Mitsubishi Outlander Zf Driver Impression Car Reviews NRMA Motoring & Services

10 Май 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Mitsubishi Outlander Zf Driver Impression Car Reviews NRMA Motoring & Services отключены
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Mitsubishi Outlander ZF Drive Impression

Released in early 2003 the original Outlander gave Mitsubishi a fresh new face in the Compact SUV market. For the ’05 model year Mitsubishi have expanded the range to include three models — LS, XLS and the sportier VR-X. A mild facelift encompasses a revised (Australian engineered) tailgate, projector style headlights, diagonal design front grille, front and rear bumper garnishes, bee-sting style antenna and a large colour keyed rear spoiler with clear lens stoplight.

But the major changes are under the bonnet.

Now fitted with the 2.4 litre MIVEC engine (first seen in the Grandis people mover) power is up 20 per cent to 120kW while torque increases 7 per cent to 220Nm at 4000rpm. Mitsubishi claim an improved 0-100km/h time of 10.5sec vs. the outgoing models 12.1sec. Braking performance is improved as well; four-wheel discs with ABS and EBD are standard across the range.

Only one transmission is available the INVECS Smart Logic four-speed automatic which offers full automatic or Sports Mode sequential capability. Like the previous model drive is transmitted to all wheels through a Lancer Evo derived 4WD system incorporating a viscous centre differential.

Competition in the Compact SUV market is fierce and although the rapid growth of the sector has stabilised, one in two of all SUV’s sold is a compact. Appealing to a broad customer base there is a notable increase in the Sports/Luxury end of the sector, a gap Mitsubishi intend to fill with the VR-X variant.

Standard equipment


LS: airconditioning, cruise control, power windows, power steering, power mirrors, four speaker AM/FM radio with CD player.

XLS: as above plus six-speaker AM/FM radio with six-stack CD player, front and rear fender flares, 16 five-spoke alloy wheels, privacy glass on rear doors, rear quarter and tailgate glass.

VR-X: as above plus Fujitsu Eclipse premium sound system, 17 five-spoke alloy wheels, sports suspension, mono-tone exterior paint finish, sports seats with leather-suede trim

Standard safety equipment

All models: Dual front airbags, ABS brakes with EBD, front seat belts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, second row seats with force limiters, emergency door unlock on impact. XLS and VR-X also have side airbags.

Options

LS: Upgrade Pack — side airbags and six-CD stacker $1,300

XLS/VR-X: Electric tilt/slide sunroof $1,600

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Drive impression

Mitsubishi’s drive program took in the hinterland of Byron Bay with a good mix of bitumen and off-road conditions. Interior comfort is quite good, although the cushion in the base models felt a bit on the short side while the VR-X with its sports seats held occupants more securely. Ergonomically the controls and instruments are generally well laid out and easy to use, except for the radio. Similar to the Grandis people mover, the radio is quite a stretch from the driver’s seat and the top of the range Fujitsu unit fitted to the VR-X has a complicated control panel with a myriad of small buttons which are difficult to use on the move. Storage space is reasonable, a centre console box providing a handy place for most items.

The rear luggage area is fairly short, so larger bags will quickly fill it. All round vision is good, but at some angles the broad front A pillar does create blind spots.

Performance wise the Outlander is good in most respects, although the MIVEC engine with its variable cam timing does need some revs on board to get the most from it. From a standstill the fly by wire accelerator is very snappy and takes a little time to master. Under hard acceleration, or when kicking-down, the transmission retains its smooth shift quality although the engine can sound harsh.

In Sports mode the dash mounted gearlever is close at hand and easy to use giving better control along the tight and winding back roads of the test route.

Ride and handling rate well and although it doesn’t have razor sharp responses on the tarmac, the four-wheel-independent suspension offers high grip levels with mild understeer always evident. Fitted with 17 low profile tyres the VR-X was noticeably noisier, especially over coarse bitumen. Heading off-road onto some fairly rough corrugated tracks the car coped well, offering very good traction and plenty of feedback to the driver.

Fortunately the door seals did their job keeping the thick dust out of the cabin.

The standard four-wheel-disc brakes provided good stopping power with the ABS not proving intrusive along the off-road sections.

Overall the Outlander is an easy car to live with. By fitting the 2.4 litre MIVEC engine Mitsubishi have responded to criticism of the outgoing models lacklustre performance. Adding the VR-X to the range should appeal to buyers wanting more luxury and according to Mitsubishi’s research this is a growth area in the hotly contested Compact SUV market.

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