The largest generation yet of what has become one of the three-diamonds’ most popular models, the Outlander not only draws visual hints from the brand’s current line-up, but also the Engelberg Tourer Concept shown in Tokyo two years ago by conforming to the principle of ‘I-Fu-Do-Do’ which translates to ‘authentic’ and ‘majestic’.
Measuring 4 709 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2 705 mm, height of 1 748 mm and width of 1 862 mm, the Outlander is 15 mm longer, 51 mm wider and 38 mm higher than the model it replaces, with the wheelbase having increased by 36 mm. In addition to being the first Mitsubishi to ride on a platform from the three-way alliance with Nissan and Renault, which in this case comes in the form of the CMF-D used by the new X-Trail, the rated boot capacity has also increased from 1 088-litres with the second and third rows up to 1 316-litres.
In addition to the new exterior, whose rear facia incorporates distinct traits from then old Outlander, but, according to Mitsubishi, inspiration from the Pajero in the shape of the bootlid meant to resemble the fitting of the tailgate mounted spare wheel, the newcomer once again provides seating for seven in a completely redesigned cabin.
Just as big a departure from its predecessor than its new look, the minimalist design is highlighted by a new freestanding nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the same 10.8-inch Heads-Up Display as the X-Trail and on top-spec models, a ten-speaker Bose sound system.
Also equipped with a wireless smartphone charger, quad-zone climate control and a selection of colours for the upholstery and materials ranging from cloth to piano key black and knurled aluminium, Mitsubishi has also equipped the Outlander with a raft of new safety and driver assistance system, including Adaptive Cruise Control, 11 airbags, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keep Assist, Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a surround-view camera system and Lane Centering Assist.
Up front, the Outlander’s ties with the X-Trail stretches further in the use of the same normally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol as opposed to the previous Mitsubishi made 2.4. Although no performance figures were revealed, the engine is likely to produce the same 135kW/245Nm, delivered to the front or all four wheels through a CVT. More options, including the very popular plug-in hybrid, will be offered in due course, although ruled out is the 2.2 DI-D turbodiesel.
Sporting the same block design for the gear lever as that of the X-Trail, the eight-step CVT is said to deliver crisp changes akin to that of a conventional torque converter automatic, with a further inclusion being the Super All-Wheel Control system that distributes torque on all-wheel-drive models, Hill Descent Control, the Evo derived Active Yaw Control and a new drive mode selector with six settings; Eco, Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow and Mud.
Going on sale in the States from later this year with a starting price of $25 795 (R380 684), the Outlander will come in a choice of eight colours; black, Sterling Silver, Titanium Grey, Deep Bronze, Cosmic Blue and three so-called Diamond hues; white, black and red. Mitsubishi Motors South Africa has confirmed that the Outlander is ‘under investigation’ for introduction, but that a final decision has not taken place yet.