By Patrick James on 2017-07-15 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Mitsubishi Outlander 4
IT'S a topsy-turvey place at the moment - the motoring world.
Debates over the future of diesel, firms abandoning combustion engine-only cars and the continuing success of the excellent Mitsubishi Outlander- with its latest diesel.
Following the huge success off the plug-in hybrid version (PHEV), Mitsubishi proceeded to cement diesel technology into its future witha new cleaner and more efficient oil-burner to go in harness with the latest PHEV.
Mitsubishi, famous for its rugged off-roaders, is certainly no stranger to innovation being at the heart of alternative fuel technology for some time, having had one of the first all-electric cars to hit the road with iMiEV city car.
More than a million Outlanders have been sold worldwide since 2001 so the firm has built in previous success with2017 model.
Still an excellent, hugely practical seven-seater with decent off-road capability, it has an updated interior, a new centre console, front footwell lamps, console box illumination, a 12V socket in the boot and rain and dusk sensors as well as the advanced, 2.2-litre diesel engine, which is available with automatic and six-speed manual transmissions.
Manual versions return a claimed 53.3mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle with CO2 emissions of 139g/km, while automatic versions are capable of 48.7mpg and produce 154g/km.
It also pretty well kitted out with even the entry Outlander 2features cruise control, dimming mirror, dual-zone climate control and radio/CD/MP3 player with six speakers and front electric windows.
Safety kit includesstability and traction control, automatic stop start, hill start and adjustable speed limiter as well airbags and assisted braking.
The range topping Outlander 4 adds goodies likeleather upholstery, heated driver's seat and steering wheel, LED front fog lamps, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, electronic parking brake, a 360 degree camera, LED headlights, and the multi-functional Mitsubishi Multi Communication System with sat nav and rear-view camera, as well as DAB radio.
The exterior now looks even sleeker with plenty of eye-catching features including the wide grille which incorporates the the stylish LED headlights, daytime running lights, striking 18-inch alloys wheels and inbuilt roof bars.
Inside, this range-topper definitely as the executive feel about it with soft touch trim and the dash dominated by the central screen which houses the infotainment system.
The layout is uncomplicated with all dials and control stalks logically placed. The multi-function steering wheel on this tested automatic model also features gearshift paddles.
The interior does feel spacious and airy with good all round vision and a commanding driving position. in practical terms it can seat up to seven people the rearmost pair being more suitable for children. But if adults are seated in the back two, the second row of seats can slide forward for more legroom.
Fold the second and third rows and there is cavernous space, enough, says Mitsubishi, swallow a couple of mountain bikes whole,with, adds the firm, a footprint smaller than that of most family estate cars.
It's a pretty refined place to be. Also refined is the 2.2-litre 150ps diesel. it delivers brisk acceleration and good economy via the six-speed automatic transmission with little evidence of diesel clatter.
Noise is reduced by acoustic glass in the windscreen and thicker glass in the rear doors. plus damping and insulation materials.
Recent ride and handling modifications to the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, plus changed toront suspension cross-member reinforcement, front shock absorber retuning, rear suspension spring rate and damping changes provide for a more stable ride.
The car sits well while cornering with little evidence of body roll, while it is a comfortable ride, absorbing shocks from poor roads comfortably.
It's not likely to be taken off-road very often, but the on on-demand four-wheel-drive (4WD) system allows extra grip in poor road conditions.
There are three modes: 4WD ECO which powers the front wheels, but when the wheels lose traction, 4WD engages. 4WD AUTO - which gives better off-road performance in various conditions and 4WD LOCK - a high traction mode for the most demanding of environments - should you ever need it.
Mitsubishi Outlander 4 2.2 DI-D
Mechanical: 150ps, 2,268cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 11.6 seconds
Combined MPG: 48.7
Insurance Group: 12
C02 emissions: 154g/km
Bik rating: 32%
Warranty: 3yrs/62,500 miles
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