Industry observers still talk about the ‘seasonality’ of the car market, and that interest in 4x4s rises as the daylight hours shorten and the roads get wetter. So it seems apt that AM will be using our long-term Mitsubishi Outlander through the depths of winter, whether there’s any truth in seasonality or not.
The Japanese brand hopes other consumers seeking a seven-seat 4x4 will take the plunge before the end of 2017. Some of its franchisees are currently tempting them with Q4 headline offers of £186 a month on a 5.9% 43-month APR PCP, after a £2,500 deposit contribution and the customer’s £7,500 cash payment or trade-in. A second headline offer promises 0% APR HP and zero deposit, but it’s only available over 36 months and involves monthly payments of £694. Both apply to the £24,982 GX2 model, which doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of our GX4 grade model, but which has rural families well in its sights.
With that GX2, parking sensors are optional and it has 16in steel wheels and no sat-nav. However the budget-restricted customer still gets a modern SUV experience, with auto wipers and lights, LED daytime running lights, dual zone climate control, cruise control and keyless entry.
An online trawl of rival brands shows the consumer’s options for similar 4x4 seven-seaters are limited, unless they have significantly bigger budgets, so Mitsubishi sales executives must play to the Outlander’s strengths when handling any enquiry. The closest rival is Nissan’s X-Trail, which can be specified with all-wheel drive and seven seats at a list price only £500 higher than the Outlander GX2. There’s also a Kia Sorento that meets the brief for £28,795.
However, for a fuller choice the buyer must consider cars above the £30,000 bracket – in some cases well above. This brings entry-specification Land Rover Discovery Sport, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Hyundai Sante Fe into play.
So while the PHEV version has helped to raise consumer awareness of the Outlander range, Mitsubishi dealers ought to capitalise on the family-friendly SUV at their disposal.