Not too shabby, as long as you stick well within the parameters of the kind of “off-road” terrain an AWD SUV is built to handle best – well-maintained gravel roads and dirt tracks in dry conditions – or, at worst, rain-splattered sealed surfaces.
The Outlander has merely satisfactory off-road measures of 18.3 (degrees approach angle), 22.2 degrees (departure), 18 degrees (ramp breakover), and 203mm of ground clearance (unladen). But this is a city-friendly vehicle, not a rock-crawling machine, so what do you expect?
It does feel nimble in the bush though (because steering is sharp), visibility is good all-round, and it settles well on gravel and dirt tracks at speed, only ever skipping around a bit on rougher sections, due to its firm suspension and road tyres.
You can switch drives modes to either Gravel, Snow or Mud to best suit the terrain on which you’re driving, but, really, with the Outlander’s lack of ground clearance, and its road-biased tyres and 20-inch wheels, this SUV is ultimately hamstrung by its cityfied physicality.
But, having said (written) that, this is still a handy dirt-road tourer, yielding comfortable and controlled ride and handling, as well as an overall refined driving experience, only ever becoming a bit too rattled when the road or track surface becomes lumpy and bumpy.
Worth noting – and expected – is the fact that it did chew through battery power on a minor stretch of soft beach sand. And, for that reason – and the fact the Outlander is quite low – I’d avoid driving this SUV on any sand, other than very firm-packed sand for only a very brief period of time. Sand-driving puts heavy stress on a vehicle and I reckon the Outlander would end up bellying out when driving through deeper wheel ruts on a beach.
As mentioned earlier, this Outlander does not have a spare tyre. Yeah, sure the electric motor over the rear axle chews up a bit of room, but the absence of a spare – even a space-space-saver – is a disappointment, especially if you’re considering using your PHEV as a touring vehicle. A puncture repair kit is provided.
Towing capacity is 750kg (unbraked) and 1600kg (braked).
The bonus for Outlander buyers is their access to a stack of Mitsubishi accessories, including nudge bar (polished or black), roof rack cross bars, tinted hood protector and more.