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Mitsubishi Outlander 2020 review: Exceed diesel

The Outlander Exceed is a top-of-the-range model.

The Mitsubishi Outlander is generally used as a five seat, mid-size SUV. That is, unless you get the Exceed model, which is the top-of-the-range and has two spare seats in the boot, propelling it into that small category of cars just that bit more practical than their five seat counterparts. 

It means it’s in competition with cars like seven-seat versions of the Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail, and the Holden Acadia, too.

The Outlander Exceed costs $46,790 (about $50,000 on the road) and for 2020 the AWD version comes with a few new driving modes. Here’s how it did for this week’s family review. 

How does it look?

The Outlander looks good enough on the road, especially in the sparkly red colour I drove. When comparing it to other cars I feel like it matches up to others in this price bracket. There are some nice curves on the corners and it’s not too boxy, while still looking practical for a family. 

  • mitsubishi outlander 2020: design mitsubishi outlander 2020: design
  • There are some nice curves on the corners and it’s not too boxy. There are some nice curves on the corners and it’s not too boxy.
  •  The Outlander looks like a practical family car. The Outlander looks like a practical family car.
  • The tailgate closes with a button. The tailgate closes with a button.
  • The Exceed matches up to other cars within a similar price bracket. The Exceed matches up to other cars within a similar price bracket.

The interior feels fine, but even though this is the top-of-the-range it’s not as nice as some of its competitors. You are getting those two bonus seats however, so you have to weigh up the value you’re getting with the quality of the finishes. 

The seats are leather but look quite budget. The seats are leather but look quite budget.

The seats are leather but look quite budget, they will hold their look and clean a lot better than fabric seats though, experienced first hand with my kids traipsing mud through the car over the very rainy week I tested the car. It’s much easier to wipe dirt straight off.

The front seats are also heated, which was appreciated in this week’s wild, windy weather.

The front seats are heated. The front seats are heated.

The centre console is clearly designed with everything laid out in a functional manner, and there is a cover over the cupholders you would normally find on higher priced cars, with a sparkly black finish. 

How spacious is it?

The front row is good and neither me nor my taller husband had any concerns with leg or headroom. It certainly feels like a good amount of space to have on long or short trips.

Same with the second row, my children fit in easily and I had plenty of room back there at 161cm, with enough room to spare between my legs and the front seats so I think taller adults should be fine also. 

The second row could fit three child seats if required. The second row could fit three child seats if required.

You can get a third child seat across here but it’s tight and I wouldn’t recommend it on a daily basis, but when you need to it will fit. 

The third row is not as spacious as I’d like, I felt quite cramped and I’m on the shorter end of the scale, so taller adults will feel all bent up but kids should be fine back there, at least for shorter distances.

The third row is not very spacious. The third row is not very spacious.

That’s the reason this car will function mainly as a five-seater, while keeping the two back seats as spare extras - good for when you have visitors in town or you’re driving the kids’ friends around. 

With the back row in use, the boot is quite small at 128L. Another reason you probably wouldn’t use those two seats all the time. It’ll fit school bags and limited groceries. 

With the back row in use, the boot is quite small at 128L. With the back row in use, the boot is quite small at 128L.

With the back row down, the boot opens up nicely, but it’s not the largest in this category. Still, you’ll easily get a double pram in the boot or sporting equipment and at 477L it’s enough for a family of four.

With the back row down, the boot opens up to 477L. With the back row down, the boot opens up to 477L.

I had to do the fruit and veg shop for my neighbourhood co-op this week and I was able to fit 17 boxes of fruit and veg in the whole car, which is good. 

How does it drive?

The Outlander Exceed in the diesel AWD has a 2.4L diesel engine, though it comes in petrol, too.

The Outlander Exceed in the diesel AWD has a 2.4L diesel engine. The Outlander Exceed in the diesel AWD has a 2.4L diesel engine.

It speeds along well enough with a good kick going up hills and along the highway, and the 2020 model has been updated with new driving modes including Eco, Normal, Snow and Gravel so you can get better traction on those surfaces when you switch modes. 

The 2020 model has updated driving modes including Eco, Normal, Snow and Gravel.
The 2020 model has updated driving modes including Eco, Normal, Snow and Gravel.

It’s perfectly fine to drive and while I wouldn’t describe it as exhilarating, it gets the job done and feels solid on the road, so I felt confident. The gear shifter feels stick-like and a bit dated, which did negatively affect the driving experience for me, but it’s not a deal breaker. 

Parking the Outlander is fine, the steering is easy to turn so you can manoeuvre into parking spots well and there is a reverse parking camera plus 360 degree camera which is fantastic for this price range. 

How easy is it to drive every day?

The front seats are power adjustable which helps when more than one person drives the car regularly, and the tailgate closes with a button which is also helpful when you’re carrying a lot of things (which you usually are with kids!).

There are two cupholders in the front, a decent sized centre storage bin and bottle holders in each door, but there is no small storage spot in the front to pop your phone or keys in, which I find annoying. The cupholder housed both items for me on the week I was test driving. 

There are air vents in the second row to distribute air through the car. There are air vents in the second row to distribute air through the car.

Rear passengers get two cupholders in the second row and two cupholders in the third row. There are air vents in the second row to distribute air through the car. 

The third row is easy to pull up and pop down and they are light to pull up, so you won’t have an issue doing this regularly. 

How safe is it?

Safety is comprehensive in the Outlander Exceed, with advanced safety including things like auto emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure alert and blind spot monitoring.

There are airbags to cover the driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that go to the second row, but no airbags for the third row which is another reason you wouldn’t travel long distances with kids in that row, and only use those seats as extras.

You will get two ISOFIX points and three top tether points to fit kids car seats in safely. 

The Outlander scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was assessed in 2014.

What’s the tech like?

It’s fitted with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so you can plug in for instant access to your phone’s main apps and use maps to navigate and Spotify to listen to music.

The Outlander is fitted with easy to use technology and a voice control functionality. The Outlander is fitted with easy to use technology and a voice control functionality.

It’s just the easiest technology around for cars at the moment, with a voice control functionality so you can ask it to call people or to navigate somewhere without having to even look at your phone. 

 

How much does it cost to own?

This Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed (seven seat) in the AWD diesel comes in at $49,290 drive-away. Fuel consumption is 6.2L/100km thanks to the diesel, and it’s covered by Mitsubishi’s five year/100,000 km warranty


The Wrap

The Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed is a decent family car that is good value for the price. It has a good amount of space for a family of four, and has the bonus two extra seats in the back, for when you need them. It drives well, feels reliable and comes with a few touches you’d normally find on a more expensive car.  

I gave it a family rating of 6.8 out of 10 and my kids gave it a 7.0, they loved the sparkly red colour.

Likes

Value for money
Space
Easy to park

Dislikes

Interior design
Small boot with all seats up
No airbags for third row

Scores

Nedahl:

3.4

The Kids:

3.5

$31,790

Based on new car retail price