Mitsubishi Outlander in India Test drive

Mitsubishi Motors may have been the top in rallying and other stuff however their Indian subsidiary, Mitsubishi Motors India didn’t quite make an impact with their Indian operations. They did tie up with Hindustan Motors and launched their car, the Mitsubishi Lancer. The Mitsubishi Lancer was quite ahead of its time and the Indian public lapped it up. It was a favorite of the tuner market as well. Carrying on its racing pedigree it even won many of the races, albeit unofficial ones. It had good space however anemic and fuel efficient engines. Mitsubishi Motors India did realize too late that they need to get their cars upgraded to match the modern standards. They did launch the their old warhorse, the Mitsubishi Pajero with a refreshed theme inside and two tone color design. They also slashed its price and made it more competitive. It is one of the best suvs in the Indian market however as was the case with its sedan sibling, it too eventually lost out to more modern and cheaper rivals. Now, the Mitsubishi Cedia, the replacement for the Mitsubishi Lancer is a rare sight in the Indian market. Recently the company launched the Mistubishi Outlander in India and then later on the Mitsubishi Montero. The former is of greater importance now especially since it would be competing with the very desirable Honda CR-V and the Chevrolet Captiva. Well, the gleaming new Mistubishi Outlander in India was brought to our office by one of the PR people from Mitsubishi Motors India and was handed over for a test drive. It actually made heads turn over in the whole parking lot. Here comes the Mitsubishi Outlander test drive report.

Looks

The old Mitsubishi Outlander was a handsome soft roader however Mitsubishi have gone radical and have very much adopted the same design language that the other companies have taken up. It has now got a Evolution series like fighter jet face. Hmm.this is what caught everyone’s fancy. Err…..it is too much in your face styling. Famous Indian designer Rohit Bal has endorsed the new Mitsubishi Outlander in India. The huge gaping nose reminds one of the Audi goatee grille. It has got a chrome outline and a heavy horizontal ridge. The bonnet is quite curvy and swoopy. The bumper is integrated neatly and has a chrome brushed skid plate covering its underneath region.Just above it, housed in their own compartments lie the fog lamps. Oh, lest I forget, the head lamps are those powerful HID units and ones which are elegantly designed.

The outside rear view mirrors now have turn indicators embedded into them.Those flared wheel arches however have only subtle looking alloy wheels in them.They are of the 16 inch Dunlop types.The spare wheel is a space saver unit which is made up of steel. Chrome plated roof rails are also standard. This car features body colored handles and mirrors. There is a black plastic running board and a chrome scuff running across its length.

Ummh, now the rear end has a slightly Honda Jazz type of look. The rear windscreen is also huge and has a single wiper assisting it with the wiping duties. The talking point is the huge stack of LED tail lamps which emphasize the futuristic looks of this car. The Mitsubishi Outlander in India comes with a skid plate at the rear as well and twin tail pipes. Classic is the placement of the reflectors at the rear which actually feel like the stop lamps.

Interiors

Welcoming me to the interiors was the nicely molded lighting. The interiors feature a fresh new theme which takes away the gloom from the earlier car.The instruments are embedded deep in the dashboard. They look sporty and certainly out of a sports car. The three spoke steering wheel has the audio, cruise controls and also the Bluetooth connectivity attached to it. It is also leather wrapped. There are also magnesium cased paddle shifts behind the wheels. Everything inside the cabin looks sporty. The instrument cluster is also tilted towards the driver. The pedals are also aluminium drilled. The steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach. The interior trim level is also very good and the one I found the most interesting is the 9-speaker 650W Rockford-Fosgate audio system. There is also new door and dash trim with an arm rest for the driver. The head lamps are also of the adaptive lighting types.

The seats as before are comfortable holding my 6 foot 4 inches frame nicely. They are nicely bolstered and have good under thigh support. Not any material seems out of place and this SUV looks well built and would weather the Indian conditions very well in due course of time. The seats are adjustable for height and also have memory functions associated with them. Even the cubby holes{there are many of them} are nicely built and well layered. Moving onto the rear seats, they are remote adjustable. Wow! I spent the first 15 minutes in the back seat trying to gauge what a novelty it is. Speaking of novelty, another one is the panaromic sun roof. The rear seats are comfortable but been a true automobile junkie, I would like to be in the driver’s seat rather than anywhere else. This is a true 5 seater and hence no third row of seats. The boot space is very large and its stands at 560 liters. Enough to stow away the week’s grocery and save some of the space for your neighbors as well. The loading lip is high though but there is no suspension intrusion and helping the matters is also split arrangement of the rear seats. The split tail gate also addes to the convenience factor.

Handling and ride quality

Ahem!this is a soft roader to the core and as of such doesn’t feature any 4 wheel drive mode. It however has a temporary 4 wheel drive mode which helps power the rear wheels if they detect any slippage from the wheels. The steering wheel is light and does weigh up nicely at high speeds. Infact, it is more direct than the one in the Honda CR-V. This also has one of the minimum turning radius amongst the soft roaders at 5.3 meters. Emphasizing on the ride quality is the all independent gas suspension. It is a bit jiggly at low speeds and this must be due to the low kerb weight of the car. The Mitsubishi Outlander in India weighs only 1615.00 kgs. The ride quality increased considerably once the speeds arise. The handling is at par with the others in its class if not better. I have driven a Honda CR-V before and I was pretty much impressed with its dynamics. This car is no different. It doesn’t feel top heavy at all and does have an amazing control over body roll. This can be attributed to the presence of anti roll bars at both the front and rear end. This saying, the active stability control (ASC) also plays a major part in handling. This I felt can easily overshadow the handling offered by the Honda CR-V.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Mitsubishi Outlander in India uses a 2.4L, 16 valve MIVEC engine. Unfortunately there is no diesel option offered as of now. I personally feel that a diesel motor would have enhanced the appeal of this vehicle. This petrol motor makes 170 Bhp of peak power at 6000 rpm and a good torque of 226 Nm at 4100 rpm. It is mated with a 6 speed CVT combined with paddle shifters. This engine and transmission combination is brilliant in the city use with the SUV leaping forward with an eagerness found only in V6 powered engines. The throttle response is also good with part throttle inputs yielding results. This SUV leaps from 0-100 kmph in 9.8 seconds and touches a top speed of 176 kmph before running out of breath. The transmission is also a smooth operator inspite of not featuring dual clutch. The paddle shifters also help in deft overtaking ventures. They have a sort of confusing operating mode with push for shifting up and pull for down shifting. Maybe, I have got used to some of the other paddle shifters which do otherwise. Oh, by the way, MIVEC in Mitsubishi parlance means Mitsubishi Innovative Valve and Engine Control. It is the same as Ivtec or valve lift technology adopted by other manufacturers. The engine noise is also nicely suppressed and it is only after 4,00 rpm do you hear a snorty gnarl from the twin exhausts. This is something which I believe none of the owners would be concerned with.

Brakes are the industry norm, the ventilated discs at the front and the solid discs at the rear. Assisting it are the Electronic Brake Distribution {EBD}, ABS and the Active Stability Control {ASC}. Catering for the safety needs are the windows with anti pinch function, child locks, central locking, collapsible steering column, 4 air bags and 3 point seat belts.

Fuel efficiency is not that great inspite of use of friction reducing materials in the engine department. This big car manages 8.9 kmpl in the city and 13.6 kmpl on the highway. It actually burnt a hole in my pocket filling it up for the test. The accountant would also be a worried lot and would have a frown on the face when he sees me{He anyways always has the same for me}. Well, if you can afford a Rs.20 lakhs car then you would definitely wouldn’t care about fuel expenses.

Verdict

Now, I personally like the Honda CR-V and I felt that it is always the bench mark to beat. Now, I have come to love the Mitsubishi Outlander. It might have to do with the car been an exclusive kind and one which would draw attention to itself. Its new look no wonder help it achieve this in spades. It is comfortable and also well built. Enough to weather a storm and back. Has a good engine and gearbox with sufficient performance on tap.The fuel efficiency is not that good however and the service aspect needs attention since Mitsubishi Motors India doesn’t have a viable service network in India. It has that inevitable road presence that buyers in this segment would be looking out for and a sort of exclusivity. Its sticker price in India is Rs.20,95,000. This makes it cheaper by about Rs.3 lakhs from the Honda CR-V. It is also a CBU and later on next year, the company may also think of introducing the diesel power plant in the Mitsubishi Outlander in India.

Mitsubishi Outlander specifications

Engine Type: Petrol
Engine Description: 2.4 liter petrol with MIVEC technology
Engine Displacement(cc): 2360
No. of Cylinders: 4
Valves Per Cylinder: 4
Maximum Torque: 226 Nm @ 4200 rpm
Maximum Power: 170 Bhp @ 6200 rpm
Valve Configuration: DOHC
Fuel Supply System: MPFI
Turbo Charger: Yes
Transmission Type: Automatic CVT with Paddle Shifter
Gear box: Six Speed
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Front Suspension: MacPherson Coil Springs with Stablizer Bar and anti roll bar
Rear Suspension: Multi-Link Coil Spring with Stablizer Bar and anti roll bar
ShockAbsorbers Type: Independent Suspension 4-Wheel
Steering Type: Hydraulic Power Variable Power Assist
Turning Radius (wheel base): 5.3 Meters
Front Brake Type: Ventilated Discs
Rear Brake Type: Solid Discs
Top Speed: 176 kmph
Acceleration (0-100 kmph): 9.8 seconds
Mileage-City (kmpl): 8.9
Mileage-Highway (kmpl): 13.6
Fuel Tank Capacity (litres): 85
Emission Norm Compliance: BS 4
Tyre Size: 215/70R 16
Tyre Type: Tubeless Radial Tyre
Alloy Wheel Size: 16 inch
Seating Capacity: 5
No of Doors: 5

Mitsubishi Outlander in India on a drive

2 Replies to “Mitsubishi Outlander in India Test drive”

  1. I own a 2009 Mitsubishi Outlander and curse myself for not waiting for the 2010 model. Compared to the 2009 model, the 2010 one looks a revolution. Since there aren’t too many Outlanders on the street, I get all those raised eyebrow looks and what is a female driver doing in a SUV? Who cares? I am comfortable with all those looks because the glass is tinted. The engine is rev happy and easy to drive. You don’t have to jostle for space but then there is no third row of seats. It is thirsty too but if you buy a Rs.19 lakhs plus SUV, then you can afford the fuel bills also. The servicing part takes a good full day at the HM service center near my place. My car still came out spanking and gives goood performance. Love Mitsubishi products and would love them to have a good presence in India.

  2. I drive a mercedes in UK (AMG) and had the opportunity to look over and be driven in the new Outlander over very difficult roads in the Kerala countryside.

    The car is a revalation. Coping very well indeed over the difficult roads, a true SUV a great car fully loaded.

    Its my choice over all the others.

    Well done Mitshubishi!

    William Howarth

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