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No more wallflowers for Mitsubishi, as its all-new SUV goes beyond RAV4 territory

29 Nov 2006

MITSUBISHI’S revolution did not kick off with the (current) Lancer, Colt or Grandis, and the 380 continues to languish as a too-often overlooked family car, but the Australian arm of the beleaguered Japanese corporation might just have the turnaround model it has so desperately hoped for over the last half-decade, with the all-new Outlander. A veritable swan from an ugly SUV duckling if there ever was one, the latest, ZG edition has the looks, performance, economy, features and pricing to set the competition – and there are a whole heap of them in this segment – into quite a spin.
Model release date: 1 November 2006 to 1 October 2009

Previous model

Mitsubishi ZF Outlander

Released: August 2004
Ended: November 2006
Family Tree: Outlander

LIKE today’s ZG, the ZF Outlander was based on the Lancer small car. And since Mitsubishi uses plenty of rally know-how in its production vehicles, it comes as no shock that this first-generation Outlander steered, gripped and stopped more like a car than the SUVs it was meant to compete with. But the compact wagon-oid body and cheapo cabin design limited the car’s appeal, despite the performance offered by the 120kW/220Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which transmitted its hefty torque output to all four-wheels via a four-speed automatic gearbox. Not a bad car at all to drive, but the Outlander floundered as a family carryall.

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