Owner Review

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander LS (FWD) Review

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I bought this car on the death of my 2002 AUIII Falcon Wagon to help transport musical instruments, in a time when there was little interest in making new station wagons. My then-fiance was assisting with this purchase, as it would become the "workhorse" used to travel to visit family, and other trips. She can be fussy, but she found little to fuss about in this.

What won us over with this car straight away was the boot space. Since buying this car, I have traveled with full size BBb tubas, and have even thrown some timpani in the car too. If it's too big, the seats fold down easily enough (assuming the wife hasn't left her knitting basket on the floor behind her seat), making room for those longer tuba cases, multiple timps, stand boxes, a ladder and so forth. We do have a concern about having enough room for all this plus children... but we'll cros that bridge later!

The engine is great for power and economy. Typical SUV like to drink a little around town (economy slips just shy of over 10l/100km), but on the highway, slips down nicely. Freeway driving means it gets a little revvy, moving from around 2850rpm at 100kph to 3100rpm at 110kph, and this takes a toll on range and economy - about 100km difference on tank range compared to standard highway driving.

But none of this worries me, because I am used to driving my old Falcon. In my mind, I see the range being identical - both in town and on the open roads - between my old AUIII and the Outlander. Falcon did 421km around town per tank, and 640 approx when traveling. Outlander matches these numbers with 15 litres less fuel per tank!

We like to call our car a "mountain goat" - she handles hills and corners quite respectably, and she gets a lot of practice. Living in the Hunter Valley, there are some nice mountains (all sealed, main roads too!!!) where she gets pushed. Sometimes I cannot help but think just a drop more power would make it easier...

As a technology buff, I have come to love the bluetooth setup in this car, that is not yet matched in many bigger cars (I noticed the other night that Nissan Pathfinder 2014 does not do music streaming, as do most Toyotas). I find my phone and my car are a great pair. Music, navigation and texting are relayed from my phone through to the car, making a seamless trip.

Like everything, nothing is perfect however. Being front wheel drive when not in 4x4 mode can mean a few squealies, loss of traction when taking off into a turn, and some interesting experiences travelling in the wet on the highway. The windscreen wipers, says my wife, don't appear to be too strong, meaning blade effectiveness after a while is a little disappointing.

The future models are already out, and I am excited to see Mitsubishi has reclaimed the diesel model (in 2012, Peugeot owned the rights to the diesel), as well as the introduction of the Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle, known as PHEV. However, something changed in the body come 20132014.... and it no longer physically appeals to my wife and I as much as our 2012 model did, we're sorry to say. My wife calls it a box on wheels (but she calls many SUVs this, so ignore that), whereas I look at the curves on it and miss the straight lines of our model.

To each, his own... right?