The updated 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander has premiered at the 2015 New York auto show just weeks ahead of the car’s fast-tracked Australian launch later in April.
The MY16 Outlander brings revised styling over the more conservative outgoing iteration, given it launches Mitsubishi’s new ‘Dynamic Shield’ styling language.
Mitsubishi has done its best to address this former stylistic bugbear on what is ostensibly a mid-life makeover rather than a new-generation car, given it only launched in late 2012. The front and rear designs are said to hark back to the history of the Japanese brand’s previous rugged off-roaders.
As well as the sharpened styling at the extremities, the new Outlander also picks up a number of more significant changes under the skin to make it quieter and smoother.
There is more body and suspension structural rigidity, redesigned suspension and electric power steering, noise-isolating windscreen and tailgate glass, more sound insulation throughout the vehicle, and new front suspension and rear differential dampers.
Additionally, the new generation continuously-variable transmission (CVT) apparently offers improved acceleration, performance, shift feel and torque delivery. We’ll find out how true that is at the local launch in a few weeks.
Meanwhile the cabin gets a new steering wheel, and more ‘premium grade’ materials in the seat trim, headliner and on the interior accents.
Mitsubishi is keeping quiet about other changes, but expect the local range to remain similar, with carryover 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol engine, a 2.2-litre diesel and the PHEV plug-in petrol-electric variant all continuing.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia executive director of marketing Tony Principe called the new Outlander an example of the “enormous energy and investment Mitsubishi is currently devoting to product development and research and design”.
“The smarter, more refined 2016 Outlander is part of a major product and style rebirth taking place within MMC, and reflects the company’s stronger focus on quality, technology and design excellence,” he said.
“The changes to Outlander are more than cosmetic, with numerous engineering improvements made to Outlander’s suspension and steering system, NVH package and drivetrain performance.
“Outlander will continue to offer great SUV functionality, terrific fuel economy and low running costs but will now be significantly quieter, more responsive and even more enjoyable to drive, making it a real stand out in the medium SUV class.”
MMAL will announce full details on the local revised Outlander range at launch later this month.
Mitsubishi is coming off a decent sales year with the Outlander. In 2014 it grew the model by 3.1 per cent to 9677 sales, enough for 8.6 per cent share of the medium SUV segment.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander.