Mitsubishi announces updates to its SUV range

Revamp for Eclipse Cross and new-look Outlander planned.

Mitsubishi has announced updates to its local SUV line-up, with a styling refresh for the compact Eclipse Cross and news of an all-new Outlander due next year.

The Eclipse Cross is one of Mitsubishi’s two contenders in the hotly contested Small SUV category, where it sells alongside the category leading ASX.

The updated model, which is due this summer, incorporates major front and rear design enhancements, a revised interior and new infotainment system. 

So far this year, the Eclipse Cross has recorded 2102 sales, ranking well behind the ASX’s 6794 sales, as well as those of other category rivals including the Hyundai Kona and Honda HR-V.

Mitsubishi Engelberg

No doubt Mitsubishi will be hoping the new look will help bolster sales of its 1.5-litre turbocharged compact, which is currently available as a front- or all-wheel drive with pricing starting from $29,990.

There is no word yet on whether the updates will prompt a price increase, although Mitsubishi pricing has historically been fairly keen versus category rivals. 

The bigger news in the brief Mitsubishi press release is of an all-new Outlander, due in 2021, with every variant to offer forward collision mitigation and additional active safety features. 

The Outlander competes in the medium SUV category where it has so far this year achieved a solid 5798 sales, well behind category leaders the Toyota RAV4 (15,554) and Mazda CX-5 (10,219). 

Mitsubishi Engelberg

In a press release on the new model, Mitsubishi said: “The all-new, next-generation Outlander will be bigger, bolder and better than ever before, and will be the quietest and best-equipped Mitsubishi ever sold in Australia.

“Completely redesigned and reimagined in every way, the new Outlander will incorporate the latest Mitsubishi design language, with a bold, aggressive, and distinctive appearance. Loaded with technology and significant interior refinements, this game-changing vehicle will surprise many.”

“This is proof of our commitment to deliver high quality, leading-edge SUVs to Australian owners and their families,” said Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO, Shaun Westcott. 

Little else was revealed about the new model, other than it’s a ground-up redesign, meaning it will be the fourth generation of the mid-sized SUV, which was first launched in Japan in 2001 and arrived in Australia the following year. 

The current third-generation model was released here in 2012, with the Outlander PHEV or “Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle” arriving in 2014, followed by a major styling upgrade that introduced the current look in 2015.

Drive_MOTORING

At the time, the Outlander PHEV boasted combined fuel efficiency of just 1.9 litres per 100km – the lowest official ADR fuel consumption figure of any SUV sold in Australia. 

The looks of the new 2021 Outlander model are said to be based heavily on the Engelberg Tourer concept (pictured) which Mitsubishi revealed at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

In addition to its dramatic new styling, the 2021 Outlander will also grow in stature, thanks to it being built on a new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance platform that will also underpin the new Nissan X-Trail.   

Online news site motoring.com.au has previously reported non-hybrid versions of the new model will ditch the current 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinders in favour of the 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder that powers the smaller Eclipse Cross. 

The plug-in hybrid models, meanwhile, are expected to retain an enhanced version of the current 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder but mated to a larger lithium-ion battery that will expand on the current model’s 54km electric-only range.   

The global launch of the new Outlander will be at the beginning of next year, with no date yet set for the Australian model launch, but it’s likely to arrive in either late Q2 or early Q3.