Mitsubishi’s small four-wheel-drive the iO, had a modicum of off-road ability, but poor sales meant it had to be expunged in favour of Outlander.
This new recreational all-wheel drive was more about the fashion-appeal of SUV’s as distinct from its predecessor’s talent for doing it in the dirt.
What you get
The ZE series Outlander was released here in February 2003 in two grades, the entry level LS and the well-equipped XLS. Standard creature comforts and safety gear, even on LS versions, was competitive and included air conditioning, dual airbags, remote central locking, cruise control and CD. ABS was an option, but came standard in XLS guise along with alloys, side airbags, power sunroof and other niceties.
From mid 2004 there was a new ZF series and it was more than just a mid-life tart up. There was a new, more powerful and fuel efficient engine, plus standard ABS and four-wheel discs across the range. And a VR-X model with sports enhancements including retuned suspension swelled the ranks.
How it drives
Relatively puny outputs (100kW/205Nm) from the 2.4-litre 4G63 engine in the ZE series and a porky kerb mass meant performance was languid. Later series cars with the new MIVEC 2.4-litre 4G69 engine, as used in Grandis, are a better choice offering class competitive performance and better fuel economy.
Power is fed via a smooth-working four-speed auto with sequential shift to the all-wheel-drive system. There’s no manual option.
Outlander’s looks tend to polarise opinions, but its car-like dynamics and good ride will muster wider support. By class standards the interior and load area is generous and layout functional. A foot operated park brake detracts.
This is a soft-roader, so don’t expect it to cope with anything too arduous off-road. With this in mind, check used vehicles for below-decks damage (body or mechanical) caused by over-adventurous owners.
Uneven front tyre wear can be an issue and running tyre pressures around 252kPa (36 psi) and performing a wheel alignment and tyre rotation at each scheduled service should minimise this.
Also check for general wear and tear.
Under the pump
The Outlander will use between 9.0 and 14.0 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.
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