Mitsubishi Outlander: too little, too late?

mitsubishi-outlander-2016(Vancouver) The Outlander “enjoys a hundred improvements” proclaims its builder. A significant number in appearance, but in fact, Mitsubishi does not fully meet expectations.

Abandoned by its partners and unable to forge a new alliance, Mitsubishi now finds itself alone. And happy to be so, after all. This period of imprisonment gave him the opportunity to come together to rebuild their financial health, invest in technology and redefine its identity. Big order, but efforts are already beginning to bear fruit, as evidenced by the rising trend in sales in several regions. Including Canada.

Methodically, the Japanese manufacturer is returning and intends to revisit, one by one, all models in the coming months. The Outlander is the first and Mitsubishi claims – somewhat pompously – have over a hundred changes. Some are important, others less so. We could discuss it, but all will agree to say that the most visible concerns the plastic of this utility. The vehicle strenna the aesthetic codes of Mitsubishi tomorrow. This new signature has nothing singular and rather resembles a “cut and paste” of existing or old vehicles from Ford and Toyota in particular groups. But this lack of inspiration will not harm the career of this model and will easily forget the two recent remodeling (2013, 2015) which were not doing a fashion plate.

A superficial review

To add the new aesthetic vocabulary of the brand, the 2016 Outlander is the subject of a series of refinements that essentially aim to make its use more comfortable (better soundproofing, settings suspending elements), more rewarding (care for details ) and functional (clearance under the tailgate and modular cabin).

In short, the changes that should have been included in the original specifications of the vehicle during its renewal. Indeed, how is it that among these “improvements” are not the sensors blind spots (even optional) or a metal rod still responsible for maintaining the cover open?

In fact, one of if not THE this upgrade piece de resistance is the addition of a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with 8 virtual gears. This transmission is of course to improve the fuel consumption, but mainly to upgrade the version of the four-cylinder model that represents only 40% of sales in this range. Mitsubishi believes, rightly, that the growth of sales of this model is there. Moreover, the four-cylinder 2.4-liter is the only one to remember, as standard, the services of this box. The V6 engine, always offered and sought for its load capacity (or towing), remains faithful to his part in a 6-speed automatic.

A new box for the four-cylinder, but still? Nothing. This motor is always supplied by a conventional injection system. That smile when thinking that Mitsubishi was one of if not THE pioneer of direct injection in the last few years.

Not very powerful, this 2.4-liter, however, the advantage of moving a light box of a few extra kilograms this year. Well seen. This has very little impact on pure performance, but contributes more significantly to the dynamic qualities of its chassis reinforced in places.

The performance of this powertrain will attracts particular praise or criticism. He is content to run properly and, should we specify, discreetly work. Competition offers sometimes more swift mechanical, sometimes more sober than that proposed by the Mitsubishi. The latter excels at anything, but has the merit of being consistent, as long as the road is flat terrain.

Otherwise, the presence of the CVT is then feel and gives the impression of “withhold” horses (steam) with a powerful spring, in addition to showing slow to accept the idea to run a kickdown clearly felt during overtaking maneuvers or when the time comes to climb a steep slope more or less. On the flat, at cruising speed, repeat, no problems and its operation side door on any particular criticism.

We regret just as beautiful paddles mounted on the steering wheel remain exclusively reserved for buyers V6. About the V6 precisely, it is the status quo. It retains the same displacement (3 L) and 6-speed automatic is the only service.

Anachronisms

Among the many anachronisms in this redesign, there is the all-wheel drive. The V6 versions are entitled to the most sophisticated available (S-AWC), while those animated 2,4-liters are equipped with a device without the torque vector. This decision, once again, appears rather surprising and deliberate as the S-AWC is offered on the entire range Outlander United States. Not in Canada. A decision dictated by the cost, according to a representative of the firm. It adds that this policy may be revised in the coming months, the coming years.

Anyway, with or without an “S”, the AWD Outlander offers a number of parameters that the customer can choose at will by pressing a button. The latter offers particularly in the S-AWD configuration, an additional function (Snow or Snow) that does not appear on the cog with four-wheel drive base.

However, both feature an Eco mode that ensures somehow disengage the rear axle when the grip level is adequate. Unless seek at all costs to reduce consumption, Eco Mode disappoints more than it delights. Indeed, the behavior of the vehicle becomes more clumsy, more oversteer (tendency to shoot straight when cornering). Ugliest, what.

The Normal mode allows the Outlander to find his beautiful agility and confidence in turns.

Unfortunately, regardless of the selected mode, the electric power steering lacks feel, or rather linearity. Farm in central position, it then reduces too quickly. A matter of adjustment, without a shadow of a doubt. On the other hand, welcome the amazingly tight turning diameter of this vehicle, which greatly facilitates maneuvering in tight spaces.

Then, on a more positive note again, it retains the quality of depreciation and especially the soundproofing of the cabin, significantly higher than last year’s model.

5 + 2

Anxious to boost sales of four-cylinder versions, Mitsubishi has curiously not see fit (again) to offer a seven-passenger configuration to stand out or just to better compete with the Rogue (Nissan). Mitsubishi stubbornly reserve these two additional seats – cut exclusively for toddlers – to buyers of the V6.

Among the changes made, emphasize that it is now possible to get a good flat load floor so much easier. Indeed, it is no longer necessary to remove the headrests to fold in two, three movements folders and seated in the rear seat (or median, depending on the configuration of the cockpit). The safe, always accessible through a hatch constructed of one piece, does not lift passing the foot under the bumper like some of its competitors, but it has the merit of providing a loading threshold of a reasonable height.

The rear seats are proving spacious and flexible – it is possible to tilt the folders and sliding the seats on rails. Naturally, it is also possible to order in whole or in part these seats to further increase the loading space.

The internal presentation does not break anything on the design of the plan. Once again, the audacity that characterized Mitsubishi in this area has completely disappeared. On the other hand, welcome the build quality and diversity of the materials used for the construction of the cabin. Good grades also to storage space as well as the ergonomics of the primary controls. The front seats are comfortable, but they would be better if they provided better lateral support. The navigation screen still too small, is of easy use.

Utility honest offering a generous warranty in addition, the Outlander fixes several shortcomings when renewing this model. Alas, many others remain and this incremental strategy of Mitsubishi annoys.

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WE love
> Comfort and quietness

> Full range

> Generous warranty

We do not like
> Revision too shy

> Elasticity of CVT

> Bit linear direction

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What you must remember
> Brand / model: Mitsubishi Outlander

> Price range: $ 25,998 to $ 38,498

> Transportation: $ 1,600

> Warranty: 5 years / 100 000 km

> Actual consumption: 10.7 L / 100 km

> Visible in concessions: In a few days

> Engine (petrol): L4 SOHC 2.4L

> Power: 166 hp at 6000 rev / min

> Torque: 162 lb-ft at 4200 rev / min

> Weight: 1535 kg (AWD)

> Power to weight ratio: 9.24 kg / hp

> Mode: Full

> Series Automatic 8-speed transmission (CVT)

> Optional Transmission: No

> Management / Turning Circle (m): Rack / 10.6

> Brakes (av-arr): Disc / Disc

> Tires (av-arr): 225 / 55R18

> Tank capacity / Recommended Fuel: 60 / Ordinary

> For more information: www.mitsubishimotors.ca

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