ONE of the first four wheel drive vehicles to challenge the mighty Range Rover many years ago when it was the world’s unchallenged top off-roader was the Mitsubishi Shogun which quickly became a favourite with the horsey set who love quality 4x4s writes Bryan Longworth.
Shoguns could then be seen in increasing numbers in car parks at horsey events and racecourses which had previously been the sole preserve of the Rangey and other Land Rovers.
Mitsubishi also started sponsoring such events which soon paid dividends attracting more and more customers to their vehicles especially the Shogun.
Since those days Mitsubishi has introduced more vehicles to their 4x4 range including the Outlander which has just been given a facelift and is also now available with a two wheel drive model a feature now being adopted by most 4x4 manufacturers including Land Rover for customers who want a 4x4 style vehicle without all wheel drive..
I mention the success story of Mitsubishi in the UK because I have just been testing the latest version of the Outlander which had four wheel drive although this was selectable through a rotary control and for most of my drive was in two wheel drive to save fuel.
My test car was the Outlander 2.2 Di-D GX4 costing £28,809 and has seven seats but the two seater bench seat in the third row is really only suitable for children or small adults for short journeys.
It folds flat into the floor of the rear load area and I found it a bit of a struggle getting it fixed compared with similar seats in rival models and when I did manage to get it in place it was rather cramped.
Power was provided by a new 175bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine which provided a top speed of 124mph, a zero to 62mph time of 9.8 seconds, a fuel consumption of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 169g/km.
Standard kit on this top model was impressive and included sat nav, reversing camera, leather heated seats, bi-xenon headlights and an electric sunroof.
The test car had a roomy and well finished interior with excellent instrumentation and on the road it handled well although I would have preferred more precise steering.
The six speed manual gear shift provided solid changes and the latest Outlander has more power, lower CO2 levels, better mpg and lower VED tax bands.
I note that the Outlander is easily outselling similar vehicles from Citroen and Peugeot which I suspect has something to do with Mitsubishi’s longstanding reputation for producing quality off road vehicles that are top performers on and off road.
My Verdict: One of the best 4x4’s in this sector.
Model: Mitsubsihi Outlander 2.2 Di-D GX4.
Engine: 2.2-litre diesel.
Transmission: Six speed manual.
Top speed: 124mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.8 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 43.5mpg.
CO2 emissions: 169g/km.