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Mitsubishi Outlander: Its strengths and weaknesses

The Mitsubishi Outlander is currently in its fourth generation. [File, Standard]

Mitsubishi Outlander is an eye candy three-row compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) that sits seven people.

The Japanese vehicle looks sporty, deluxe and grounded.

It comes with a 2,400cc inline four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 181 horsepower. It also has a diesel version that has an engine capacity of 2,200cc, producing 148 horsepower.

On the highway, the petrol version, which is more popular in Kenya, gives about 10.2 kilometres per litre (km/l). The figures could drop in urban driving.

The vehicle’s acceleration is impressive, shooting up to 100 kilometres per hour (Kph) from zero in 9.5 seconds.

The Outlander has a 60-litre full tank capacity.

At the current Sh159.12 petrol prices in Nairobi, you’ll need Sh9,550 to fill the vehicle’s fuel tank.

The Outlander’s competitors include the Mazda CX-5, Toyota Vanguard, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forester, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Honda CR-V.

Mechanics in Nairobi say despite its solid handling, the Outlander is usually overlooked against its more popular rivals such as the Toyota Vanguard, Nissan X-Trail, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and the Honda CR-V.

The Outlander is currently in its fourth generation (2021), with the first produced in 2001; the second (2006) and the third (2012 to 2020).

The Outlander also has a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) version, which is a hybrid electric system, whose battery pack can be recharged by plugging a charging cable into an external electric power source.

The PHEV version of the Outlander has a better fuel economy than the non-hybrid version. The PHEV Outlander produces an impressive 13.7km/l on highway driving, despite being heavy.

The vehicle has a kerb weight (weight while empty) of 1,602 kilogrammes. The Outlander can carry up to 750kgs of load, passengers included. Its maximum roof load capacity is 80kgs.

On full tank, the non-hybrid Outlander can take you up to 600 kilometres, with the PHEV version lasting you some 750 kilometres.

The Outlander has a boot capacity of 178 litres, which isn’t massive, but upon folding down the third-row seats, you’ll liberate up to 913 litres, which is massive.

The Outlander has a ground clearance of 7.3 inches. Its rivals have a better ride clearance though – the CX-5 (7.6 inches), Subaru Forester (8.7 inches), the Toyota Vanguard (7.5 inches), Nissan X-Trail (7.9 inches) and the Honda CR-V (7.8 inches).

Jack Mogaka, a resident of Nairobi County, owns a 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander. He says the eight-year old vehicle is serving him well.

“The only major issue I have had with it, is its power alternator, which I’ve had to replace twice. The two times it failed, I was coming from the carwash,” Mogaka told The Standard.

The Outlander comes with a standard front-wheel drive, with an option of four-wheel drive.

Mogaka uses his car to travel often to Kilgoris, Narok County from Nairobi.

The vehicle’s reviews show that despite its good handling, the CVT transmission of the car has issues, ranging from erratic shifting to hesitation.

Once the vehicle’s mileage hits 120,000kms, most Outlanders experience regular automatic transmission fluid problems. The vehicle’s air conditioning system also breaks down.

Steering wheel vibration problems are also common with the aged Outlanders.

Nairobi-based mechanic Charles Okoth said the Outlander, however, scores highly in performance compared to its Nissan and Toyota rivals.

“The car is generally good,” said Okoth.

The mechanic said the hybrid Outlander is a better choice for buyers seeking great fuel economy.

In Kenya, a 2015 edition of the Outlander, would set you back between Sh2.8 million and Sh3.7 million, depending on the grade of the foreign-used car.