2017 Mitsubishi Outlander LS road test and review…
Not much has changed in the intervening period in terms of style and specification except for an important safety inclusion.
Since the end of last year, the base model Mitsubishi Outlander LS now comes with a safety pack including land departure warning, blind spot warning with lane change assist, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision mitigation.
This is a significant addition especially for components like autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, are features we at Behind the Wheel feel should be standard in all vehicles.
Safety comes at a price though, bumping up the entry mark to $35,000 for the standard 5 seats which I test drove, or a thousand more for the full complement of 7 seats.
I said at the time of the launch, the look and design of the Outlander was dated and now two years on this is more pronounced.
The blocky and square body shape hasn’t kept up with current SUV designs but I guess it’s distinctly Mitsubishi Outlander.
The equally squarish dashboard is somewhat uninspired though practical and comprehensive with hard plastic panels, large buttons, and an average sized touchscreen with DAB+ but no sat nav.
I did notice a slight delay in station selection and with the digital radio system overall.
The driver’s side air vent is angled towards the driver adding to the bulky look and the gear shifter is either too short or too low in relation to the seat height.
However, there is an electric park brake with auto hold convenience and easy to operate 4WD selection with a nice big button next to it on the floor console.
The seats are average with loose fitting fabric upholstery, and while comfortable, aren’t overly bulky and well-padded especially in the slender rear seats but you do get decent headroom throughout the cabin.
Pockets for storage can be found throughout and a large glovebox is a welcome sight containing two partitions and there is under floor storage found in the well-sized boot.
The shortage of power makes for sluggish acceleration with the motor straining when pushed and the unresponsive CVT just compounds the problem.
Always a good pay off of lesser performance is better fuel economy at around 10L/100km after a week of test driving.
Suspension is compliant but the Outlander just misses any interesting driving dynamics and the rather skinny steering wheel doesn’t do much to enhance the feedback to the driver.
It’s a hard sell for Mitsubishi coming up against the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and Hyundai Tucson which all continue to go from strength to strength as it trails behind on monthly sales.
As it stands, the Mitsubishi Outlander feels like just another SUV, though the added safety pack does make it a better value proposition.
NUTS and BOLTS 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander LS
Engine: 2.4L petrol producing 124kW and 220Nm
Transmission: Six-speed CVT 4X4
Warranty: 5 Year/100,000km
Safety: Five Stars
Price: From $35,000