Its been a big year for Mitsubishi with the introduction of their new CJ Lancer range and the recent unveiling of the all new Evolution X at the Sydney Motor Show in October. Perhaps, the only blot on their copy book is the slow selling 380, which despite being an excellent product seems unable to build up a sales â€œhead of steamâ€ in this country.
The 380 aside, the good news keeps rolling in with Mitsubishi just confirming that they have received the 2008 Model Year variants of their Outlander compact SUVâ€™s and that there have been a number of significant updates including important safety, design and technology features.
Following in the footsteps of the company's newly released Lancer line-up, Mitsubishi's Active Stability Control with Traction Control (ASTC) system has been fitted to every variant in the 2008 Outlander range. While safety has rightfully been much of the focus in the Outlanderâ€™s upgrade, Mitsubishi have also played around a little with the styling, and endeavored to improve practicality and comfort.
"Since its release in October last year, the Mitsubishi Outlander has accomplished a real sales increase in the market place and has shown growth of almost 80 per cent on a year to date basis," commented Robert McEniry, Mitsubishi's president and chief executive officer.
The 2008 Outlander carries over the drive trains from the previous model, with LS, XLS and XLS Luxury models being powered by the 2.4 litre 16-valve 125kW/226Nm DOHC MIVEC (Mitsubishi's variable valve timing) engine. A new five-speed manual transmission has been made available on the entry-level 2.4-litre LS model in an effort to keep the entry-level price point down. A CVT (continuous variable transmission) with INVECS III and 6-speed â€˜Sport Mode' tiptronic-style sequential shifting function is available on all other four-cylinder models.
The VR, VRX and VRX Luxury models offer an alloy 3.0 litre 24-valve 162kW /276Nm SOHC V6 engine with MIVEC. The six-cylinder models feature an INVECS II intelligent six-speed automatic transmission with â€˜Sports Mode' sequential shifting.
New to the 2008 Outlander line-up is a luxury upgrade available on XLS and VRX models. This includes new exterior styling highlights such as chrome grille surround, chrome side sill and chrome exterior door handles and a new, unique 18 inch wheel.
Mitsubishi has enhanced the interior appointments of the vehicles, including trim treatment, equipment levels and instrumentation. External upgrades to the MY 2008 Outlander include new alloy wheels to LS, new headlamps to selected models and revised door decals.
There are now six variants available in the Outlander range with a choice of five- or seven-seat layout. All Outlanders feature Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control (AWC) technology, which incorporates Mitsubishi All Terrain Technology and an electronically controlled, on-demand all wheel drive system with Active Stability Control is now standard on all models.
Four-cylinder Outlander variants
In addition to the ASTC, MY2008 Outlander four-cylinder LS variants add 16 inch alloy wheels and fully automatic air-conditioning to its already-outstanding specification levels. Internal design updates include new silver detail to the instrument panel and new door trim with cloth inserts and ornamentation.
LS variants offer standard five-speed manual transmission or optional Continuously Variable Transmission. Side and curtain airbags are available as an optional extra on five-seat LS variants.
XLS variants receive similar interior upgrades and add standard side and curtain airbags, a new voice activated hands-free Bluetooth telephone system and new sport mesh seat trim. An option pack comprising leather seat trim and power/heated seat with back pocket is available for the first time on XLS.
The XLS Luxury variant is now a seven-seat layout only and offers several additional appointments including HID headlamps with auto levelling and headlamp washers, Rockford Fosgate audio package and a dusk-sensing headlamp and rain-sensing wiper combination package.
MY 2008 VR Outlander variants receive revised sixteen inch alloy wheels while VRX variants benefit from the new hands-free voice activated Bluetooth system and new sports mesh seat trim. The newly added VRX Luxury model includes the full complement of Outlander features, including sun roof, rear seat entertainment system and leather seats.
The colour range includes Mystic Blue, Champagne, Red Metallic, Cool Silver, Black Mica, Manitoba Grey, Deep Blue Metallic (all metallic paints) and White.
As with all Mitsubishi vehicles, the 2008 Outlander includes a 5 year / 130,000 kilometre bumper-to-bumper or 10 year / 160,000 kilometre non-transferrable drivetrain warranty and 5 years Roadside Assistance as standard.
Pricing for the entry level LS manual begins at $31,490 with the range topping V6 VRX Luxury Outlander costing $48,990.