Mitsubishi Outlander vs Kia Sorento review
Tough new diesel Mitsubishi Outlander aims to build on success of the hybrid model. We head off-road to test it against Kia’s Sorento
Mitsubishi created a lucrative niche with its Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid SUV, but what if a petrol plug-in doesn’t fit the bill? The off-roader range has just been updated, so we tested the top-spec GX4 diesel model to see what it offers over its electrically assisted sibling – as well as what it’s like compared to one of its toughest rivals.
If you cover plenty of miles or want a more robust vehicle to tackle some rough terrain, the diesel model will likely suit you better. This market is crowded, though. The Kia Sorento, which received a commendation at our 2015 New Car Awards, is a rugged off-roader that retains the brand’s dependable roots yet continues Kia’s charge upmarket.
As a result, prices have risen, so the KX-3 model tested here is a considerable £4,346 more than the Mitsubishi. But does this translate into a more practical, indulgent seven-seater, or are you better off buying the cheaper model?
Head to head
The Kia is the more versatile seven-seater in almost every measurable form here. On top of the details we’ve already mentioned, it features clever sill protectors that open with the doors, so you don’t get muddy trousers when climbing into the car after going off-road. It’s touches like this that edge the Sorento ahead of the Outlander.
While the Mitsubishi is now more tempting thanks to its refreshed looks, it can’t match the Kia for quality. Both cars will appeal to families, but you can fit adults in the rearmost seats in the Sorento, while the Outlander will only take children – and the Kia feels more expensive inside.
The Outlander’s visual updates work well, especially the big chrome inserts. These cars feature big graphics and bold grilles, with clever light treatment to make them more recognisable. Both are also available with lots of personalisation accessories.
1st place: Kia Sorento
It’s more expensive, but the Sorento will be much cheaper to run than the Outlander. There’s more to this victory than that, though, as the elegant design, practical and premium-feeling interior and strong refinement all add to the Kia’s considerable appeal. Performance is strong as well, while the ride comfort ensures it’ll cope effortlessly with family road trips.
2nd place: Mitsubishi Outlander
The updated Outlander is clearly an improved package – not least the design. It’s more comfortable as well, but the engine and transmission are still more agricultural than the Kia’s and not as frugal. However, with a cabin packed full of equipment and attractive pricing, the Mitsubishi ticks all the right boxes if you’re after a big SUV on a budget.
Other options in this category...
Car group tests
- Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid vs Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
- Hyundai Kona Electric vs Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV vs Toyota C-HR
- MINI Countryman S E vs VW Golf GTE vs Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Used car tests
Price: £32,445 Engine: 2.2-litre 4cyl, 197bhp
Kia’s sister company Hyundai also offers a seven-seat SUV. The Santa Fe looks smart and has plenty of kit; and as it uses the same powertrain as the Kia, it’s good to drive. Premium trim gets lots of features, but is still attractively priced.
Price: £32,395 Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 178bhp
The entry-level Discovery Sport SE falls into the Sorento and Outlander’s price bracket, and with the new Ingenium diesel, the ‘5+2’ seat model is a great buy. It’s our favourite compact SUV, blending quality and off-road ability in a stylish body.
|Kia Sorento 2.2 CRDI KX-3||Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2DI-D GX4|
|On the road price/total as tested||£35,845/£38,175||£31,499/£31,499|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£17,374/48.5%||£12,899/41.0%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£2,137/£4,273||£1,575/£3,150|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,290/£2,150||£1,880/£3,134|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||26/£731/G/£180||27/£591/E/£130|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£349 (3 years)||£700 (3 years)|
|Engine||4cyl in-line/2,199cc||4cyl in-line/2,268cc|
|Peak power/revs||197/3,800 bhp/rpm||147/3,500 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque/revs||422/1,800 Nm/rpm||380/1,750 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||6-spd man/4wd||6-spd man/4wd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||71 litres/full-size||60 litres/space saver|
|Boot capacity (7/5/2 seats)||142/605/1,662 litres||128/591/1,608 litres|
|Turning circle||11.1 metres||10.6 metres|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||7yrs (100,000)/1yr||5yrs (62,500)/3yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||20,000 miles (1yr)/170||12,500 miles (1yr)/113|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||19th/14th||27th/18th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||90/83/67/71/5||94/83/64/100/5|
|0-60/30-70mph||9.0/9.5 secs||9.8/10.1 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||3.7/7.0 secs||3.7/5.5 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th/6th||7.5/9.7 secs||7.5/11.0 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||124mph/2,000rpm||124mph/1,800rpm|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||46.5/10.2/726 miles||31.9/7.0/421 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||163/161g/km/30%||234/164g/km/30%|
|Airbag/Isofix/park sens/surround cam||Six/yes/yes/yes||Seven/yes/£148/yes|
|Auto box/stability ctrl/adaptive cruise||£1,755/yes/yes||£1,400/yes/yes|
|Climate control/heated leather/HUD||Yes/yes/yes||Yes/yes/yes|
|Met paint/adaptive LEDs/keyless go||£575/yes/no||£500/LED/yes|