Despite the lack of serious towing duties this month, the Outlander has come into its own ferrying various members of the team around in bad weather, writes Stacie Pardoe.


Solo use has improved the combined fuel economy, nudging it from 24mpg to almost 29mpg. The Outlander’s four-wheel drive has been a blessing through the colder months with so much snow and ice about. It confidently handles icy roads while regular cars slither around horribly.[tl:gallery size=180×180]


The heated seats have been a real treat for passengers up front. Snuggling into them makes cold starts much more bearable.


Those in the rear seats aren’t forgotten. They may not have the luxury of heated seats, but there is a DVD player to enjoy while the car is warming up. The ceiling-mounted unit is situated centrally and there are two sets of wireless headphones for passengers in the rear to use, so the driver is not distracted by the noise.


Of all the Outlander’s many toys, the DVD player has probably caused the most excitement among passengers both young and old, leaving few complaints about who has to sit in the back.


The same cannot be said, though, for the sixth and seventh seats. Usually, little ones are keen to clamber for these first but even they have found getting into them a squeeze. Unlike the spacious rearmost seats we enjoyed in the S-Max, those in the Outlander are quite low and leave little legroom.


Even on a short journey my six-year-old son started grizzling about being uncomfortable. Ideally, the rearmost seats are best saved for occasional use. When folded the space is put to much better use as a cavernous boot.


Price £28,549
Power 154bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque 280lb.ft @ 2000rpm
Kerbweight 1810kg
Towing limit 2000kg
Towball limit 100kg