Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0L: Affordable and capable

By THOMAS HUONG | 7 March 2019


Compared with the 2.4-litre variant, the 2.0-litre Mitsubishi Outlander sports utility vehicle (SUV) serves the more budget conscious buyer and offers plenty of creature comforts.

The 2.4-litre variant will cost you an extra RM15,000 and set you back some RM152,888 but you get more motoring power and extra kit like Auto LED Projector with Auto Levelling, Electronic Tailgate, Aerodynamic Rear Spoiler, a space saving Electronic Parking Brake with Auto Hold Assist, Paddle Shifters, 8-way Power Adjustable (Driver) seat, auto-dimming Rear View Mirror, and a sunroof.

That is a lot of equipment for an extra RM15,000 but not every one wants a higher capacity engine or view more cabin comforts as a necessity. To recap, the locally assembled offers a refined drive quality, a spacious seven-seater cabin, and a host of premium comfort features as well as four-wheel drive with automatic and lock modes via a convenient round dial or button control.

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Unlike the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport, which uses the Triton pick-up truck’s platform, the Outlander is based on a car-like monocoque architecture for better handling and comfort, and reduced weight.

Exterior

The Outlander uses Mitsubishi Motors’ Dynamic Shield front design which gives it a dynamic and powerful look, and a head-turning on-road presence. It exudes an athletic presence, especially with the LED Day Time Running Lights (DRL), roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels and body-wide chrome trim.

The Outlander has a sporty character and the muscular, dynamic-looking front end maximises its visual presence on the road.

Interior

The cabin is a comfortable cocoon with an elegant feel, and the material quality as well as the fit and finish looks premium. The design is also impressively functional, with all the buttons and switches laid out without looking too cluttered.

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A glaring omission is rear air-conditioning vents (also not found in the 2.4-litre variant) but our rear passengers never complained about this as the dual-zone climate control air-conditioning system is quite powerful. You also get a traditional hand brake instead of a space saving Electronic Parking Brake.

We also like the 7-inch touchscreen display mated to a six-speaker audio system that provides crisp sound quality.

Practicality

The 7-seater Outlander offers a very roomy cabin, with a best-in-class 1,608 litres of space (both rear rows folded) which gives you room to put in up to four golf bags or a single-bed mattress. The rear seats can be reclined for more comfort, while the third row seats fold flat.

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To charge your smartphones, we found two USB ports front occupants and another USB port in the centre storage box between the front seats, which also has a 12V socket. There’s another 12V socket next to the third-row seats. To store drinks and small items, there are two cupholders in front and bins on all four side doors.

A push-button to close the electric tailgate provides more convenience. The Outlander is well designed in providing plenty of cargo room and sporty functionality for families, weekend warriors and active, outdoorsy people.

Safety

Key safety features are:

Anti-lock braking system (ABS), seven airbags, Electronic brake distribution, Brake assist, Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control, Hill-Start Assist, Rest Reminder, ISOFIX tethers, Driving video recorder, All-Round Monitor (ARM), Rear view camera, Security and solar film, Disc brakes (front and rear), Parking Sensors (front and rear)

Equipment

Automatic halogen projector headlamps with Manual Levelling, LED Daytime running lights, Automatic wipers, Engine push-start button, Dual zone climate control air-conditioning, 7-inch Touchscreen Audio with CD, MP3, USB and Bluetooth, Air Gesture Control and Apple Car Play, Six speakers, Minato leatherette seats, Multi-select 4WD system, 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels

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Performance

Under the hood is the reliable 2.0-litre Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control (MIVEC) engine with 145PS and 196Nm of torque, mated to a fuel-efficient CVT transmission that we found to be efficient and responsive.

It is a mid-sized SUV with a 1,575kg kerb weight; so while it doesn’t feel underpowered when you are driving in a sedate manner, you would still wish for more grunt if you are in a hurry and constantly stepping hard on the accelerator pedal.

We kept the car in 4WD Eco drive mode most of the time, as we wanted better fuel economy. In 4WD Eco, the bias is on fuel economy and by default, torque is fed to the front wheels only until the car encounters slippery conditions, whereupon torque is split between front and rear wheels for better traction and stability.

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There are 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock drive mode options also. In 4WD Auto, the drivetrain performs according to driving conditions, and also provides smoother cornering performance. In 4WD Lock, more torque goes to the rear wheels, and is suitable for bad, rocky and muddy terrain.

Ride and handling

The Outlander has a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a multi-link rear and runs on Toyo Proxes R44 tyres sized 225/55 R18. We found driving the Outlander to be a refined and engaging experience, with a quiet cabin and very low levels of noise intrusion in the cabin.

The steering was responsive and precise, and the Outlander can handle well on road bends when you are in a sporty mood. The suspension is tuned for comfort, and this is an SUV that would be great for long-haul journeys.

Fuel consumption

Mitsubishi Motors claims a 13.7km per litre fuel consumption rating for the 2.0-litre Outlander (the 2.4-litre variant sips more at 13km per litre). With the 60-litre fuel tank, in theory, you can travel 822km before running dry.

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In reality, we travelled 467km on mixed highway and traffic-congested city routes over four days, with the trip meter showing 50km of travel distance remaining before the car will start telling us to refuel. As mentioned earlier, we kept it in 4WD Eco mode most of the time.

We are not exactly light-footed or patient drivers, and were quite impressed with the fuel-efficient nature of the Outlander.

Warranty

The Outlander is backed by a 5-year warranty, unlimited mileage.

Price

The SUV is yours for RM137,888 on-the-road without insurance (10% SST inclusive).

Summary

The 2.0-litre Outlander is well equipped with creature comforts and like the 2.4-litre model, comes across as a family-oriented SUV that provides a high level of driving refinement and comfort.

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Its 4WD system enables it to handle tough road conditions also. It has a fuel efficient powertrain that provides decent muscle.

Overall, the Outlander delivers a competent and well-kitted package with ample storage space and a roomy cabin. It offers seven seats in a package featuring cutting-edge four-wheel drive technology as well as abundant safety features, and should continue to compete strongly in its segment.

 

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