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Being merely par for the course on paper will never really cut the mustard, though. To stand out in a crowded class, there’s a need to perform out in the real world, and this is where the Outlander’s shortcomings start to make themselves known. For every thing that it does well, there’s a compromise that needs to be addressed.
The engine, for instance, pulls strongly and allows the Outlander to reach the national speed limit from standstill in a timely fashion; but you’ll need to be prepared for the grumbly racket that comes with any prod of the throttle. Even at a steady cruise, you can still pick it out from the accompanying road and wind noise.
Then there’s the cabin. As a means for transporting your average-sized family and all of their associated clobber, it’s a tough one to fault. The 591-litre boot is large and easy to access, and even with the third row of seats in place there’s still a relatively useable 128-litres of luggage capacity available. Head and leg room is abundant in the second row, and there’s a pervading sense that everything has been screwed together by a Mitsubishi team that is familiar with the abuse that young children can level on a car interior.
Yet the Outlander’s cabin isn’t the most materially rich place in the world, with plenty of cheap plastics making for an interior that isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as those in a Volkswagen Group SUV, Nissan X-Trail or Renault Koleos.
Then there’s the infotainment system, which is woefully out of date compared to those offered by rival manufacturers, although it still offers features such as satellite navigation, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
Given its high-riding stance and considerable size, the Outlander was never going to stand out for its dynamism. Body roll through faster bends was always going to come with the SUV-shaped territory, and we can’t fault it too much for this.
The steering is well weighted and allows you to guide the Outlander with confidence, although there is a little play around centre. The ride isn’t bad, either, with the revised suspension working well to smooth out smaller imperfections in the road surface. Hit any sudden potholes or ruts, though, and you’ll know about it.