With all the functionality of a “Soccer Mum” SUV to the upmarket look of “Café Mum”, Mitsubishi had our family moving!
When I told my kids we were going to have a new car for a week to review I was instantly met with excited faces and a question from my 4 year old “Is it a Mitsi?” I had no idea she knew what that term was, let alone meant; but in her eyes we were about to experience the holy grail of family cars. Well played Mitsubishi, well played.
The “Mitsi” we had for the trial was an Outlander Exceed. Isn’t she pretty?
Let’s start off with some of the features:
- 2.4L Smart-MIVEC Petrol or 2.2L Diesel
- 18 inch alloy wheels
- Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM)
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Power tailgate
- Leather seat facings with front seat heaters
We are a family of five with three children aged 6, 4 and 10 months so in turn we need three car seats. It is a real challenge for those having a third child to decide on the best family car to meet all your needs. Most vehicles won’t accommodate three seats across the back and those with 7 seats don’t usually allow for an anchor point. We also needed room for a stroller, shopping bags, sporting equipment and often everything but the kitchen sink as you do with 3 kids.
I was pleased to discover the Mitsubishi Outlander does fit three car seats across the back comfortably. Obviously widths will vary on car seat models but our Safe and Sound and Maxi Cosi models worked perfectly. And most importantly the kids didn’t feel like they were on top of each other.
To put the car through its paces we started with a typical Saturday for us, which is a busy day of weekend sport and grocery shopping. It involves a great deal of getting in and out of the car and a lot of stopping and starting in our town of Brisbane.
The car doubles up not only as a means of transport but also a place to house everything we need for the day and that includes a play space, change table, snack bar and a place for the babyto snooze and play while all this is going on.
So we headed off to AFL practice. This is usually a mammoth task as it requires taking all the sporting equipment we need, changes of clothes, options for wet weather, a stroller, nappy bag, yet still allowing enough room for the groceries to collect on the way home.
What stood out for us straight away was the smooth drive of the car. I felt very safe on the roads and felt in control of the power of the vehicle. The stopping and starting at the lights was quiet and smooth, with little road noise.
The Outlander isn’t overly high off the ground, which helped to make our transitions in and out of the car easy and hassle free with the kids.
I fell completely in love with the boot opening function; where was this function 6 years ago? The power tailgate automatically opens with a touch of the smart key. This is perfect for school pickups and drop offs, not only making it easier but faster and less stressful. At the supermarket pick up, I was able to stay in the car, have the boot open automatically and then close it again. No loud thud of the boot closing to wake the baby. Genius.
The Automatic Start (Stop start button)
As a busy working Mum I found the Bluetooth and iPod connectivity to be a great feature. I simply connected my iPhone and could answer my calls, hands free when required as well as accessing all my contacts in my phone via the MMCS. The system was very user friendly and the sound was crisp and clear. My productivity has just reached new heights thanks to this.
Mitsubishi Outlander’s Multi Communication System (MMCS) is run through a high definition 7” touchscreen. It controls the audio, navigation and other features. The navigation system got a bit of a workout on our trip to the Sunshine Coast. I liked the fact that it was built in and not blocking my vision through the windscreen.
My husband was excited to find a little slot behind the screen where you can load your music from a SD card. We all enjoyed some great tunes throughout the week. We had a mix from Taylor Swift to The Wheels on the Bus and everything in between. It was great to be able to access my music from my iTunes library via my iPhone. All through an easy to use touch screen without losing focus on the road.
The 7 seats were a huge feature for us. As mentioned we could fit 3 car seats comfortably in the back. The additional seats, while only used once were a huge bonus when we went out for dinner with the Grandparents. Although we wouldn’t use the extra seats daily, it gave us greater flexibility when required. Once the kids are a little older and out of car seats, this will be ideal so I could pick up the kid’s friends and help out with school drop offs and after school sports runs.
The large boot was also a major feature for us. At football, my baby was able to play very comfortably in the boot of the car and keep off the wet grass. I could change his nappy, give him a snack and comfortably sit in there with him and not feel cramped for space. Tick on the dual-purpose functionality. Next stop was gymnastics and again because of the size of the vehicle we found our eldest two were able to effortlessly get in and out of the car independently, a real plus for us on busy Saturday mornings.
And now the sunroof! The kids loved it, they giggled and kept saying that they felt like movie stars. Personally I liked the option of letting in a little bit of fresh air without having to have the windows down, which we never have done since having kids. It also made the vehicle feel more spacious than it already was.
The vehicle has some great safety features. I really liked the reverse parking sensors. It certainly made parking a breeze, especially reversing into those tight spots. It was great piece of mind at football too, as there are often kids running around in the busy car park.
Quick trip to Noosa
We decided to go on a last minute, spur of the moment trip to Noosa. This was perfect to try out the Mitsubishi Outlander on the freeway. Now, the amount of stuff you need to take on a few days away with a baby is incredible and I was sure we weren’t going to be able to fit it all in. But I’m pleased to say we did it! We were able to pack winter clothing for 5 people, 2 scooters, a fold up high chair, food, beach towels, kids toys, more kids toys and books, a nappy bag, lap top, bed rail and portacot. Did I mention kids toys! It rained for the whole drive there and I felt really secure and safe while driving, even though the car was new to us.
Features I loved about the Mitsubishi Exceed:
– Smooth and controlled drivability
– Comfy seats (plus heated)
– Great fuel efficiency
– Awesome turning circle
– Fantastic reverse camera
– Great night driving lights
– Automatic boot close function
– Sky roof (kids loved this too!)
– Bluetooth for music (great speakers)
Who this car would be great for:
– Growing families
– Those that want to fit three car seats across the back
– Those with primary school aged children who need an additional seat from time to time or to bring grandparents on trips
– Sporting families that want to fit equipment to the back
– Grandparents who want a safe functional vehicle but have the option of travelling outback or transporting grandchildren
So if you are looking for a SUV that isn’t hard to park, has a great safety rating and has all those great internal features… then you must test drive the Mitsubishi or as my kids know it the Mitzi. The hard part now is going back to my old car without all these fantastic features… Bring back the Mitsi!
Elise Easdown, Mum of 3 (Owner of What’s On 4 Australia)
More information about the Mitsubishi Outlander can be found here.