Mitsubishi made its comeback in the Indian market with the Pajero Sport in 2012, a direct rival to the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour. The next for India was the reintroduction of the Montero facelift in 2016. As a CBU import, it was priced at an eye-watering Rs 71 lakh (ex-showroom).
Now, Mitsubishi is readying the Outlander crossover for a market relaunch later this year. The model is not entirely new to India; it was sold in its second-gen avatar in 2008 and got a major facelift in 2010. At this time, the Indian market was swiftly shifting away from petrol and towards diesel, and the Outlander being a petrol-only model was sidelined by other similarly priced SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner. The all-new Outlander is the third-gen model that went on sale in international markets in 2012. The crossover will be imported from Japan, like the larger Montero, and will be sold by around 50 Mitsubishi dealerships pan India.
Being five years old, this Outlander has already been given its mid-cycle refresh, which has brought a major change to the appearance in line with the company’s new design language. The front gets a very intricate grille design, which Mitsubishi calls ‘Dynamic Shield’; it gives the crossover quite a lot of presence. It is laden with brushed aluminium and chrome, including a vertical chrome frame on either side. The headlights are LED projector units with separate LED daytime running modules. Moving on to the sides, the Outlander has a more wagon-like profile with mild cladding around the base, a silver strip on the bottom of the doors and smart 18-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, there’s a large but simply-styled tailgate, with subtle chrome accents surrounding the horizontally-positioned LED tail-lamps.
Measuring 4,695mm long, 1,810mm wide and 1,710mm high, the Outlander has a similar footprint to a Pajero Sport (although it’s much lower), but is longer than five-seat crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson and Honda CR-V. For India, Mitsubishi will sell the Outlander in a single variant with seven seats. Like the Tucson and CR-V, the Outlander uses a more space-efficient monocoque construction that allows for better interior space and more car-like driving dynamics, compared to a ladder-frame SUV like the Pajero Sport.
Under the hood, the India-bound Outlander will come with a single engine option – the tried and tested 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol motor (Code: 4J12) that delivers 169hp and 225Nm of torque. This engine will be mated to a six-step CVT gearbox, and will get Mitsubishi’s latest Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) AWD system with an Active Front Differential and a number of selectable driving modes.
There is no official confirmation from the company about the India launch as of now, but dealers in some cities have started accepting bookings. Deliveries are likely to begin around September this year, with dealers quoting an ex-showroom price of around Rs 29 lakh. This places it squarely between five-seaters like the CR-V, Tucson and the upcoming Jeep Compass SUV, and seven-seaters like the Hyundai Santa Fe and upcoming Skoda Kodiaq. At this price, the fully imported Outlander will slot in just above the locally assembled Pajero Sport (Rs 27.4 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi). Some might consider this a bit too much of a risk, considering the sole petrol engine option and relatively high price, not to mention Mitsubishi’s weak aftersales network. But with more buyers opting for petrol cars, and the Outlander’s easy-to-drive yet practical nature, perhaps there is a market for it yet.