The Mitsubishi Outlander rolls considerably in corners, but progressively and linearly, while the steering is nicely weighted and not without feel. At its limit the Outlander simply starts to understeer before ESP intervenes to rein it in.

It’s all safe and predictable, but it’s not as dynamic or engaging as its best rivals. A Toyota RAV4 feels more overtly keen to be driven, a Land Rover Freelander is happier to change direction and a Honda CR-V is far more adept, engaging and enjoyable overall. 

A CR-V or Freelander both feel much more sophisticated

The Outlander does brake well though; its 60-0mph time of 2.69sec is on a par with any other car in the class and its brakes resisted fade well (albeit in cold, wet conditions) at our test track. 

But it’s at its best on asphalt. The ride is generally composed: soft enough to maintain comfort, but sufficiently well damped to retain body control on more demanding roads. It’s a compromise that generally works, though the low-speed ride could be better. It’s about equal to a Hyundai Santa Fe, but a CR-V and Freelander both feel much more sophisticated.