The purchase of an SUV wasn't easy, though the MY14.5 Outlander LS (4×2 – 2.0l) in August 2014 was "the one" after test driving the X-Trail, ix35 and Kuga. Setting out sights on a larger vehicle we were seeking a vehicle that was was reliable. Some might see this as a joke, calling a Mitsubishi a Bitsamissing - But, this manufacturer have and have played their part in producing a quality product.
From various journalist reviews, the facelift of the updated Outlander MY 14.5 is not to some people's taste compared to the previous model. With a sportier look, classier grille and silver bumper inserts, the LS model is fitted with partial leather seats, satellite navigation, side mirrors with LED indicators, privacy glass, the CVT transmission and a ‘Outlander' bonnet emblem looks the part!
After owning a Cruze the last 3 years (6spd auto and an atrocious shifter at that), the CVT is a dream to drive and very smooth indeed. Not to ever ones flavour, however further improvements made the transmission provide far more responsiveness and slick shifter over the previous model. The 4×2 model is as light in weight as say a Cruze, it's very easy to drive (a little larger but didn't take much to get used to with a great seating height), easy to park with the standard rear sensors, camera and electric steering (with front sensors added on).
The instrument cluster is clear to read and to understand, the radio, bluetooth audio and Satellite Navigation are relatively simple to operate but the MMCS can be sluggish at times. The cruise control buttons are in easy reach and simple to use too.
The engine's 2.0 litre capacity is fine around Sydney with fuel consumption spot on, averaging 7.4l per 100km to and from work (upper north shore sydney to the city everyday) and on a trip to Brisbane having managed an impressive 6.6l per 100km.
Mind you however, this is using 95 RON rather than standard 91 Unleaded (Don't bother with the E10 variety)… At almost 25000km's on the clock, the MIVEC engine is running alot quieter too and seems to drive alot less lethargic. The 2.0 litre model may benefit far more with a Turbo fitted, but it's no performance machine. The steering column is fitted with paddle shifters however these don't move with the steering wheel - though they do come in handy to step up those revs for a sportier feel. If you're looking for magnificent fuel economy, this model will fit your everyday driving requirements. Around corner, the vehicle sits relatively flat and very minimal body roll - all feels tight and firm but comfortable.
Mitsubishi Genuine Service has been A (not A+); the first issue with the interior was that the front left passenger leather armrest - which had slightly collapsed but replaced under warranty. The only other ongoing nag is the functionality of the standard Satellite Navigation - From day one, it fails to track reliably, instead jumping "off course into the bushes or grassland" - The iPhone Maps app does a better job. Mitsubishi's answer to this was "It's just the way a GPS works." The saga continues...
The ride, especially around Sydney is very quiet, most road noise is silenced. The purchase of the LS over the Aspire model was due to reasons of not requiring full leather seats, a sun roof, push button entry and start, heater front seats – this was almost a $10k jump in price from the LS, but is a 4×4 with 7 seats.
Other models are fitted with LED tail lights and projector bi-xenon headlights - It's a shame, as these should be fitted to all models to prevent the odd rear styling. I guess you can't have everything perfect in all variants.
A very well built & quality vehicle which comes with a 5 year 130k warranty. Capped Price Servicing sees costs at a minimum $350 for a service; For a 4x2, that is quite substantial. The MY15 ZK Outlander now replaces the ZJ and may not be to everyone's taste - Though, Mitsubishi have listened to their customers and made vast improvements to NVH, the CVT transmission with a simplified range whilst dropping the ES variant.
With a respective resale value, a second-hand 2014/15 ZJ Outlander LS 4x2 is a safe machine to haul the kids around with a boot full of camping gear, noting the fuel economy is the key point in this variant.