Test Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 DI-D 4WD Auto image

The new generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander has been officially unveiled back in 2012 and now we’ve take the model for a ride.

Engine and Transmission
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander is being offered with a choice of two engines, the 2.0 liter MIVEC petrol with 150 HP and the 2.2 liter Di-D diesel, which is producing the same 150 HP. Even if the carmaker says this is a 2.2 liter unit, the displacement stands at 2,268 cc. The 150 HP are being produced at 3,500 rpm and the 380 Nm are available from just 1,750 rpm. The model we tested came with a six-speed automatic transmission which, even if it’s not the most efficient when it comes to changing gears, it manages to do its job properly and it won’t make you go mad over not choosing the manual version.

And speaking of a manual version, you must know that Mitsubishi is also offering some paddle shifters placed behind the steering wheel, made from aluminum, which come in quite handy when you want some “over boost” but you don’t want to wait that critical second between pushing the throttle all the way and more power kicking in. If you want the automatic mode to come in once again, you can hold the right paddle shifter (+) for a few seconds or you can go the hard way and shift into Neutral and than into Drive again.

When compared to the previous generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander, which we tested last year, the new model seems more agile, and this is mainly because the torque figure has increased and the large body isn’t feeling that large anymore, so the company gets a big plus in this section, even if the HP figure has went down significantly.

Fuel Consumption
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 Di-D Automatic is a hungry beast and even if the carmaker says that the average fuel consumption stands at just 5.8 L / 100 km, and in the 4WD Eco mode and with the Eco mode switched on in the climate control, the average fuel consumption indicated stood at an average 8 L / 100 km.

On the highway, with cruise control set on 120 km/h, the trip computer indicated 8.2 L / 100 km, which is enormous compared to the times we are living in and taking into consideration that this is a new generation equipped with a diesel engine. Once you will enter a crowded city, the fuel consumption figure will easily get passed 11 L / 100 km and it can even go up to 13 L / 100 km, and this without trying to get your daily dose of adrenalin.

The model we tested wasn’t equipped with the Auto Stop&Go, the carmaker’s own version of the already classic Stop / Start. So if you want fuel efficiency in this model, go for the manual version and ask your Mitsubishi dealer for the Auto Stop&Go, even if you will have to drop some other “goodies” in order to get these.

The Ride
The new Outlander generation is surprisingly comfortable even if it was developed to be used in some mild off-roading and its suspension system won’t try and rip your kidneys off, especially if you’re seating on the front seats, because in the rear, passengers may get shaken just a bit. Just like on the old model, the comfortable suspension system will be transformed into one which will let you feel the terrain, making you comfortable to push the vehicle more and more once the road will end.

The Mitsubishi Outlander’s new generation kept its handling compared to the previous model and while cornering, you can “cross your heart and hope to die” swearing with your right hand on the Bible that you’re driving the old model. This déjà vu feel kicks in all over the place even if the company’s designers and engineers have done a good job in creating the new SUV.

Interior Design
The cabin of the new Outlander has been completely redesigned, starting from the dashboard and ending with the buttons, which don’t look like they’re coming from a Peugeot anymore. Well, at least not from an old Peugeot, and this is, again, a big plus. The instrument cluster may have a similar design to the old model, but this will make you feel like home, if you’re an Outlander fan. The driving position is good, the interior space is excellent, one of the best in its segment, you get leather upholstery on the high end version and some carbon fiber wannabe plastic which offers a styling plus.

The new Mitsubishi Outlander, in the high end version, is equipped with a folding display which has a modern graphic, a RockfordFosgate sound system which is more than enough to make you hate modern singers and a lot of safety gizmos, like the Lane Departure Warning system, which has to be turned off manually every time you turn on the engine, adaptive cruise control, which is either making the vehicle brake 50 meters from the car in front of you, even if it has two selecting modes, “Far Mode” and “Close Mode”, and the setting selected was the last one, or it doesn’t brake at all and then you will find out that you have small hair in areas in which you couldn’t possibly believe hair can grow. So if you like using the cruise control, this will definitely make you go mad.

Besides these downs, the new Outlander also has its ups, like the front-seat heaters, with two modes, the dual-zone climate control, the electric tailgate, which is a relief if you don’t like physical labor, a lot of airbags for when the cruise control will fail and your right foot will miss the brake pedal and so on.

The new Outlander is also coming with features like the Bluetooth, USB, satellite navigation system, which will sometimes show you parallel to the road, active stability control, some brilliant xenon headlights and two extra seats in the trunk, for when your children will misbehave, because no adult will be able to sit there comfortably, unless he’s small enough to fit in the glovebox. And speaking of the glovebox, Mitsubishi isn’t offering a cooled version for the model we tested so your sodas will have to stay warm. This is a safety measure because your throat will won’t get ill, so I bet Euro NCAP will add this new “rule” over the following years.


Safety

Euro NCAP has rated the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander with 5 stars, with 94 percent in Adult Occupant protection, 83 percent in Child Occupant, 64 percent in Pedestrian safety and 100 percent in Safety Assist. The model tested was the 2.2 diesel which weighed 1,495 kg.

Likes / Dislikes
The new generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander looks and feels more like a facelift, despite being actually a completely new vehicle. It seems like once the second-gen was designed, the bosses from Mitsubishi had two choices and one left aside is now making its way into dealerships.

Talking to a few owners of the previous generation, I found out that they prefer their rides over to the new Outlander and this is a big question mark for Mitsubishi, who will have to do something soon to regain their hearts.

A big dislike goes to the fuel consumption which is huge compared to the official figures. Another one goes to the adaptive cruise control, which has a mind of its own, and to the Lane Departure Warning system, which has to be turned off every time you step inside the vehicle.

The seat aren’t offering any side support, the gearshift lever is too low, the steering column isn’t sliding enough backwards, the rain sensors don’t work, but don’t worry because they are useless in almost every vehicle out there, and the sat-nav has some issues. Let’s not forget the trip computer button, which is hidden on the dashboard, on the left, behind the steering wheel.

On the plus side, the automatic transmission works just like it should, you get steering wheel aluminum paddle shifters for when you want to play Schumacher, you get an electric operated tailgate, a fresh design in the cabin, a sunroof with a wind deflector, a lot of legroom for the rear passengers even with the front seats pulled all the way back at the touch of a button, a wonderful sound system with a subwoofer mounted in the trunk and a 4WD selector, which is letting you choose your driving mode, 4WD, 2WD Eco and Lock.

The climate control also has an Eco button, which will help you save some fuel. The interior design is a welcome refresh compared to the one on the old model but I’m afraid I can’t say the same about its exterior lines which, even if they bring a retro feel with the chrome parts, they make the Outlander look like a facelift and not like a new generation. Perhaps it’s just a matter of time until when current Outlander owners will give up their rides and buy the new one.

Price
22,300 EUR for the base version
41,000 EUR for the model we tested