Garry Fabian road tests and reviews the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander LS.
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander represents a full redesign with a range of new features on offer for buyers looking for a nicely-sized five or seven-seat SUV.
With its sharply creased new exterior styling, the Mitsubishi Outlander was not designed to slip quietly through the school drop-off area.
The formula for a successful compact crossover is simple: plenty of space for passengers and their stuff, lots of adaptability and reasonable fuel economy. The Mitsubishi Outlander has pretty much always offered all that, though with the new model it’s a case of even more so.
I had a drive of the entry-level 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander LS and came away firmly in the knowledge that the new Outlander is among the roomiest crossover/SUVs in its class.
Naturally, the seven-seat models (which are all the more expensive 4×4 variants) loose some cargo space when the third row of seats are in the up position.
The standard list of features in the LS grade of Outlander is good, you get power windows, power mirrors that fold when the car is locked, a quality sound and climate control system, reverse camera and rear parking sensors.
Also, Mitsubishi will throw in 18” alloy wheels, roof rails, LED tail lamps and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. About the only options box you can tick is the $550 premium for pearl or metallic paint.
The Outlander’s fateful flaw however is its cabin. Although given a bit of a freshen-up for 2016, the interior is functional in a sporty sort of way yet doesn’t offer the premium aspect of competitors in this class.
The Mitsubishi’s third-row seat is another drawback. Billed as a compact crossover with seating for up to seven passengers. The area is cramped and the seat itself is not the most robust.
On a more positive note, its tail/lift gate combination is surprisingly useful. And the Outlander handles more like its quick-witted Lancer Evo relative than comparable cushy crossovers.
Under the bonnet of the LS is a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol that produces 110kW and 190Nm and transmission choice is either five-speed manual of six-speed CVT auto.
Though, if you don’t mind spending a little more then there is a 2.4 litre/AWD/auto version of the LS that gives you a healthier 124kW and 220Nm.
Fuel economy from the smaller engine is just 6.7L/100km on the combined cycle, the larger engine will use around 7.2L/100km.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the latest Mitsubishi Outlander is among the most enjoyable picks in its segment.
Its handling limits are noticeably higher than the typical crossover’s, its steering is pleasantly weighted and its suspension is tuned to deliver athletic handling that doesn’t come at the expense of comfort.
An added bonus, the all-wheel-drive system (if you opt for a model with it) ably keeps the car planted on loose road surfaces like sand and snow.
All grades of the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander feature a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; the updated Outlander looks sharper than its predecessors, it drives particularly well and can’t be faulted for value and standard features.
The interior is a bit of a letdown though, still I don’t think that will be too off putting for most buyers.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander LS
Engine: 2.0 litre petrol producing 110kW and 190Nm or 2.4 litre petrol producing 122kW and 220Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual or six-speed CVT automatic
Safety: Five stars
Price: LS Outlander from $28,490