Available as a five and seven-seater, we tested the five-seater Mitsubishi Outlander LS to see just how BabyDrive friendly this SUV really is! Our first impressions of this model were how seriously spacious it is both in the front and back!
Inside the cabin, the glove box has a shelf at the top to keep the chunky manual out of the way, leaving you the whole glove box as storage space.
There is under seat storage in the cab which I love for popping things in to keep out of view, especially kids iPads etc when going to the beach. There are ample cup holders and general storage throughout the car. I loved the BabyDrive friendly double bottle holder, door pockets, in the rear doors!
Great storage continues in the boot, where there are cup holders on top of the rear wheel arches!! These were obviously designed for the third row of seats but with this vehicle only having the two rows I had cup holders in the boot… AMAZING!!! I had somewhere to put my hot drink whilst I loaded the boot and strapped bub into her seat, then I could collect my cuppa and close the boot on my way to my driver's seat!
The spare tyre is stored under the car, rather than under the boot floor, making the boot space enormous! Instead under the boot floor, there are three large, plastic storage compartments I found fantastic for separating dirty items. I could put all the wet, sandy beach stuff in one and shoes in another it was great, and they were easy to clean. There are plastic wells behind the wheel arches on both sides of the boot too, which are very useful for putting delicate things in too, I used these areas for my daughter's lunchbox and the eggs on the way home from shopping.
The boot was a very practical, rectangle shaped space, empty I could fit 15 shopping bags in it. With our Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle stroller, I could fit six shopping bags. Or if you have a large family dog you could get them in the boot instead! You have to pay extra $205 for a cargo blind which seems a bit crazy and I would expect that to be a standard fixture!
The Outlander five-seat model has three top tether points, one in each of the rear seatbacks. There are ISOFix anchor points in both of the two outer seats.
I found I could only fit two child seats across the back row. I fitted the Mountain Buggy Protect infant capsule and Infasecure Kompressor4, both rear facing. There was not enough room for the third, foldaway booster seat in the middle and the seatbelt buckle of the central seat prevented anyone from sitting there too! The buckle sticks right up in the air above the seat on a rigid stem that you just can’t maneuver and definitely do not want to sit on!
With rear child seat installed there is still plenty of legroom throughout the Outlander five-seat model. I would love to test the seven-seat version to see how the additional row of seats effect this.
The Outlander is quite a noisy vehicle as I found the engine was straining and screaming for the whole journey, which really disturbed little passengers. It felt as though the engine wasn’t powerful enough and it really struggled up hills. The Outlander was not confidence inspiring to drive in the wet or on bends so I had to drive cautiously especially with my precious cargo on board! I found it quite stressful as the driver, and it was disturbing for the passengers because they could feel the car lurching around too. It was especially disturbing whilst trying to get bub to sleep and I found its motion would wake her up once I had got her to sleep as well!
The doors didn't close the first time and needed shutting twice a lot of the time too which became a little irritating and after the first couple of times and it is disturbing if you have a sleeping baby on board too!
The media system uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is fantastic. It was easy to navigate, and you can mute the sat nav voice easily by touching the mute button on the media screen easily while you are driving.
The air-conditioning in the Outlander is limited to just the front, where there are four vents across the front dashboard. The air-conditioning system was very blowy and I found the lowest fan speed was still too strong, but I think it may be set like this as it has to work to cool the whole of the car, but it is not pleasant for the driver and front passenger.
Overall the Outlander is a very practical BabyDrive, with large amounts of storage, easily fitted child seats and at a good price. We drove the basic model and you can feel it. The car feels basic and budget, the seats are comfortable but their covering fabric has a textured diamond weave that would be difficult to keep clean and I found leaves an imprint on clothes and the backs of legs when you get out! There are plastic blanks all over the interior to hide holes where more expensive models have buttons.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2014 and has seven SRS airbags as standard.