Review: Mitsubishi Outlander (2012)


Easy to drive. Most variants have seven seats. Economical diesel engines. Large and practical boot. Five star Euro NCAP rating.

Interior isn't as plush as rivals.

Mitsubishi Outlander (2012): At A Glance

With mature styling, a practical cabin with space for seven and real 4x4 ability the Outlander is a smart choice of rural workhorse in 2.2-litre diesel form. Official economy is 55.3mpg for the GX2 manual and – rather unusually - it’s actually almost achievable in real world driving.

The Outlander is also comfortable and spacious. The cabin may lack somewhat in style and sophistication but it is durable and offers plenty of space in both the front and rear. There’s a large boot and all but the entry-level GX2 model, come with seven seats, the back two of which are surprisingly roomy. Folding all of the seats flat frees up a huge 1680 litres of space.

All models come with all-wheel drive as standard. The system is aimed at genuine off-road driving instead of just helping out on a patch of on-road slush. The differential can be locked and the gearbox set to low range, so on undulating, muddy or gravel-covered surfaces there is plenty of traction. Paired with a braked tow-weight of 2000kg, the Outlander is an ideal car for towing horseboxes or caravans.

It drives well too – the controls are nicely weighted, although the steering could be a little more precise, but the suspension does a good job of absorbing the worst lumps and bumps, even if body roll is a problem at higher speeds on particularly twisty roads. That said, the Outlander has plenty of grip and always feels safe, stable and secure.

The Outlander offers the complete 4x4 package. It’s large, practical and capable, yet it has real off-road and poor weather capability, plus it manages reasonable fuel economy. Inside it may lack the the polish and upmarket ‘feel’ of some rival cars, but if rugged durability is what you value above all else then the Outlander is worth a look. 

Road Test 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander

Long Term Test Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Long Term Test

What does a Mitsubishi Outlander (2012) cost?

List Price from £28,635
Buy new from £24,147
Contract hire from £257.81 per month

Mitsubishi Outlander (2012): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4655–4695 mm
Width 1800–1810 mm
Height 1680–1710 mm
Wheelbase 2670 mm

Full specifications

The cabin of the Outlander is neatly laid out and feels very well screwed together, but it lacks panache. Spartan though it may be, it’s certainly comfortable, with plenty of legroom and headroom for front and rear seat passengers. The seating position is high up and commanding, while huge door mirrors give a good view back, making the Outlander confidence inspiring to drive despite its size.

All models, with the exception of the entry level GX2, come with seven seats as standard and the rearmost pair are surprisingly useful and very easy to fold up and down. They are easily capable of seating a child even when the middle row is occupied with adults. When the back two seats aren’t in use they fold flat into the boot floor, giving a sizeable 591 litres of load space. The load deck is flat, but it is quite high for loading heavy items.

Mitsubishi supplies a flimsy, annoyingly tricky-to-use load cover but when not in use, it does stow neatly under the boot floor. For those who carry large items the middle row folds completely flat, giving a usefully large 913 litres in seven-seater models or 1022 litres in five-seat GX2 versions.  It’s a bit of a fiddle to drop the seats flat first time around, but once you figure it out it's not a problem.

Standard equipment is good enough. Entry level models get an audio system with aux/USB-in, along with cruise control, electric windows, keyless entry and climate control. Moving to a higher trim level adds extras like satellite navigation, leather upholstery, heated seats, a power tailgate and a reversing camera.

Standard Equipment:

GX2 models come with lockable all-wheel drive, five seats, 16-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, keyless entry, iPod/USB/AUX connection, six-speaker audio system, climate control and electric windows.

GX3 trim adds additional row of two, fold out seats, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, folding, heated door mirrors, auto wipers, Bluetooth, leather gearknob and steering wheel, dua-zone climate control, underfloor storage in boot and parking sensors.

GX5 adds a sunroof, reversing camera, electrically operated tailgate, keyless start, HiD lights with washers, DAB radio, satellite navigation, leather seat trim, electrically adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats.

Child seats that fit a Mitsubishi Outlander (2012)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mitsubishi Outlander (2012) like to drive?

The Mitsubishi Outlander is available as a PHEV plug-in hybrid which is covered in its own review. The only other engine offered is a 2.2-litre diesel with 149PS. Peak torque is 380Nm and it comes it nice and low down the rev range at 1750rpm, making the Outlander a flexible and easy-to-drive car.

The power is delivered smoothly and the gear change is slick and precise. The automatic option is reasonably smooth although it can hang on to gears a little when accelerating hard. But it’s a smart transmission, adapting to your driving style over time and changing shift patterns to suit.  Once up to speed it’s easy to amble along without too much effort thanks to the torque output, so for A-roads and motorways the Outlander is ideal.

The Outlander feels quite heavy though despite its light power steering. Indeed there is a noticeable amount of body roll, although that doesn’t translate to a lack of grip. The Outlander is safe, planted and secure and all models come with all-wheel drive, which helpa in wet weather or snow. It's also capable in tougher off-road situations thanks to a low-range gearbox setting and selectable differential lock. Paired with a braked tow-weight rating of 2000kg that makes the Outlander a good choice of tow car, whether for horse boxes, caravans or trailers.

Rough roads are taken care of with fairly comfortable suspension. It’s not the very last word in smooth serenity but it’s not bad at all over potholes or speed bumps. The Outlander is big, so town drivers might struggle, but a high-up driving position makes visibility good and a reversing camera helps out with tight parking spaces if you choose a GX4 or GX5 model.

Emissions and economy depend on the trim level and transmission. The higher trim levels are heavier and so emit more CO2 and consume more fuel, but figures are reasonable across the board. Emissions range from 138-153g/km and economy ranges from 53.2mpg for the GX2 manual to 48.7mpg for the GX5 auto. Unusually those figures are reasonably accurate and can be achieved in real world driving.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.0 38 mpg 11.6–13.3 s 169–171 g/km
2.2 DI-D 52–53 mpg 10.2 s 139–140 g/km
2.2 DI-D Automatic 49 mpg 11.6–11.7 s 153–154 g/km
2.2 DI-DAutomatic - 11.7 s -

Real MPG average for a Mitsubishi Outlander (2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

30–49 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mitsubishi Outlander (2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

We paid for a reconditioned engine and now the turbo has failed - where do we stand?

I went to a specialist garage that charged us close to £4600 for a reconditioned engine replacement job for my Mitsubishi Outlander. With this we also received a three month/3000 mile warranty. There is now a whining sound every time I accelerate. The mechanic at the specialist garage confirms that its the turbo. I asked if the turbo would be covered in the warranty and he said no it wouldn't. He also said that there may have been a possibility that when the piston damaged the engine block it could have affected the turbo. The mechanic is now saying including labour to install a new turbo it will cost around £1000. Is this right? Should I even be thinking about paying for this?
They didn't replace the turbo when they rebuilt the engine and your bill did not include a replacement turbo. But there may be a simple reason for the turbo whine. The turbo bearing has an oil feed and oil return pipe. Any blockage in those (usually carbon from switching off when the engine is too hot) will reduce the oil supply to the turbo bearing, as would failing to re-install the pipes correctly. So, first thing, have fresh turbo bearing oil feed and oil return pipes fitted. If that doesn't solve the problem and you need a new turbo, you needed the new oil pipes anyway.
Answered by Honest John
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