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Mitsubishi launches updated Outlander

Out and about: Mild changes to the styling of the Mitsubishi Outlander include a new grille and black wheel arches.

Outlander range gets styling and mechanical tweaks as Mitsubishi gears up for PHEV

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7 Mar 2014

MITSUBISHI has refreshed its Outlander compact-SUV range a little over a year after its introduction, with subtle styling tweaks and some minor mechanical changes to keep it competitive against its rivals.

Prices for some variants have increased slightly, with the base Outlander 2.0-litre ES two-wheel drive petrol manual up by $100 to $27,740 plus on-road costs ($29,990 with a CVT), while the all-wheel drive 2.4-litre ES petrol carries the same increase for a new price of $32,990.

The only other variant to cop the $100 price boost is the top-spec Aspire, with the all-wheel drive petrol now starting at $43,890 while the diesel caps off the range at $46,890.

Mitsubishi’s has given its SUV contender a mild update to the front end, which it says was inspired by the company’s new design language that was previewed with GC-PHEV and XR-PHEV SUV concepts from last year’s Tokyo motor show.

The tweaks at the front end include a new sharper grille, a blacked-out lower grille in the bumper, chrome fog-light bezels and a silver skid plate.

All four wheel arches now feature a black finish that connects with the black skirting at the rear and sides of the Outlander, a new silver skid plate features at the rear and silver roof rails sit atop the vehicle.

A new 10-spoke 18-inch grey machine-faced alloy wheel design has been included on the top-spec Aspire, as has a new metallic red body colour and LED tail-lights.

Updates to the cabin include new black cloth trim on base ES variants, cloth seat trim with leather inserts and chrome door handles for the mid-spec LS and a silver flourish across the instrument panel and doors of the Aspire.

Mitsubishi has added an Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) across the range that flashes the hazard warning lights under heavy braking to alert vehicles traveling behind. The five-star safety-rated Outlander already features Forward Collision Mitigation and adaptive cruise control as standard on Aspire variants.

The suspension has been recalibrated with a new spring mount isolator for improved roll control and better balance in cornering, while retuned shock absorbers and a new damper tune are said to improve ride and handling.

Variants powered by the 110kW/195kW 2.0-litre and 124kW/220Nm 2.4-litre petrol engines feature improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels that have reduced engine and road noise, while an updated CVT is available on the petrol variants that offers better performance and “launch feel”.

Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited executive director of marketing Tony Principe said the update to the Outlander range – including the mild engineering tweaks – make it one of the best value SUVs in Australia.

“Outlander’s 14.5 model year update is part of our long term strategy to respond to changing market needs, and better positions Mitsubishi to compete in the family-oriented medium SUV segment,” he said.

“When we introduced the new generation Outlander, customers told us they really liked Outlander’s cabin space and ergonomics and they were pleasantly surprised by its high level of safety and convenience features, but wanted Outlander to have a more distinctive on-road presence. We’ve listened to this customer feedback and introduced an Outlander range that is better than ever.”

Sales of the Outlander for the first two months of 2014 are down by 29.3 per cent compared to the same period last year, with 970 units shifted in January and February combined.

The current generation Outlander has trailed its compact-SUV rivals in sales since its December 2012 launch and it currently sits in eighth place behind the top-selling Mazda CX-5 (3605), Toyota RAV4 (3018), Subaru Forester (2194), Honda CR-V (1605), Kia Sportage (1252), Nissan X-Trail (1183) and Ford Kuga (1004).

Mitsubishi is hoping for a boost with the arrival of the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid that is set to arrive in local showrooms in April this year. The PHEV will likely carry a price premium over the regular petrol and diesel models.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander pricing*
ES 2.0L petrol 2WD$27,740 +$100
ES 2.0L petrol 2WD (a)$29,990
ES 2.4L petrol 4WD (a)$32,990 +$100
LS 2.0L petrol 2WD (a)$33,490
LS 2.4L petrol 4WD (a)$36,490
LS 2.2L diesel 4WD (a)$39,490
Aspire 2.4L petrol 4WD (a)$43,890 +$100
Aspire 2.2L diesel 4WD (a)$46,890 +$100

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