Mitsubishi Outlander Review: 2007 Model | Outlander | Car Buyers Guide

2007 Mitsubishi Outlander Review

Mitsubishi are quite clearly sick of being the whipping boy of the media. The problems the company has had are well documented and someone, somewhere inside Mitsubishi’s HQ is sick of it. This is most readily displayed by the company’s newfound ability to style a car properly. I’d forgotten that Mitsubishi sold an Outlander in Ireland and when I looked the thing up I wished I hadn’t. Aside from the half-MPV/half-SUV/all balls up styling, the Outlander was notable for having a 2.4 litre petrol engine as the only motor available to Irish customers.

In any given day in Dublin you will see more Aston Martin DB9s than Mitsubishi Outlanders. But check this out. The new Mitsubishi Outlander is smart, neat and even a touch aggressive from certain angles. It has good proportions, fine detailing and sits purposefully on the road with its big wheels and its low-slung nose. Climb inside and the interior, which Mitsubishi claims was partly inspired by motorbikes, is neatly laid out and very stylish with its deep dials, nice looking three-spoke steering wheel and high quality plastics.

There is plenty of space up front and in the back seats, while the two top upper-specification levels in Ireland, the Intense and Intense +, come with the option of a third row of seats. To be fair, I have seen them and if I needed to carry seven people I’d get an MPV because, while there is a load of room for luggage, putting people back there is a tall order. From here, the news gets better. Mitsubishi offers the Outlander with a 2 litre, 140bhp Volkswagen-sourced diesel engine thereby giving Mitsubishi Ireland half a chance of selling the things. I have to concede that I am not generally turned on by small SUVs, Crossovers or whatever the hell they’re called these days but to my surprise this thing isn’t a bad little car. On the rain-soaked Spanish roads we drove the car on, the Outlander displayed a noticeable tendency towards understeer.

When I enquired, the Mitsubishi people had to admit that they stuck the Outlander test vehicles on tyres better-suited to the dry conditions they were expecting, hence the understeer. The Outlander is based on the new global GS platform, which underpins next year’s Lancer and, from where I was sitting, the omens were good. The steering is sharp and accurate, offering a decent amount of feedback. Despite its tall stance it resisted body roll well. There is the underlying impression that someone in Mitsubishi drove a Ford or a Peugeot and was inspired. There is crispness and accuracy in the way that the Outlander changes direction and crests bumps that suggests Mitsubishi made a serious effort to endow the Outlander with decent dynamics.

As a driver’s car it has to be at, or at least near, the top of the class. The diesel engine certainly pulls the Outlander along well, as demonstrated by the 0-100km/h time of 10.8 seconds, but it does have a tendency to lag a bit at the lower end of the rev range. Driving around a particularly mountainous part of Spain, I found myself working the gearbox quite a bit to maintain momentum. It emits a curious ‘tappety’ noise when revved as well but it is smooth right the way through the rev range and offers up a constant stream of power when pressed. The gearbox is typically Mitsubishi, being both slick and accurate with smartly judged ratios. At speed the Outlander does a good job of repressing wind noise and tyre roar.

It is highly composed at speed and relaxed into the bargain. Mitsubishi led us to an off-road course to prove that the Outlander wasn’t just a pretty face. As it bounced around the rough terrain it impressed with its cosseting ride quality and high ground clearance. Again, the tyres conspired against us as overzealous use of the throttle saw the four tyres scrabbling for grip. This isn’t a failing of the car but there is no doubt that if you’re facing a serious bit of off-road driving you’d be better off in the Land Rover Freelander. In this regard the Outlander compares well against other soft-road cars and I wouldn’t be intimidated by a forestry track or a muddy field. Viewed in isolation, the Outlander is a fine effort.

A good, strong engine, an exceptionally fine chassis, nice interiors and handsome styling give the Outlander substantial showroom appeal. When compared to the opposition, the base €35,995 base price pitches it directly at the Toyota Rav4 and Nissan X-Trail. Against these, it still makes a strong case for itself with more all-road ability than the Toyota and sharper interiors than the Nissan. It’s a fine car and a good omen of things to come from Mitsubishi.


Mitsubishi Outlander Invite

Engine 1,968cc 4-cyl DI-D, 140bhp, 310Nm torque

Boot Capacity 771 litres

Acceleration 0-100km/h 10.8 seconds

Top speed 187 km/h  Price €35,995

Transmission: Six-speed manual, four-wheel drive

Economy: 6.7 litres/100km


Login to leave a comment

Login with Facebook Login with Twitter