⦁ Fast trip, off-roading – in comfort
⦁ Three drive modes with CVT ‘gearbox’
⦁ ‘Tough, rugged, but luxury on wheels’
PRETORIA, South Africa – Mitsubishi’s Outlander SUV, well into its current lifespan, has been treated to a freshening and some interior upgrades.
The big all-roader has been given many of the appearance features of the new ASX with a focus on the Outlander’s new grille/nose where two swathes of chrome lead from the outside edges of the diode headlights downwards and tapering into the lower fog lights.
“The effect is striking,” Mitsubishi says, “and creates a distinctive look characterised by the company’s new ‘Dynamic Shield’ design.” Judge for yourself from the image above.
“It still looks tough and rugged but the new chromed detail shows the Outlander’s status as a luxury crossover SUV.”
‘FRESH AND BOLD’
Chromed detailing around the tail lights is, the automaker says, there to create the impression that they also frame the Mitsubishi badge. The subtle effect is said to complement the frontal design.
Nic Campbell, Mitsubishi Motors’ general manager, told The Corner in a media release: “The Outlander is a luxury lifestyle vehicle in every sense of the word. It’s spacious, comfortable and stylish with all the features customers expect from a vehicle of this calibre.
“The design language gives it a fresh and bold appearance that truly illustrates the Outlander’s capabilities.”
The Outlander, at 4.7m, claims to be “notably longer” than its direct competitors so has more cabin space and, its maker says, “top of its segment among vehicles offering seven seats”.
The second and third rows of leather-upholstered seats can be folded flat, something standard on Mitsubishi SUVs, and the second row can slide 250mm back and forth for easy access to the third row from either side of the vehicle.
Standard is a Rockford Fosgate sound system with nine speakers, a 710W eight-channel high-power amplifier, and sub-woofer and rear passengers have a roof-mounted DVD player with a 23cm fold-down screen clearly visible from all seats in the second and third rows.
The sound can be transmitted thorough the sound system or cordless infra-red headsets.
While the folks are watching a movie the driver gets to play with a fully adjustable multi-function steering-wheel with gearshift paddles and voice-controlled hands-free Bluetooth phone functionality.
The touchscreen audio display is said to be user-friendly and a separate display screen ensures all vehicle information is available to the driver at a glance.
Above it all is a glass sunroof.
Auto headlights and screen wipers, dual-zone aircon and cruise control also take jobs away from the driver; using the huge boot space is made wasier with a power tail door.
Campbell again: “The new Outlander is the type of vehicle that meets any lifestyle – comfort for a long journey, the small luxuries that ease daily tasks. It’s the ultimate go-anywhere vehicle for the South African market.”
Mitsubishi’s body construction includes a steel protection cage around the cabin. The second line of defence is an array of seven crashbags and full IsoFix child-seat anchors. The SUV has a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP crash-testing.
Other safety features include stability and traction controls, anti-lock brakes with emergency pressure and (oh dear!) hill-start assistance.
Powering all this stuff and all four wheels through a six-step constantly variable transmission (with Sport mode) is a Mitsubishi 123kW / 222Nm 2.4-litre quad-valve petrol engine producing from which 8.2 litres/100km is possible.
The all-wheel drive system has three modes:
⦁ 4WD Eco – The vehicle monitors the terrain and the driver’s input and only engages AWD when necessary. Eco Mode, Mitsubishi says, allows the vehicle to monitor driving conditions tp reduce fuel consumption.
⦁ 4WD Auto – Permanent all-wheel driver unless it senses a smooth road. Like Eco Mode, it automatically adjusts the AWDall-wheel-drive but recognises that all-wheel drive is the preference (unlike Eco Mode, which will only switch to all-wheel drive when necessary).
⦁ 4WD Lock – Priority goes to performance. More torque is directed to the rear wheels than in 4WD auto to provide greater power off the line, better control when accelerating on gravel or a loose surface, and better stability at high speed.
Rear wheel torque transfer is maintained at 50%. In Lock mode torque to the rear axle is increased by a smaller degree through corners than with 4WD Auto Mode. Ideal, Mitsubishi says, for “more challenging” off-roading.
PRICE: R549 900. Sold with a three-year or 100 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan. Service intervals 15 000km