Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 review – Decently-Rugged SUV Gets Modern Tech

Competitive & fair price, loads of space, comfortable, decent fuel economy for size, good tech, spec & safety, good 4WD system

Auto ‘box slow to react from standing, adaptive cruise needs improvement, some outdated switchgear

Mitsubishi Outlander?

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review

With all sizes of SUV’s swamping the market currently, and getting snapped up quickly by hungry buyers wanting the option of SUV-looks, low-emission and low fuel consumption with the option of two or four wheel drive, the latest third-generation incarnation of the Outlander is launched into a fray with rivals packed with tech and gadgets. Can it keep up though? We were sent the Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A/T to review, so let’s find out eh.
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review

Exterior. Butt-ugly or beauty?

The Outlander isn’t conventional-looking. While the market is full of SUV’s that look similar, the Mitsubishi sticks out. Its styling is very Japanese, rather than European, especially at the front end where there’s an almost a futuristic design going on in the grille area. It’s also probably the best angle of the car too.

I’m half-and-half on the Outlander’s looks though. First of all, I don’t think it’s either handsome or particularly attractive. It looks too long and ungainly from some angles, and the back end hangs out past the rear wheels too far. However, there is the positive of the Outlander’s cool front end design, and there is also a ruggedness about the Outlander that sets it apart from the usual modern SUV, that seem like they’d halt in dread at even the sight of mud on their bodywork, or start shedding parts at the mere mention of crossing slightly rough terrain.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review

The Outlander at least gives off the impression that it’d happily ford a flooded road, take on a snowy mountain pass, or cross a boggy field – possibly because of Mitsubishi’s heritage of producing the super-tough and ultra-reliable Shogun (or Montero/Pajero depending where you live) does this come to mind. Another decent angle is from a rear three-quarter view, high enough up to see the ridged roof, where it has – gasp – almost a Range Rover Sport look about it.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T roof view

The 190 mm (7.48″) of ground clearance, and a large amount of space between the tyres and arches, tell you the Outlander is somewhat more capable of just bumping up the kerb on the school run, or going over that particularly nasty speed hump near work. Perhaps the Mitsubishi’s slightly different looks also serve another purpose – to seem as at-home in an urban environment as it does in a more hostile environment.

The Outlander is, after all, going to be sold globally and Mitsubishi clearly know it is going to be used in countries with seasons that make even our coldest winter look mild, or our more scorching summer’s day look positively frigid by comparison. For me, the Outlander looked as comfortable on a city street as it did in a field, and if that was Mitsubishi’s aim, they’ve achieved it.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review

Interior. Neat or nothing special?

The Outlander’s interior is certainly spacious, and comfortable for the most part too. The GX5 model I drove was the 7-seat version, with full leather throughout. The front seats are deep and pleasant enough for long journeys, but I’d have liked there to be lumbar support on the drivers seat, and I also noticed that the side bolsters aren’t deep enough. In one instance, a sharp corner came up unexpectedly quickly, and having to brake and turn hard saw me slide across the seat further than was comfortable or right.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 interior review

The 60/40 split middle row of seats can both recline and be moved forwards or backwards, giving passengers in the third row of seats in the boot enough legroom. The centre seat of the second row isn’t entirely comfortable, due to the armrest and the fact the two seatbelt clips stick into your backside.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 front leather seats

Passengers either sides of the second row will find it utterly comfortable nevertheless, with the legroom being absolutely huge should the third row not be in place. In all honesty, the third row are good enough for two adults, but only on short trips. Kids will be absolutely fine though, and there’s cup holders and tray sections for them too. Actually, there’s plenty of storage space all-round, with wide and deep door pockets helping to carry vast amounts of crisp and sweet wrappers, pens, paper, phones, iPods and whatever else you want.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 middle seats

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 third row rear seats

There are enough soft-touch, rubbery plastics on the dash and doors to keep you happy for the price you paid, whilst elsewhere there’s piano black plastics and satin silver trim edges, plus faux carbon fibre inserts in silver. It’s not the most exciting interior colour scheme I’ve come across though, and a fair amount of the switchgear felt slightly outdated. It’s still got to be practical for buyers who’ll use it in more extreme conditions though, and Mitsubishi have obviously thought the buttons through in this respect, as they’re big and easy to push and control – glove-friendly, in other words.

The dials in the drivers binnacle are sharp and easy to read, while the information screen between them features stuff like your average fuel readout, how economically you’re driving via a 5-leaf graphic (more leaves filled green = economical driving), plus sat nav directions and adaptive cruise control setting and warning notices such as lane departure and forward collision mitigation.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review bincale dials screen eco mode

At just over 4.6 metres (183″) in length, the Outlander is not a short vehicle, and what comes with that is good boot space. With the third row of seats stowed flush, there’s a massive 591 litres available, and with the middle row folded you’ve opened up a cavernous 1,022 litres. On that point, the third row seating is some of the easiest I’ve come across to fold out and put away. A simple pull on a strap unfolds them, and the same to stow them too – taking around 5 seconds each way.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 GX5 review boot space

Oh, the GX5 also comes with a powered tailgate, which is a really handy bit of kit to have, and the only gripe I’ve got is that it’s not quick enough, and you often find yourself getting impatient when it’s raining hard and you want to get something in the boot quickly.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 powered tailgate

In-car entertainment on the GX5 is via a HD navigation and music system, and you can get your music fix using either bluetooth, USB or SD card, plus there’s DAB radio, which worked excellently. The sat nav worked fine, but the graphics for the most part looked outdated. The GX5 also has a reverse camera, which gave good visuals and a clear image. I’m glad it had this as that long body makes it a pain to reverse into spaces otherwise.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T screen modes multi

 

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 reversing camera screen

As a summary, the Outlander GX5 interior is a tad boring, and some of the switches and buttons appear a bit last-gen. However, it is solidly-built, roomy, comfortable, well thought-out and has ‘real SUV’ practical stuff such as the big switchgear and loads of storage space.

Engine and gearbox

In the UK, the Outlander range is available with either a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) system, or a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel – which is what we were sent. The 4-cylinder engine puts out 147 bhp, and 265 lb. ft (360 Nm) of torque from 1,750 rpm. Manufacturers now are, at least on mid-size SUV’s, producing and fitting smaller engines that still pump out decent power and return excellent MPG. So, for Mitsubishi to fit a ‘large’ 2.2 diesel seems to be going against the grain somewhat. I for one expected stunningly bad fuel economy and poor CO2 emissions.

Actually though, this engine is a rather good one, as are the fuel and CO2 stats. In the press brief, Mitsubishi point out that with a 1,555 kg kerb weight, the Outlander manual (the auto is 20 kg’s heavier) weighs “less than a BMW 1 Series and half as much as an Audi Q7”. Keeping the bulk down that low will certainly help with fuel economy, and apparently the drag coefficient is “the same [0.33 figure] as the Nissan Micra “. I had the 6-speed automatic, and mpg figures are quoted as; Urban: 39.8, extra urban: 55.4, combined: 48.7. Manual versions get around five miles per gallon more.

Taking the Outlander GX5 automatic on a motorway journey of just over 110 miles, I managed 34.4 mpg, but should I have taken it easier I’d estimate it’d be nearer the 40 mpg mark. In town traffic, you’ll be getting around the 35 mpg mark, although a steady drive in 40 and 50 mph limits will see returns of 45+ mpg. CO2 emissions are decently low, at least on the manual, and at 140 g/km it just sneaks into the £125 per year category, while the 153 g/km auto will cost you £175.00 per year (rates: 2013).

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review

The automatic gearbox is a 6-speed version of the one used in the current 2013 Shogun, and uses Mitsubishi’s INVECS II (Innovative Vehicle Electronic Control System) system, which means it learns your driving pattern and automatically adjusts itself so changes are either lower or higher in the rev band, depending on how you drive. It’s a fairly nice auto, which changes smoothly, but there’s one glaring issue – it is hugely slow to react when setting off from stationary.

One example (of many). Waiting to turn right at some lights, I saw my opportunity; a decent gap in the traffic, and went for it. Except the Outlander didn’t. I put my foot on the accelerator, then nothing happens for what seems like forever, and then it just sort of ambles off at its own pace. I never got used to that, and I know other people who’ve driven the auto Outlander have found the same thing. It’s vastly annoying, and spoils overall what is a decent automatic gearbox.

Ready to roll? Let’s drive!

Jump into the Outlander, foot on the brake, press the starter button and the 2.2 diesel fires into life strongly. Pulling out of a parking space for the first time, I gaze from left to right over the bonnet, and suddenly realise that this Mitsubishi is a real wide-boy. The girth gives off a vibe that it’s a full-on 4×4 instead of the SUV it is, which is kind of reassuring in a ‘snow and ice are forecast’ kind of way.

The Outlander hesitates for more than is comfortable before setting off, as mentioned above, but once it’s rolling it puts the power down in a satisfying push. If you want to give it a bootful of of acceleration, even at motorway speeds it reacts well to one’s lead foot, shoving forward with surprising vigour. The automatic does the 0 – 62 mph (0 – 100 kph) in 11.7 seconds, which is slower than the Hyundai Santa, Kia Sorento and Honda CR-V manual by around two seconds. Still, you don’t buy one of these to race, and I found power and torque sufficient.

Press the large ECO button on the centre console, and the power under your foot is limited quite severely. If you’re rolling along it’s not so bad, but I found it took so much acceleration away that it became too slow should you have to accelerate away from lights, junctions or jams to keep up with town traffic, in which case you’d have to really floor the throttle for it to to do anything. I’m all for these ECO modes, but the Outlander’s needs to reign in less power.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review

Overall, the Outlander’s ride is a comfortable one, with the suspension soaking up bad road surface well, while exterior noise is kept down well inside the cabin. Start to give the Outlander a through work-out in the twisty stuff though, and it will feel spongey and soft, but yet again this isn’t designed as a sports car, and has to serve both on and off-road situations. Normal driving conditions sees the Mitsubishi do just fine.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review

There’s a lot electronic driving aids on the Outlander, and even on the lowest GX1 model you have ABS with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), stability and traction control, brake assist, hill start assist, speed limiter and city crash provision. The GX5 includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM). If you’re travelling below 18 mph – or the speed difference between you and the car in front is below that – and the Outlander detects you’re about to collide, it warns you loudly via a buzzer, pre-loads the braking system for the driver, and then automatically hits the brakes hard should you do naff all about the object. Clever stuff.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review

I didn’t like the adaptive cruise control Mitsubishi uses though. I’ve driven car like the Jaguar XF and XJ, plus the Volvo V40 T5 R-Design which had this system on, and while their’s worked smoothly, and the adjustable-distances you can set meant you weren’t too far to be ridiculous from the car in front, the Mitsubishi’s held back at too much of a distance, even on the shortest setting. Not only that, but it was slow to pick speed back up once the car in front moved over. Needs improvement, for sure.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review

 

As a final point, interestingly this new Outlander was designed from the ground up to use hybrid technology, and indeed Mitsubishi have now release Outlander Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) – which was the world’s first SUV plug-in hybrid , so watch out for that one!

AWD and off-road. Stuck or superb?

Mitsubishi only offers the Outlander in 4WD form, but then they say there’s no need for a 2WD version, as the selectable 4WD ECO mode runs the car through the front wheels only until the ECU detects slip, in which case it’ll send the power to the rear wheels as well. This means you’re getting all the benefits of a 4×4 with the economy of a two-wheel-drive vehicle. There’s a couple more selections you can make via the 4WD button – 4WD Auto, which runs it in 4WD constantly and is good for (example) if there’s loads of standing water about, and 4 there’s also 4WD Lock which is for more severe off-road conditions, or driving in snow, ice and sand etc.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 A-T review-7626

I wasn’t able to test the 4WD system fully, as Mitsubishi don’t allow the loan cars off-road, but with 190 mm of ground clearance, plus the fact it’s got loads of tech and engineering know-how handed down from both the Evo and the Shogun, I’ll venture an educated guess that it’ll do pretty well over the rough ‘n slippery stuff. On a quick note, the Outlander’s ground clearance beats the Santa Fe (-5 mm) , Sorento (-10 mm) and CR-V (-25 mm).

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 ground clearance

Price

The Mitsubishi Outlander starts (minus the commercial version) at £23,699 for the GX2 five-seater, adding around £3 – £4,000 more per model, with the top ‘o the range GX5 automatic ending up at just under £34,000. My feeling was that you’re getting a lot of vehicle for your money here, especially with the high spec and refinement of the GX5 I drove.

Remember too, you get a clever 4WD system as standard on the Outlander, and there’s a lot of safety tech on-board, plus a 5-star award from Euro NCAP.

The competition here includes the Honda CR-V, which is actually very similarly-priced at £22,800 – £33,200 for the 4WD versions. The Kia Sorento starts at way more – £26.6k, and lands at £35,200, which I was very surprised at. The Hyundai Santa Fe starts at £25.8 for the 5-seater, and finishes at £34.8 for the 7-seater.

Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 A-T review

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander GX5 automatic verdict & score

The negatives; I thought the automatic ‘box was much too slow to respond off the mark, hesitating to the point of annoyance. I didn’t like the adaptive cruise control, as it left too far a gap, plus was not quick to pick up pace once the car in front moved. Some of the buttons and switchgear looks and feels too last-generation, and the ECO mode pulled overly much power away.

The good stuff; The Outlander has a whole load of space inside, and the cabin is light and airy, plus it feels solidly-made, and there’s plenty of practicality to it. The car included a lot of safety tech and a good spec even on the lower models. The price is unexpectedly competitive in its market, and I thought it felt like it was worth the asking price too. The 4WD system and off-road prowess is going to be decent, because of Mitsubishi’s 4×4 background, and the fact is has reasonable ground-clearance.

Do you own a 2013> Mitsubishi Outlander? What are your views on it, and what are the best and worst points? Share your thoughts and leave a comment below!

Exterior  7
Interior  7
Engine  7.5
Gearbox (auto)  6.5
Price  8
Drive  7
Overall Score  7.0 / 10 

  Specs

Model (as tested)  2013 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5
Spec includes 4WD, 7-seats (leather), power drivers seat, HD navigation and sound system with bluetooth, USB port, SD-card slot and DAB radio, heated front seats, reverse camera, steering wheel controls,  See website for more info
Options you should spec  N/A
The Competition  Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento
Price  GX5 automatic: £33,999 (price Oct. ’13)
Engine  Diesel, 2.2 litre, in-line 4-cylinder DOHC, turbocharged
Power, Torque, CO2  147 bhp, and 265 lb. ft (360 Nm) | CO2: 153 g/km (auto)
Drive, Gears (as tested)  Eco 4WD | 6-speed automatic
Top Speed, 0 – 60 mph, Euro NCAP  Max speed (ltd): 118 mph | 0 – 62 mph: 11.7 seconds | 5-star Euro NCAP rating
Fuel economy (mpg)  (Automatic); Urban: 39.8, Extra Urban: 55.4, Combined: 48.7
Weight (kerb)  1,610 kg (3,550 lbs)
Websites  Mitsubishi UK, Mitsubishi USA, Mitsubishi Australia, Mitsubishi Worldwide

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Words: Chris Davies | Tested by: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

One response to “Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 D-ID GX5 review – Decently-Rugged SUV Gets Modern Tech”

  1. Abdullah Al Kafi

    Another good post and i like it sooo much. Really your website i like and all cars images are awsoom

    thanks
    Al Kafi

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