A modern Singaporean family discovers the charms of going ‘outland’ with Mitsubishi’s Outlander SUV
Singapore – Mitsubishi’s Outlander sport utility vehicle (SUV) is a true stand-out in its class for a number of reasons. But instead of telling you about it, we decided to let it have the ultimate test of practicality and speak for itself: A weekend with a Singaporean family of five.
Aircraft engineer, Tan Jee Teng, 37, and his wife Leah Keh, 35, an event organiser, have three kids Atticus, 8, Aslea, 5 and Aubrey, 1. As current owners of a seven-year old Continental multi-purpose vehicle (MPV), they’re in the perfect position to evaluate the Outlander in the ‘harshest’ real-life terms.
Being a family man, Jee Teng’s priorities for space and safety shone through quite clearly. For one thing, both smaller children had their own child seats, and, toddler aside, all knew how to buckle up on command. And when you have kids, those things are quite closely intertwined because of seating arrangements.
With that in mind, one of Jee Teng’s imperatives was that interior space had to be sufficient. Luckily the Outlander was more than up to the challenge, with two child seats fitted on either side of the spacious second row for the girls, big boy Atticus sat in the middle.
“One of the most important things I had to find out about, before I drove the car even, was if it could fit two child seats comfortably. The distributor said it was fine, so agreed to do the test drive and it turned out great – the car is tall, there’s lots of headroom too, so installing the seats was much easier than on another vehicle,” said Jee Teng.
For family men like him, it’s good that Mitsubishi takes safety very seriously, it’s evident in the intelligent all-wheel drive system, RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) high-strength steel body, there’s a class-leading seven SRS airbags on the interior, not to mention electronic stability, ABS and electronic brakeforce distribution. No surprise the Outlander has a five-star rating from Europe’s NCAP safety assessment body.
The Outlander has third-row for shorter trips is another bonus, although as a family of five, they didn’t make much use of it in their short time with the car. But with the third row of seats able to fold, the Outlander’s huge 591-litres of boot space came in very handy.
“I liked the amount of space, because we have to carry strollers and all the ‘baby stuff’,” adds Jee Teng, “but it could take all the cargo easily, despite the fact that strollers are very awkwardly-shaped.”
While SUVs might appear less spacious than MPVs – and could be, due to a less square shape overall – both of them appreciated the added features the Outlander packed.
“It’s higher than normal cars, so loading stuff and fitting child seats is easier,” says Leah, who also found the automatic tailgate very handy when she had no hands free.
Outta The Ordinary
After all that, it was clear Jee Teng and Leah had a much easier time living in and around the Outlander, but what about the drive itself?
Leah actually spent more time driving than her husband did, and being the direct, cheerful sort of person she is, knows what she likes when she sees it.
“Our MPV isn’t short, but the Outlander’s driving position is tall and I quite liked that! It was easier to see out of, and easier to drive as a result. And what I really like is how quiet it is – I ended up going quite fast and only realised it when I though to myself, ‘Why is everyone else going slowly?’” admits Leah with a laugh.
But no car is perfect, did either of them have any deal-breaking feedback on the Outlander?
“I like the boot space, but the seats do take up some space,” says Leah. Although to be fair, the flexibility of being able to carry two extra people is an undoubted benefit.
“Well the power is ok, although it’s a 2.4, it’s not super fast or anything. But then again this isn’t supposed to be a sports car or anything like that, and it is quite smooth and more than enough, so I’m just being fussy,” says Jee Teng with a smile.
But the Outlander has one surprise up its sleeve. What really surprised them, and is making them seriously consider the Outlander, is the price. Even before the revision to 70 percent loans recently, the Outlander is probably the biggest, most feature-packed car on the market for the least amount of money.
“When we did see the price, it was a bit of shock. I mean, the car is big, it has lots of space, a big engine, lots of features….even things like navigation. So the price is quite a contrast, it’s really quite competitive for a car like this.”
“The kids love it, but they see a new car of course, they get very excited. But overall we were very impressed with it,” says Jee Teng. Could the family of five add another member, making six, that could carry seven? That wouldn’t be a big surprise at all, if it does.
This feature is brought to you by Mitsubishi Cars Singapore