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Mitsubishi Outlander 2022 review: Exceed long-term | Part 3 & 4

Almost three months living with the Berry family and the Mitsubishi Outlander is earning its keep.

You know you’re living with a car properly when a spider takes up residence in your wing mirror. No matter how many times you wipe away the cobwebs they return again a few days later. That probably also means our long-term Outlander is due for a good bath. After all, it's been another month of Berry family punishment.

Part 3

Yep, three months in the Outlander Exceed and life after the birth of our baby girl, moving house and renovations has settled down from a sleep-deprived rollercoaster ride to normality. Almost.

This month we’ve driven 718km which isn’t a huge number of kilometres but that’s because our bub’s still new and we’ve kept our travel with her fairly close to home.

There's also plenty of room for the pram and the shopping. (image: Richard Berry) There's also plenty of room for the pram and the shopping. (image: Richard Berry)

Still, there’s been all the usual day-to-day hoops to jump through such as the school runs, supermarket trips, doctor appointments, Ikea excursions and a descent into hell, otherwise to the Royal Easter Show.

There’s a lot to like about the Outlander, and a couple of things not to love, but one day over the course of the past month while driving through heavy rain with a baby crying and a seven-year-old telling me he was bored I decided on something. No, not to run away. I decided the best thing about the Outlander Exceed is that it's helpful.

  • You know you’re living with a car properly when a spider takes up residence in your wing mirror. (image: Richard Berry) You know you’re living with a car properly when a spider takes up residence in your wing mirror. (image: Richard Berry)
  • No matter how many times you wipe away the cobwebs they return again a few days later. (image: Richard Berry) No matter how many times you wipe away the cobwebs they return again a few days later. (image: Richard Berry)

Yes, all machines are supposed to be helpful, but I can tell you there are lots of cars that aren’t because they’re not easy to drive, or they’re not practical or they might not offer features to make life more pleasant despite being marketed to families.   

The Outlander Exceed is helpful in that it’s easy to drive, with light steering, a good turning circle and it’s not too big to park.

  • I decided the best thing about the Outlander Exceed is that it's helpful. (image: Richard Berry) I decided the best thing about the Outlander Exceed is that it's helpful. (image: Richard Berry)
  • The Outlander Exceed is helpful in that it’s easy to drive, with light steering, a good turning circle and it’s not too big to park. (image: Richard Berry) The Outlander Exceed is helpful in that it’s easy to drive, with light steering, a good turning circle and it’s not too big to park. (image: Richard Berry)
  • It's got plenty of room for two kids. (image: Richard Berry) It's got plenty of room for two kids. (image: Richard Berry)

Helpful, too, in that it’s easy to use with proximity unlocking, push-button start, plus plenty of room for two kids, the pram, the shopping, with sun shades and tinted windows. The ride height makes it easy for everybody to climb in and means no bending when lowering our newborn into her baby seat. And helpful because it’s comfortable with great seats (heated in the front) and well laid-out controls.

For the first time in a review I'm also going to sing the praises of a panoramic sunroof. Normally I find these turn cars into hot greenhouses in summer, but over this cold autumn the rain pattering down on it has mesmerised our baby and even settled her to sleep.

I also love that the handle on the back doors doubles as her dummy holder.

It's got sun shades and tinted windows. (image: Richard Berry) It's got sun shades and tinted windows. (image: Richard Berry)

All those things combined made our life easier as parents, and I can say that having lived with hundreds of cars in the past.

I can also say that there are a few things I’m not liking. I think the way the Outlander Exceed rides on the road needs addressing. The big wheels (20-inch alloys) and low profile tyres (255/45 Bridgestone Ecopia) look damned good, but over Sydney’s pot-holed streets the impact is felt too harshly through the cabin. A tyre with a higher sidewall might fix this but ask a Mitsubishi service centre to recommend a replacement.

For the first time in a review I'm also going to sing the praises of a panoramic sunroof. (image: Richard Berry) For the first time in a review I'm also going to sing the praises of a panoramic sunroof. (image: Richard Berry)

My Outlander Exceed’s fuel usage was on the high side this month at 15.2L/100km. This was measured at the fuel pump with two fills over the month. The high-ish fuel consumption could come down to carrying around quite a bit of weight with all of us on board along with the pram and the rest of the family equipment, plus this SUV is an all-wheel drive. I also live in a hilly area and cold starts and steep climbs don’t do anything for fuel economy.

But now it’s time to give our Outlander a wash and see if we can find our wing mirror friend a new home.

My Outlander Exceed’s fuel usage was on the high side this month at 15.2L/100km. (image: Richard Berry) My Outlander Exceed’s fuel usage was on the high side this month at 15.2L/100km. (image: Richard Berry)

Acquired: February, 2022

Distance travelled this month: 718km

Odometer: 9032km

Average fuel consumption for May: 15.2L/100 (measured at the pump)

 

The Outlander has been a Berry family favourite, and parting is such sweet sorrow. (image: Richard Berry) The Outlander has been a Berry family favourite, and parting is such sweet sorrow. (image: Richard Berry)

Part 4: Final

I don't like goodbyes. Not because they're sad or emotional. Nup, I just don't like them because I can be more socially awkward than an emu. I panic and say something odd like: "Okay, it's going time now." Luckily for me, cars can't talk and so seeing off the Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed after its four-month stay with us was easy, even if we're all going to miss it.

Yep, after more than 3000km of Berry family life the Outlander is leaving us. That's not a huge number of kays, but a lot has happened during this time.

There was the arrival of our new baby daughter, and the Outlander was the car which brought her safely home from the hospital. We'd also just moved house and the Outlander served as our removalist van picking up furniture for the new place.

After more than 3000km of Berry family life the Outlander is leaving us. (image: Richard Berry) After more than 3000km of Berry family life the Outlander is leaving us. (image: Richard Berry)

And then, just because us Berrys like a challenge, we renovated the new place with the Outlander again carrying supplies including the new bathtub.

Oh, and I'm kicking myself because I didn't get a photo of the bathtub in the back, although I did get a snap of it in its box after I unloaded it. But trust me, with the second and third rows folded flat the 1.6m long tub (even longer in the box) fit... just.

On top of all this the Outlander did the daily sprints to school, endless nips down the shops and trips to visit the grandparents in rural NSW from our place in Sydney.

Nothing beats getting to know a car like an owner than living with it long-term like this, and if you haven't read the previous instalments of our time with the Outlander, well it was in Part 3 that it struck me what the best thing about this SUV is. It's helpful. That sounds ridiculously obvious but not all cars make life easier.

As a reviewer who has tested hundreds of cars, and as a parent in a family which is in a different car every week, we found the Outlander Exceed thoughtfully designed for families with good practicality, comfortable to sit in with well laid out controls, and easy to drive.

That said, there are a few things about the Outlander I'd change.

I'd make the Outlander more fuel efficient. In my latest fill at the pump I measured 10.2L/100km. That was fairly low compared to the 15.1L/100km in Part 1 of this review and I put that down to us doing a lot more motorway miles recently. Still I haven't been able to get much more than 550km out of a tank and mostly I've only been able to reach 450km before the fuel light flicks on.

The ride comfort also needs to be improved. It's unsettled, with too much roll in the corners and overly hard on patchy roads. The big 20-inch wheels and low-profile tyres can also be a bit hard.

I’m kicking myself because I didn’t get a photo of the bathtub in the back, although I did get a snap of it in its box after I unloaded it. (image: Richard Berry) I’m kicking myself because I didn’t get a photo of the bathtub in the back, although I did get a snap of it in its box after I unloaded it. (image: Richard Berry)

And while it is easy to drive, the Outlander somehow feels larger than it is, which I think is due to the tall, big bonnet and limited forward visibility due to the small windscreen and high window sills.

The Exceed grade is almost as high as you can go in the Outlander range, only the Exceed Tourer is above it, and is almost identical save for the two-tone interior, black roof, and massaging seats it adds.

Sure, the Exceed doesn't get those seats with a built-in masseuse but they're quilted leather, power adjustable and heated. There's also wireless charging, proximity unlocking with push-button start, a head-up display and a media system that can connect two phones at the same time.

The Exceed's list price of $48,990 makes it good value, but the Aspire grade below it in the range has most of these features for about $4K less.

Nothing beats getting to know a car like an owner than living with it long-term like this. (image: Richard Berry) Nothing beats getting to know a car like an owner than living with it long-term like this. (image: Richard Berry)

The Exceed has seven seats, but with only two kids we kept the third row folded flat and filled the boot with a pram and all the other equipment you need to go anywhere with your offspring.

I also may have used the boot as a nappy change table at some point with the tailgate serving as an awning, protecting me from the rain.

The tinted window and sunshades not only kept the sun off the kids' faces but made the second row a private change room for after school sport. The Exceed also has three-zone climate control, which means you can adjust the temperature for the kids in the back separately to the front passengers.

As for the engine, the 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder felt strong enough to carry the family, the furniture, the bathtub for the reno, even a load of bricks, all while still having good acceleration.

My seven-year old son is better at goodbyes than me. (image: Richard Berry) My seven-year old son is better at goodbyes than me. (image: Richard Berry)

Yes, the transmission is a CVT, and I'm not a big fan of them generally but this one was okay. Its best characteristic is the smoothness it offers in the city traffic and in hilly areas.

Our Outlander was all-wheel drive and as I've said in previous instalments, AWD isn't essential unless you're regularly on dirt or gravel roads, but I like it for the extra traction the system offers on wet city streets.

My seven-year old son is better at goodbyes than me. On our final day with the Outlander I told him that this would be the last time I'd be taking him to school in it because it was going back that day. He dropped his bag and simply gave the SUV a hug. I'm learning a lot from him.

Okay, it's going time now.

Acquired: February, 2022

Distance travelled this month: 1010km

Odometer: 10,042km

Average fuel consumption for June: 10.2L/100 (measured at the pump)

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The Wrap

The Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed could be more comfortable on the road and more fuel efficient but it's a good value, practical, safe and easy-to-drive SUV that parents will find helpful every day.

Likes

Beefy, prestige looks
Advanced safety
Cool cabin tech

Dislikes

Unsettled ride
Thirsty on fuel
Small boot

Scores

Richard:

3.5

The Kids:

4

$47,990

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

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