Outlander's on-paper merits fail to outweigh the real-world flaws
This is the first time Mitsubishi has offered front-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive
Ride and handling is also below current class standards in Mitsubishi's big SUV
There's noticeably more torque steer and pronounced body roll than in any of the obvious rivals
2WD variant can't live up to its rivals standards
The 2.3-litre turbodiesel unit produces 174bhp at 3500rpm
Despite its entry-level status, it comes well equipped
What is it?
Of all the facelifted 2011 Mitsubishi Outlanders this is the most interesting and, as it turns out, also the best. This is the first time Mitsubishi has offered front-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive, which brings the price down to a very competitive sub-£23k when in this trim, and it comes well equipped despite its entry-level status.
What’s it like?
Being the best of the new Outlanders is still a long way from best in class. The new Mitsubishi-developed 2.3-litre motor (not yet available in the Citroen and Peugeot variants) offer plenty of power but a combination of awkward gearing and uneven power delivery too often leaves you outside the narrow torque band. This means you end up changing gear more often (also not pleasant given the notchy shift) than in other better set-up cars.
Ride and handling is also below current class standards in Mitsubishi's big SUV. In isolation it's perfectly acceptable - there's enough grip that this front-wheel drive car should keep most people moving away from four-wheel drive happy, and there is appeal in its unpretentious nature, good economy, and roomy seven-seat interior.
But there's noticeably more torque steer and pronounced body roll than in any of the obvious rivals, and though ride quality is acceptable in most situations it rarely settles at higher speeds, even on motorway surfaces.
Should I buy one?
The Outlander is unfortunately one of those cars that, at one point, was recommendable but the class has moved on and the revisions here are not enough to bring it up to speed. Its on-paper merits fail to outweigh the real-world flaws, and with such accomplished competition as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan Qashqai+2 available, the Outlander is unjustifiable next to the similarly priced rivals.
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.3 DI-D 2WD
Price: £22,799; Top speed: 124mph; 0-62mph: 9.7sec; Economy: 46.3mpg; Co2: 162g/km; Kerbweight: 1640kg; Engine type: 4cyl, 2268cc, turbodiesel; Power: 174bhp at 3500rpm; Torque: 280lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual