The latest Outlander is handsome by the standards of mid-sized soft-roaders, although it’s a struggle to find any clear area of originality in its mostly derivative styling, the rear three-quarters looking very Lexus RX-like.
Britain's appetite for tough-looking Mitsus means that our top-spec Warrior and Elegance versions will have more chrome than the car you see here, and also a bull-bar.
The cabin is spacious and well finished – massively better than the cheap-feeling interior of the outgoing Outlander.
There's plenty of space for front- and rear-seat passengers, and both Warrior and Elegance come with fold-flat third-row seating – a flimsy extra pew that can be magicked from the boot floor. Though impressive on paper, it's far from a proper seven-seater; the third row is cramped and uncomfortable even by the limited standards of such things.
The top-spec Elegance boasts a very neat combined touch-screen sat-nav and music system. The nav’s fonts are a tad garish, but the audio gubbins actually rips CDs as they are played and stores their labelled tracks as MP3 files on the car's 30Gb hard drive. A great idea, it seems to work well in practice.
What’s it like?
Like the Grandis MPV and forthcoming Lancer saloon, the Outlander uses VW's 2.0-litre 138bhp diesel to reasonable effect, with a claimed 10.8sec 0-62mph and 116mph top speed.
It’s unfortunate, therefore, that the new motor is so noisy in its new home: loud under acceleration and still too noticeable at cruising speed. Performance is respectable, although poor low-down urge means that progress has to be stirred up via rather too much recourse to the slightly notchy six-speed gearchange.
No automatic diesel option is planned, although a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol/auto combo will come late next year. Better news is that, providing PSA and Mitsubishi ink the final deal, the excellent 156bhp 2.2-litre Pug diesel that powers the Freelander will also be offered from late next year.