David Motton

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Lightness aids efficiency but can hurt a car's towing abilities – Practical Caravan's tow car experts review the Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 DI-D GX5 auto

Overview

Almost every new car these days is lighter than its predecessor. The latest Mitsubishi Outlander is no exception.

With a kerbweight of 1685kg, the Outlander weighs less than a Hyundai Santa Fe or Kia Sorento, giving a much lower 85% match figure. But provided your caravan makes a sensible match for it, the Outlander is a fine tow car.

Towing

Stability at speed is very good. Towing a Swift Expression 554 caravan with an MTPLM of 1454kg we only needed to make slight steering corrections, even in strong crosswinds. In an emergency lane change, the Outlander gripped well and was unflustered, even when the caravan began to move around behind it. We also found that it handles corners well.

The Outlander’s 2.2-litre diesel isn’t as powerful as the engines fitted to some rivals, but the 30-60mph time of 12.2 seconds is very respectable. We had no trouble holding 60mph on motorway inclines, although on steeper hills the automatic gearbox would sometimes hunt around for the right gear. 

If you need to stop in a hurry, the Outlander’s brakes have reassuring bite, stopping car and caravan from 30mph in just 10.1 metres on a dry test track.

Everyday driving

Leave the caravan behind and the Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 DI-D GX5 auto makes a comfortable car for everyday driving. For the most part it rides and handles well, although it can feel unsettled over really rough surfaces.

Space

The Outlander’s strongest selling point isn’t the way it drives – it’s the spacious and practical cabin.

There’s plenty of room for those in the front or middle seats, while the third row offers enough head and legroom for short trips. Since the middle row is on runners, it can be slid forward to give those in the back more space.

So the spacious and practical cabin has everything you need for a safe and comfortable drive. And though luggage space is tight as a seven-seater, with seats six and seven folded into the floor there’s a generous 591 litres to fill. 

Running costs

With this tow car, running costs should be low, Mitsubishi's official figures promising 48.7mpg for the diesel automatic. We managed 22.7mpg towing around our economy route. However, there’s no getting away from the range-topping GX5’s high price. Other models lower down the range are better value.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1685 kg
85% KW1432 kg
Towball limit100 kg
Maximum towing limit2000 kg
Power147.0 bhp
Torque265.0 lb ft
Official MPG48.7 mpg
CO2153 g/km

Verdict

So, at the end of the Practical Caravan review, what's the verdict? We found the Mitsubishi Outlander to be a practical and comfortable seven-seat 4x4, and a competent tow car. However, it is not as powerful as some rivals and being lighter than before, you must check that it is a suitable match for your caravan.

Conclusion

Pros

  • When towing it is stable, and it grips and handles well
  • The cabin is comfortable, spacious and practical

Cons

  • The GX5 is pretty pricey
  • It isn't the punchiest engine
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