Mitsubishi Outlander 2007 review

Mitsubishi has been back to the drawing board, and fitted the Outlander with a new 2.2-litre diesel

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The punchy 2.2-litre diesel means the Outlander is more credible than ever. With decent economy and gutsy performance, it’s the best all-rounder of the range. Few buyers will expect greater pace, but it’sa shame the powerplant isn’t available without the garish extra trim. And the Mitsubishi still can’t quite match the Nissan X-Trail when it comes to driving on tarmac.

If there’s one thing a modern SUV can’t be without, it’s a strong diesel engine. That’s why hopes were high when Mitsubishi launched its new Out­lander with Volkswagen’s proven 2.0-litre TDI powerplant under the bonnet.

The trouble is, when the Japanese model arrived in the UK in March, its engine failed to live up to expectations. Refinement and performance were a long way short of the standards set by VW’s own models.

Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Outlander

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Thankfully, Mitsubishi has been back to the drawing board, and the Outlander now offers a new engine, jointly developed with Peugeot and Citroen. Shared with the Outlander’s virtually identical siblings – the 4007 and C-Crosser – the 2.2-litre powerplant should give the Mitsubishi a welcome power boost, and could be the making of the range.

Impressive It doesn’t take long to realise that the larger diesel is a strong performer. The four-cylinder turbocharged unit produces a healthy 154bhp, and the SUV can easily keep pace with fast-moving traffic. Indeed, so impressive is the engine’s thrust that the 380Nm of torque can break traction in slippery conditions when two-wheel-drive mode is selected.

For improved acceleration, drivers should select 4WD instead. The Out­lander’s progress is far more controlled, as power is fed to the rear wheels as soon as the front tyres lose grip.

The 2.2-litre diesel comes with a six-speed manual as standard. It has an accurate shift, and the Mitsubishi offers great flexibility, because maximum torque kicks in at a lowly 1,750rpm.

The benchmark 0-62mph sprint takes 9.9 seconds, but it’s the in-gear thrust that really sets this model apart from its cheaper 2.0-litre sibling. Overtaking is a breeze, without any need to drop to a lower gear. The only drawback of the power delivery is that the engine highlights the shortcomings of the Mitsu­bishi’s dynamics. Body control and ride quality are reasonably controlled for an SUV, but a modern estate will easily outmanoeuvre the Outlander.

What your average load-lugger can’t manage is any off-road driving. The extra muscle and torque of the 2.2-litre engine means the Mitsubishi is an even more capable mud-plugger than before, and it’s certainly up to tackling the rough conditions that most buyers will try to avoid.

Returning combined economy of 38.7mpg, the range-topping diesel isn’t far behind the 42.2mpg efficiency of the 2.0-litre model. However, the larger engine’s 194g/km CO2 emissions are less impressive compared to the 183g/km output of the lower powered oil-burner.

There’s only one trim level on offer to buyers of the flagship diesel: Diamond. With a lavishly equipped seven-seat cabin, the Mitsubishi leaves buyers wanting for little, with a roof-mounted DVD system in the back, climate control and a rear parking camera all fitted as standard.

Unfortunately, Diamond spec also has some garish extras. Privacy glass and glitzy chrome exterior trim certainly won’t be to all tastes.

Priced at £26,999, the 2.2 DI-D is the most expensive model in the Outlander range, and costs £2,000 more than the top version of the 2.0-litre diesel. Of greater importance is the fact the Diamond model is £1,486 cheaper than the Land Rover Free­lander TD4 SE. If you can live with the extra chrome, the new Outlander is undoubtedly the strongest SUV in the firm’s range.

Rival: Nissan X-Trail It doesn’t have seven seats, but Nissan’s X-Trail is a fine SUV. With the flagship model priced at £24,495, the Nissan is cheaper than the Outlander and it has a smooth 2.0-litre diesel, while 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrols are offered, too.

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