Across its forty years in New Zealand, Mitsubishi has earned itself a sound name for building safe, well-specified cars.
In its 2012 models, just becoming available, the Porirua-based three-diamonds importer is ramping up this facet of its reputation still further with new features that quietly, unobtrusively get on with the job of making driving even safer.
Take the persistently popular six-model Mitsubishi Outlander.
It’s already earned an across-the-board 5-star ANCAP safety rating, but wait, there’s more. Take the new electronic SmartBrake system. If you hadn’t heard of it till now, well, neither had we, but it’s on every 2012 Outlander. You might never need it, says Mitsubishi, but it’s there just in case. Stamp on your brakes in an emergency and there’s a chance that, panic-stricken, you might plant your foot on the accelerator too. SmartBrake spots the error and stops you safely.
Then, every 2012-model Outlander makes safe cellphone use easy via the Bluetooth hands-free system (USB connectivity too, so you can plug in your mp3 player or a music-loaded usb stick). And the upcoming VRX version has a rear view camera that sends a bumper-height image to the rear-view mirror when you select reverse, to help you spot wayward toddlers.
While Mitsubishi’s engineers have beavered away on improvements like these, the designers have been at work, too, adding civilised little touches, depending on the model, like colour-keyed door handles, leather seat trim, chrome accents, alloy scuff plates, soft-touch leather-look interior trim, leather-covered steering wheels.
Mitsubishi’s head of sales and marketing strategy, Daniel Cook, says: “Outlander’s popularity isn’t surprising. Wherever you look, there’s an extra level of refinement that just keeps appealing to people who appreciate good, effective design and want this car in their lives”.
The 2012 2WD/4WD Outlander range starts at $38,990.