Specced-up Outlander SE adds more value to the range

Our Verdict

Mitsubishi Outlander 2007-2012
This Mitsubishi has tapped into the search for a guilt-free SUV

The Mitsubishi Outlander is geared more for on- than off-road use, but does it come up with the goods?

What is it?

Mitsubishi’s honest Outlander SUV has been launched in SE trim (and even glitzier GSE), which works like a special edition, offering bags of extra kit for the same cash. The Outlander is now three years old, around the time when a range is due for a spruce up, and as such Mitsubishi is feeling generous.

Effectively it has taken a basic 2.0 Di-D Equippe and thrown in 18-inch alloys, Bluetooth, cruise control, privacy glass, extra airbags, and a third row of seats. The GSE gets leather seats and a DVD player for another £1500.

What’s it like?

Not bad at all. Amid a market saturated with flashy, road-orientated SUVs, it would be easy to write off the Mitsubishi as a bit crude, but this may be missing the point. The interior is plasticky, admittedly, but the air con, which uses the same controls as an Evo, works well, the fabric seats are comfortable and everything has a rugged, hard-wearing feel to it.

The biggest letdown is the driving position, which is borrowed straight from the Warrior pick-up. The leather wheel doesn’t adjust for reach leaving the driver in a peculiar slumped position over the wheel. Space is better than you’d think, especially in the second row of seats, and the third row is handy, if a little flimsy feeling.

On the road the Mitsubishi is also more sophisticated than you may think. There is a little bounce to the suspension, but the secondary ride is impressive for this type of vehicle. The VW-sourced diesel has an old school rattle at first but on the road this disappears and the Outlander makes a decent fist of some level of refinement.

On the Mitsubishi website it says the “brakes, suspension and aluminium roof (for a low centre of gravity) are all borrowed from Mitsubishi's iconic Lancer Evolution”. This isn’t strictly true, as the press office told me the set-up had in fact been tested on an Evo but no parts are shared, but nevertheless it must have had some effect. The Outlander’s handling is tidy, body roll being kept to a minimum and decent levels of grip for this type of car.

Should I buy one?

If you are fed up with your soft-roaders not being hard enough then the Outlander may be worth a look. It’s a bit more rough and ready and less suited to urban driving than some of its competitors, but it’s nice to know this kind of four-wheel drive still exists in this segment.

Ollie Stallwood

Join the debate


7 October 2009

This car is quite bland and unremarkable, but the previous generation Outlander was a much more interesting car; it's a shame they didn't follow that path.

7 October 2009

[quote JackB]

This car is quite bland and unremarkable, but the previous generation Outlander was a much more interesting car; it's a shame they didn't follow that path.
[/quote]I agree. The previous one was actually quite good. Also there has been a major facelift of the Outlander recently- it now has an Evo snout grafted on.

7 October 2009

One thing I hate about Japanese cars is the interior !!!!, why do they still make such plasticky, cheap feeling, poor quality interior. They can make some of the worlds best cars (GTR, Supra, Celica LS) etc but still struggle with interior quality. Toyota are the worst offenders, if you have ever driven a previous generation corolla (01-07) you will no what i mean, in hot days the interior would burn your hands !!!!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka