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Mitsubishi Outlander (2003 - 2007)



Introductionword count: 118

Mitsubishi have a rather unconventional way of going about the business of manufacturing cars. Whereas rivals like Nissan, Mazda and Toyota have a rigid, pragmatic view of exploiting new markets, Mitsubishi seem to operate in a quirkier fashion, introducing some models that leave you scratching your head while others are utterly fantastic. The Outlander 4x4 seems to meld in a mix of both attributes. It's certainly not your average compact 4x4, offering sleek styling and powerful petrol engines, but the market for such vehicles is a small slice of the overall pie. Tracking down a used example may be tricky, but if you want something with the cachet of rarity value, the Outlander makes a very definite statement.

Modelsword count: 13

Models Covered: October 2003 to date: 2.4-litre petrol five-door [Equippe, Sport, Sport SE]

Historyword count: 114

Mitsubishi aren't bounded by conventional thinking when it comes to all-wheel drive vehicles. They have the Shogun to cater for the traditional green welly brigade and beyond that, their designers have been given considerable leeway down the years to develop interesting alternatives. The Shogun Sport/Challenger offered a flatter, more dynamic take on the Shogun theme, while the Pinin miniaturised the 4x4 into a piece of real estate better suited to the urban jungle. Various exotic Pajero models have filtered into the UK via various channels but it wasn't until the launch of the Outlander in 2003 that Mitsubishi had a genuinely state of the art small 4x4. An all new Outlander arrived in 2007.

What You Getword count: 310

The Outlander offers a healthy dose of style along with a chassis and running gear borrowed from the all-conquering Lancer Evo VIII rally replica. Straight away, you appreciate that this is no ordinary compact 4x4. The styling will certainly turn heads. It's not cutesy like so many small 4x4s. The slab-sided flanks and imposing front are reminiscent of a scaled down Porsche Cayenne and like the bruiser from Weissach, many will move over when the Outlander hoves into their rear view. The car has been developed from the ASX (Active Sport Crossover) vehicle that proved such a hit at the 2000 Detroit Motor Show. Mitsubishi describe the styling as 'robust' but the overall philosophy revolves around firstly offering the low centre of gravity of a saloon car with the raised seat height of an off roader allied to the luggage space of an estate. It's quite a target but the Outlander looks capable of satisfying these tough design criteria. All Outlander models come extremely well stuffed with equipment. Even the entry-level Equippe features ABS and EBD, driver and passenger front and side airbags and climate control. Tack on a four speaker single slot stereo radio/CD sound system, central locking, alarm and keyless entry, electric front and rear windows with anti trap function and split folding rear seat and the deal looks very tempting. Mitsubishi aren't done. The Equippe also boasts electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors, colour-coded rear spoiler with high mount stop lamp, 16inch five-spoke alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearlever and integrated roof rail. That's quite a tally. The Sport model then adds an electric sunroof and fixed rear skylight with blinds, six speaker single slot CD sound system, colour-coded electrically adjustable wing mirrors, black wood-effect dash panel and integrated front fog lights. The range-topping Sport SE gets all of the above plus leather front and rear seats.

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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
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