Mitsubishi Outlander Pajero review 2013
This Mitsubishi has tapped into the search for a guilt-free SUV that has all the looks, drama and interest of an off-roader, but without the thirst and weight. No surprise, then, that the second-generation Outlander has proved more popular than the car it replaced.
Mitsubishi has geared the second-generation Outlander more for on- than off-road use and based it on the same platform as the Lancer, instead of using of its traditional off-roader chassis.
The Peugeot 4007 and Citroën C-Crosser SUVs are also based on Outlander architecture, thanks to PSA’s joint venture with Mitsubishi. In the same way that the Suzuki SX-4 spawned the Fiat Sedici, Peugeot and Citroën’s versions of this car are little more than re-badged, re-nosed Outlanders.
This version of the Outlander is in its final year on sale before it is replaced by the third iteration of the 4x4, which was unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show.
Unlike this current car, which was built in Holland for most of its lifespan, the new Outlander will not be built in Europe following Mitsubishi’s decision to end production at its Dutch factory due to falling production volumes.
Choosing an engine variant from the Mitsubishi Outlander range is a relatively straightforward task, because the only choice is a 2.2-litre turbocharged, intercooled diesel.
Or rather, two 2.2-litre diesels: the lump fitted to six-speed manual transmission versions of the Outlander is an enlarged version of the 1.8-litre unit found in the Mitsubishi ASX hatchback.
Introduced to the model range for 2011, the Di-D engine features MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control), and makes some fuel consumption and power delivery improvements over the previous engine. Power increases from 154bhp to 174bhp, and CO2 drops by 12 per cent on all manual transmission variants across the range to between 162-169g/km.
The newer 2.2 offers plenty of power but a combination of awkward gearing and uneven power delivery too often leaves you outside the narrow torque band. This means you end up changing gear more often than in other better set-up cars.
For now though, a six-speed manual is the only option. And it’s good, with a smooth, positive shift and progressive clutch feel.
Outlanders fitted with the SST twin-clutch automatic transmission are equipped with the older Peugeot-derived powerplant that produces 154bhp and 189g/km of CO2.
Typically for the class, the Mitsubishi Outlander has no low-ratio gears, but the car can be locked in 50:50 four-wheel drive via a selector on the dashboard. Other modes are 4wd – in which power is apportioned to the rear when the front wheels lose grip – and 2wd, an exclusively front-wheel-drive mode.