wheel and seats use perforated leather, and there are lashings of tan padded touch-points and stitching, a diamond-patterned door inlay, knurled knobs and damped switches, and metallic-look transmission tunnel trimmings.
Snoop below the immediate surfaces and you’ll still find some cheaper trims, and neither the door trims or centre console lid have the sort of bolted-on solidity of something with a Volkswagen badge. We’d also love to banish all that piano black trim, and the button ‘blanks’.
However it’s clear that Mitsubishi has placed real effort on making this interior its plushest to date.
The democratic front layout means both occupants get seat heating, a full array of powered movements, and subtle back massagers that still help out on long trips, as my partner and I found.
Behind the wheel – with telescopic and tilt adjustments – is a large digitised instrument cluster with bright colours and sharp graphics, helped by a big head-up display projecting on the windscreen.
Perhaps of most use, you can view the sat-nav map in the instruments as well as via the centre screen, and you can also see turning instructions via the HUD. This means your eyes stay on the road.
The 9.0-inch centre touchscreen has up-to-date processing speed and graphics, the wireless phone mirroring and Bluetooth works snappily, and the ramped-up Bose sound system offers surround-sound.
There’s also a USB-C and a USB-A point, and a wireless phone charging pad.
There’s plenty of storage in all the right places including a decent console, flexing door bins, a single glovebox, an open phone cubby below the climate control (lovely knurled dials for this, too), and a sunglasses-holder.
The middle seating row is capacious enough for my 194cm frame in work boots to fit happily behind my own driving position, although the sunroof does rob taller occupants of some headroom.
The seats slide on a 60:40 basis on rails (larger section on the left-hand side) and tilt, while the centre section pulls downwards to open up a centre loading port, and to serve as cupholders and an armrest.
There are copious amenities including rear outboard heated seat bases, crisp reading lights, damped grab handles, rear air vents with temperature controls, pull-up sun blinds, triple divided seatback pockets, and USB (one A and one C) points.
The majority of Outlander variants, unlike many direct competitors, feature a third row of seating, technically making it a seven-seater. Just don’t go thinking this is a Toyota Kluger rival.
Access comes via the kerbside. The larger portion of the split middle bench tilts and slides forwards with one pull, revealing two pokey seats (with adjusting headrests) that are best saved for occasional use, preferably by kids.
When not in use, said headrests are stowed in a plastic tub below the loading floor alongside the jack and above the space-saver spare wheel, and the seat backs fold flat and level. The boot in this configuration stows 478 litres to the top of the seatback, 64L less than the RAV4.
The cargo space measures 974mm long, 1156mm wide at its narrowest point, and 870mm high. Payload, meaning the weight of all occupants and all other gear on board, is 595kg maximum.
Pull the lever in the side of the cargo area and the middle-row seats fold flat, opening up a load space behind the front seats that’s 1700mm in length.
|Boot behind 3rd row||163L|
|Boot behind 2nd row||478L|
It’s a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol unit (supplied by partner Nissan and used on the new 2022 X-Trail that remarkably hasn’t launched in Australia yet) with four cylinders that runs on 91 RON petrol.
It outputs 135kW of power at 6000rpm and 245Nm of torque at 3600rpm, is mated to a CVT automatic with eight stepped shift points to feel more like a conventional auto, and uses a claimed 8.1 litres of fuel every 100km. The tank measures 55L.
It also comes standard at this spec level with all-wheel drive, sexed up with numerous new traction modes. It runs Mitsubishi’s clever Super All Wheel Control (SAWC) setup that we’ll detail in the next bit.
There’s no turbo, no diesel, and no hybrid – though an improved new plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) will arrive in the first half of 2022.
|Engine||2.5-litre naturally aspirated, 4-cyl petrol|
|Power||135kW @ 6000rpm|
|Torque||245Nm @ 3600rpm|
|Configuration||All-wheel drive (S-AWC)|
|Our 0-100km/h||9.9 seconds|
The upside of having a naturally-aspirated petrol engine with a CVT is the predictable response, with steady throttle control making it a smooth car in urban traffic.
The downside is less mid-range torque than the smaller-displacement turbos in many competitors, meaning it becomes louder and offers less urgency under heavy load.
A 10-second 0-100km/h time is neither glacial nor rapid, and engine performance is just… fine. Mitsubishi does a decent CVT, with eight programmed or stepped points that make it sound and feel more like a conventional auto.
My average fuel consumption was 9.0L/100km, about 10 per cent above the ADR claim which is within the bounds of acceptability. It cannot match the RAV4 Hybrid’s efficiency, as you’d imagine.
Mitsubishi Super All Wheel Control active and variable all-wheel drive (AWD) with hydraulically-activated direct coupling is a good system that goes beyond the half-arsed token efforts we see in some rivals, and can also pinch-brake each wheel individually.
A chunky feeling rotary dial lets you scroll through six different traction or surface modes, called Tarmac (sports mode, with a sharpened drivetrain feel), Gravel, Snow, Mud, Eco, and Normal, aka default.
It’s a soft-roader only, but clearance is 210mm and there’s a down-hill assist mode.
The new platform has MacPherson strut front suspension and a multi-link rear, electric power steering, and the 20-inch wheels with 255/45 Bridgestone Ecopia tyres are stopped by ventilated front disc brakes with 350mm rotors, and solid 330mm rear discs.
The steering is suitably non-resistant and light, making it simple to use in town, and the body control and handling is pretty benign. The ride quality over short, sharp crags and corrugations degrades, and the dampers could better control on rebound.
In short, dynamically it’s about average, with the exception of its all-wheel drive setup. You buy this vehicle for its design, cabin and tech more than its dynamics.
|Front suspension||MacPherson strut|
|Front brakes||350mm disc|
|Rear brakes||330mm disc|
The Outlander has a five-year/100,000km warranty as standard, but it’s extended to 10 years and 200,000km if you service in the Mitsubishi dealer network using its capped-price service program.
To its credit, Mitsubishi’s dealer servicing prices are very reasonable – only the super-cheap to service RAV4 and CR-V compete – and the intervals of 12 months/15,000km are well spaced out.
The first five visits at currents rates will each set you back a quoted $199 a pop, the sixth service (at six years or 90,000km) spikes to $499, before the seventh reverts to $199, then the eighth is again $499, the ninth $199, and the tenth due at 150,000km or a decade is $799.
The new Outlander is a commendable effort, and immediately revitalises Mitsubishi’s showroom.
In terms of practicality, technologies and running costs, it’s up there with the class leaders, although neither its engine refinement or ride comfort are quite as well-sorted as the class leaders. Nor can its fuel economy match the RAV4 Hybrid top-seller.
I don’t think the Exceed Tourer is the one to buy though, with the Aspire all-wheel drive striking me as a better value equation.
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