Sporty new look for Mitsubishi’s ‘most civilised’ SUV, as gamechanging hybrid waits in the wings

Mitsubishi’s highly successful Outlander, long vaunted as New Zealand’s ‘most civilised’ SUV, takes on a dramatic,  sporty new look with its 2014 range launched this month.

The six models (one 2WD, five AWD) share a design evolution of Mitsubishi’s punchy ‘jet fighter’ look. The new front grille and face undergoes a significant redesign which is echoed from the new wheel arch surrounds through to the new rear bumper, new LED rear taillights (VRX) and enhanced by roof rails and, on XLS and VRX models, by new machine finished 18-inch alloys.

All 2014 Outlanders have significantly enhanced CVT mapping and improvements in NVH levels and suspension for an even better, and quieter, drive. All models gain Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) which flashes the rear high-mount stop light under heavy braking to warn following drivers.

The petrol-powered Outlanders’ 2-litre and 2.4-litre Smart MIVEC engines continue to offer exceptional fuel economy, at 6.6/7.5 litres per 100km respectively.

Meanwhile the 2.2-litre Clean Diesels introduced last year are steadily building their share of sales as customers recognise the value of the additional torque (224Nm) and economy (6.2 litres per 100km) in daily running.

The only change in the just-announced 2014 line-up is the replacement of the previous VR diesel with the new higher specification XLS, which adds a host of upgrades while retaining VR pricing.

Petrol and diesel XLS models gain partial leather seat trim, and heated autofolding mirrors, while the diesel XLS gains HID headlamps with washers and dusk sensing function, rain sensing wipers and a colour LCD display to complete the XLS package.

Other RRPs are also unchanged, cementing Outlander’s longstanding reputation for excellent value for money.

Mitsubishi’s six-model 2014 Outlander choice is:

  • LS 2-litre Smart MIVEC 2WD $39,990)
  • LS 2.4-litre Smart MIVEC AWD ($43,990)
  • XLS 2.4-litre Smart MIVEC AWD ($47,490)
  • XLS 2.2-litre Clean Diesel AWD ($49,990)
  • VRX 2.4-litre Smart MIVEC AWD ($54,490)
  • VRX 2.2-litre Clean Diesel AWD ($56,990)

All except the LS 2-litre model have seven seats.

Mitsubishi’s head of sales and marketing strategy Daniel Cook says he already has strong orders for the new model and is reporting very positive customer feedback to the sporty new look.

Arriving April: the Outlander dubbed a ‘gamechanger’ in Europe

The comprehensive six-model petrol/diesel range expands to eight in April, with the launch of the extraordinary new Outlander PHEV (in XLS and VRX specification), which Mitsubishi says will be New Zealand’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle: a full 5-seat AWD petrol/electric SUV capable of 1.9 litres per 100km.

Mitsubishi’s Daniel Cook predicts they will be immensely popular, with a RRP starting from only $59,990 for what he says will be “the performance  model” of the Outlander range. “This car truly heralds a new era of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which Mitsubishi sees accelerating to 20% of the market by 2020”, he says. “It’s been dubbed a ‘gamechanger’ overseas, and in Europe alone over 15,000 drivers are already enjoying the car or awaiting delivery”.