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Mitsubishi Outlander vs Hyundai Tucson


In the beginning, cars stood tall. The same high driving position draws people to SUVs. That, says Chris Riley, and versatility.

value

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

$36,490

Prices start at $28,490, the XLS is $36,490 with a six-step CVT. Not as much kit as Tucson, with leather faced seats, two-zone climate, 18-inch rims, auto lights, wipers and interior mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio, LED daytime runners and tyre pressure monitoring — plus six-speaker audio with seven-inch touchscreen, satnav and digital radio. Warranty is five years/100,000km. Capped price servicing totals $1500 over four years or 60,000km. Resale is 47 per cent.

Hyundai Tucson Elite

$38,240

Hyundai’s more substantial replacement for the ix35 starts at $27,990 — the mid-range Elite is $38,240. Standard are dual-zone climate, 17-inch alloys, push button start, auto lights, wipers and mirror, LED headlights, daytime runners and cornering lights, Bluetooth phone and audio, eight-inch touchscreen with satnav and power tailgate. Warranty is five years/unlimited km. Capped price servicing is $2610 over five years. Resale is 64 per cent (ix35).

design

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

The bold new face adds character. Same wheelbase as Tucson but 22cm longer with seven seats standard in this model. The rear pews are a tad thin and uncomfortable. The centre position is particularly cramped. The third row is a bonus but access is difficult and it’s strictly for little kiddies. Boot capacity is 447L, with three Isofix child seat mounts and full-size alloy spare. It can tow 1600kg.

Hyundai Tucson Elite

The Tucson resembles a smaller Santa Fe. The five-seater is structurally stronger with a 30mm longer wheelbase, delivering a more refined ride on bumpy roads. There is more legroom front and back and larger boot — 488L. There are two Isofix child seat mounts and a full-size alloy spare. Tow rating is 1600kg.

technology

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

The 2.4L four-cylinder petrol engine delivers 124kW/220Nm. The CVT, with gear change paddles, is designed to find the perfect balance between power and economy and is good for 7.2L/100km. It achieves that — we were getting 6.7L. There’s a sport mode button for more aggressive performance, a diff lock for off-road and 190mm ground clearance. Digital radio is a plus but drops out a lot.

Hyundai Tucson Elite

The 1.6-litre turbo is a revised version of that in the quirky Veloster, with 130kW/265Nm, turning a seven-speed twin-clutch auto (but no paddles). It’s chiefly front-drive, with torque delivered automatically rearward when it gets slippery. Performance is lively and flexible, with aggressive sport mode, 4WD lock for off-road and 182mm ground clearance. Claimed thirst is 7.7L/100km (we got 8.8L). Cutting-edge tech includes Apple CarPlay for smartphones, with Android Auto coming.

safety

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

It gets five stars from ANCAP. Seven airbags are standard, including a driver’s knee bag, and there are stability control, rear-view camera and rear parking sensors.

Hyundai Tucson Elite

No ANCAP rating yet. Six airbags are standard, as are stability control, rear-view camera and rear parking sensors. Top-line Highlander gets latest safety kit.

driving

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

The larger engine and CVT were a breath of fresh air after the entry 2.0-litre manual. The transmission tends to nod off, staying in the equivalent of high gear and the car can be slow to respond to the throttle. Using the paddles to change gears manually brings it to life but few will drive it that way. Sadly it lacks a digital speedo and the trip computer is a continuing source of bewilderment.

Hyundai Tucson Elite

Hyundai’s chassis team has done an excellent job adapting ride and handling to our second-rate roads. Turbo Elite has plenty of urge and the auto anticipates changes well. Turn-in to corners is good and there’s ample mid-corner grip from Hankook tyres. Pairing a phone is a cinch, there is a digital speedo and the satnav should be a benchmark, with camera warnings and current speed limit.

Verdict

Mitsubishi Outlander XLS Auto 4WD

Hyundai Tucson Elite

The Tucson is newer but Outlander is larger with seven seats. The latter will be the determining factor for many people. If you’re in the market for a five-seater, however, the Tucson is a no brainer.

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