Monday, March 26, 2012

Used Car Review - Mitsubishi Outlander (2007-2009)

It's now summer and it's road trip time! You prepare the gang, barkada, or your family; and the stuff for that journey. You prefer something car-like but with high ground clearance, and you don't need that space. And the requirement is something exciting to drive and enjoyable, without your passengers vomiting. The car that Myk Belmonte recommends would surely fit the criteria mentioned.

2007-2009 Mitsubishi Outlander

Majority of compact SUVs are based on a sedan. Honda used the underpinnings of the Civic for their CR-V, Subaru utilized the Impreza platform which resulted to the Forester, Toyota molded the RAV4's chassis from a Corolla, and the Outlander was based on the Lancer sedan. This resulted to a comfortable ride, excellent driving dynamics, and what sedans lack - ground clearance from floods and potholes.

Conceived from the Mitsubishi ASX Concept Vehicle exhibited at the North American International Auto Show, the Outlander initially started using the Airtrek nameplate in 2001 (the Outlander badge was used from 2003 to present). The difference between the Airtrek and Outlander are limited to exterior styling, engine choices, and interior design. The second generation Outlander was introduced in October 2005, and this caused the dropping of the Airtrek in Japan for uniformity purposes in its home market, which is Japan. The second gen Outlander also gave way to its European cousins, the Citroen C-Crosser and Peugeot 4007 as well as a short wheelbase version, named as the Mitsubishi RVR (ASX and Outlander Sport in other nations).

The Outlander was initially introduced in the Philippines in 2003 by Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation. Sales were lukewarm against the competition but managed to hang on until 2007. The second generation had its launch in 2007 and trim lines marketed include a GLX 4x2, GLS 4x4, and the GLS Sport 4x4 with a V6 power plant. Japanese Yen to Philippine Peso exchange caused the discontinuation of the Outlander in 2010, which made it unfeasible and expensive. The ASX took the helm left by the Outlander later on that year.

Value and Costs
This vehicle can be obtained from P690,000-P860,000, a good bargain considering that one can experience this beast at half the price when it was new. A great option for those wanting a daily car that carries a spacious cabin and cargo area and at the same time, wanting an exciting vehicle to drive whether on the open road or during that morning rush. So, where do you get this type of vehicle exhibiting enjoyable driving dynamics which every occupant can feel the experience?

Although maintenance costs are at par with some Japanese and Korean rivals, one must prepare extra money for maintaining the large V6 engine and for all-wheel-drive variants, four wheels must be replaced altogether for better traction and safety purposes. Common problems involve the weather strips (this is a small issue) and the tints can have lines (which could be caused by the temperate weather in our country). Both of them should be fixed by the previous owner before purchasing a unit.

Exterior and Interior
Be thankful that the designers put the first generation's design to rest and chose to adopt the design motif worn by the Montero Sport and Strada. The front grill does not look funny or tacky but rather macho and has the appeal of its bigger brothers. Proud owners and obsessed with badge reading will be able to point out the differences between variants without closer inspection. Those who do not fit the said description would need a closer inspection for them to know that the fog lamps, the C-pillars, and the fender flares are different between variants.

With this vehicle being car based, it is not surprising that the interior resembles something taken out of a car. Fabric seats are used even for the top tier V6 variant, which is said to be waterproof but be careful not to stain them, no thanks to its beige color motif. Vehicle controls are placed logically and within reach of the driver, and even the Rockford Fosgate stereo system is easy to use. Interior room is good enough for five people.

You have the option of two engines for your Outlander, with one emphasizing on economy and one focusing on spirited driving. The economy minded engine is the 4B12 2,359cc which pumps out 170hp at 6,000rpm and 226Nm at 4,100rpm. While the 6B31 2,998cc V6 has 220hp at 6,250rpm and 277Nm at 4,000rpm - which makes a perfect companion for long drives. The GLX and GLS lines have the 4B12 powertrain and the GLS Sport possess the 6B31 V6. Both of these engines are no slouch performers and does their job well done. 

Driving Impressions
With its under-chassis being based on the driver-oriented Lancer, the Outlander does have a sporty pretense. With it you can drive on smooth roads, sands and rough roads, and during rainy days - courtesy of the standard all-wheel drive (GLX variant need not to apply) and the lockable center differential. Your passengers would appreciate the car-like comfort but be careful on twisty roads, for them not to vomit or puke. Just apply a smooth foot to avoid sudden influx of torque at lower speeds. It may not be the sportiest but will deliver the goods in a sporty fashion.

Compact SUVs of car based underpinnings are in the rage today. And the Outlander is one of them. You get the driving excitement of the Lancer Evo with the ability of wading floods and you also get that cargo space twice more than it's rally-bred counterpart. Plus, it's a practical daily driver, which you can experience off the tarmac. It may be short lived due to economic reasons (blame the Japanese Yen for that), but the Outlander had enthusiasts have for more, with practicality.

The Good:
  • Lancer Evo on stilts
  • Ferocious V6 engine
  • Convenient rear loading bay
The Bad:
  • Interior could be done better
  • Third row not standard
  • Rockford Fosgate stereo's boomy sound
The Pick: 2.4 GLS for daily driving, but 3.0 GLS Sport for extreme excitement

Engines: 2,359cc 4B12 I4 and 2,998cc 6B31 V6 gasoline
Power: 170hp @ 6,000rpm (2.4), 220hp @ 6,250rpm (3.0)
Torque: 226Nm @ 4,100rpm (2.4), 277Nm @ 4,000rpm (3.0)
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 7-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear multilink

Price (New): P1,270,000-P1,688,000
Price (Now): P690,000-P860,000
Rivals: Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Nissan X-Trail, Mazda Tribute, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Captiva, Suzuki Grand Vitara
On Sale: 2007-2009

Citimotors Makati - 892-0331
Diamond Motors Valle Verde - 671-9590
Diamond Motors Quezon Avenue - 372-3901

Photos courtesy of

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