MITSUBISHI surprised the automotive world at the end of July when it announced it was stopping the introduction of all new models into the UK and Europe.
This means that, by the end of 2021, the Japanese firm will no longer sell new cars in the UK.
However, there's no need to panic or to think negatively about buying a new Mitsubishi. New buyers will continue to receive full support in terms of service, repair, warranty, parts and accessories well into the future.
Manufacturers are legally obliged to support new cars for 10 years with a full service and parts service. The only question is the vehicle's re-sale value when you eventually come to sell.
Now, mention the name Mitsubishi Outlander and there's a good chance most people will immediately start thinking of the plug-in hybrid PHEV model - a huge success in the UK due to seriously low CO2 emissions which leads to highly affordable BIK rates for company car drivers.
However, there's a more affordable petrol-powered model too. It won't offer business users those tax advantages but it is a spacious, full-sized family SUV and a genuinely versatile and capable 4x4.
The Design trim comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control, heated front seats, keyless entry and start, a rear-view camera and privacy glass plus an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Autoas standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio.
The driver can use Siri or the touchscreen to get directions optimised for traffic conditions, make and receive calls, access text messages and listen to music, all in a way that allows them to stay focused on the road.
All Outlanders come with 4WD and automatic transmission and if you go for the conventional petrol model, you'll get a third seating row as standard too - not available in the PHEV.
Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine produces a modest 148bhp, which is channelled to all four wheels via a CVT automatic gearbox. It's smooth and unobtrusive when you're trundling around gently, but as all CVT equipped vehicles, the engine revs away noisily and intrusively if you step on the accelerator.
Three driving modes are provided including 4WD ECO, which delivers power through the front wheels most of the time, only sending drive to the rear when a loss of traction is sensed. There's 4WD Auto, a mode which duplicates much the same functionality but less economically but gives more off-road ability
On the road, the Outlander is comfortable and easy to drive in a straight line though there's quite a bit of body roll should you rush it through corners. That said, its steering is helpfully light around town. The petrol engine does quiet down at cruising speeds but the Outlander creates quite a bit of wind and road noise at higher speeds.
However, there's a decent all-round view from the driver's seat, aided by large door mirrors and big windows.
Another plus for families is the amount of storage space. There's plenty of storage cubbies including large door bins with integrated bottle holders, two cupholders in front of the gearlever, a useful storage tray for a phone, and a front centre armrest with an integrated storage compartment.
The Outlander's third row of seats - fold-out, boot-mounted chairs only really good for children - split 50/50 and its second row splits in a conventional 60/40 fashion. Such flexible seating allows you to accommodate a mixture of passengers and bulky loads, or drop all of the rear seats flat to create a huge load bay of 1,608 litres.
The second-row seats also recline and slide back and forth; enabling you to prioritise space for those in the second or third row.