Review: Outlander - a crossover SUV with an elegant touch
Originally known as the Airtrek, in 2001, this crossover SUV which is very popular is England, is aiming to be a favourite among Jamaicans. After a name change in 2006, for the second-generation model, the Outlander has been making itself a formidable competitor in the SUV market. Despite not having an aggressive exterior design, it has received pleasant feedback from those who prefer a more subtle and clean look.
The front facia is adorned with chrome trimmings and Halogen headlamps with LED daytime running lights, that give it a very polished and unassuming appearance. It gives flexible performance when confronted with almost any situation. Think of it more as an all-rounder that does a little of everything at an acceptable level.
Now in its third generation, it's lighter than the previous model, which allows the two-liter engine to perform very well.
The fabric seats, which are wide enough for any body type, can manually adjust for height and back support, and even though there is no lumbar support, they were quite comfortable.
The interior, which is a mixture of black woodgrain, carbon fibre type material and leather, surely stands out from its competitors with its centre console design. Half of the dashboard is concaved towards the driver and ensures that the a/c vents are closer as well as angled towards the driver. This also means that all the main controls, particularly the ones on the infotainment system are easier to reach.
The infotaiment system has a 6.1 inch touch screen, and has a slight delay when operating but includes all the necessary functions. If you are not interested in searching through the menu for what you want, the physical buttons on the sides of the screen will eliminate this hassle.
I was happy to know that the six-speaker Rockford Fosgate system did not need any adjustment, as it delivered great audio quality from the start. As it pertains to pairing my phone via Bluetooth, it required some patience and assistance from a representative of the brand. Either way, the set-up does require some insight along with the assistance of the handbook.
The a/c coming from the dual-climate-control vents was very effective, as the fan speed was powerful, which is something front-seat passengers will appreciate. It would have been great if there were rear-a/c vents at the back of the centre bin, for the second and third row passengers.
The second-row seats feel a bit elevated for a better viewing angle and can recline for comfort while fitting three adults easily. Furthermore, with some tactful maneuvering they can be folded flat along with the third-row seats, creating a massive storage space.
Obviously, with a body this compact, the third-row seats, which can also fold down, can only be used by small children, preferably under five feet.
The driving experience
Driving 240 km on a round trip from Kingston to Portland only used up half-tank of gas, which is quite impressive for an SUV, considering I was using a/c all the way. I felt similar about the suspension which managed the uneven terrain, particularly through St Thomas quite confidently.
Even when I was going around corners, the body roll was minimal, thanks to the 4WD system, which can be adjusted by a button behind the gear lever. This gives the option to put the vehicle in 4WD eco, 4WD auto or lock the differential. In 4WD eco, the vehicle basically only puts power to the front wheel to save gas, which is suggested if you are driving round town.
Of course, many persons will be wondering about the sport mode, while there is no button to activate this, it can easily be simulated by engaging the wing-like paddle shifters when in drive mode. The size of the paddles makes it easily accessible and it makes the vehicle extremely responsive and fun to drive. To disengage the paddle shifters, simple pull and hold the right shifter until you see ‘D’ on the display screen in the gauge cluster.
While overtaking on a long and wide stretch of road, I was shocked to know that a two-liter six-speed transmission could perform so well. It found the desired gear easily and stayed in it until I chose to gear up, unlike other vehicles that gear up automatically without the driver’s consent. The only thing I would like to see in the next model is the stiffening of the steering when going at higher speeds.
What I like
Great audio system
Good fuel consumption
Very fun to drive with paddle shifters
No rear a/c vent
Pairing Bluetooth device comes with a learning curve
Year model: 2018
Engine size: 2.0L, 4WD
Hp: 145 PS
Transmission CVT, 6 speed Sports Mode
Type of suspension: (Front) MacPherson strut with coil springs and stabilizer bar (Rear) Multi link with coil springs and stabilizer bar
Competitors: Honda CRV, Nissan X-Trail
Weight: Curb weight – 1425kg
Dealer’s comment on the vehicle - The Mitsubishi Outlander is built for family versatility and flexibility. It is for expanding families, parents and persons alike who need a roomy vehicle to carry up to seven passengers. It is also for the individual that requires a practical vehicle that allows them to utilise the extra cabin and cargo space that they need for their lifestyle.
Auto rain sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers
7 airbags including one for driver's knee
Factory installed premium security alarm system
Cost of the one option available (Total and monthly cost): $5.85m ($84,682.28 monthly with 10 per cent deposit over seven years)