I tested the five-seater older model Mitsubishi Outlander LS previously and loved how spacious it was. I am always excited to get my hands on seven-seaters for Baby-Drive testing! So lets' see how the new seven-seater Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed model went in testing … My first impressions were, are you sure there's enough room in there for seven seats?
The sevens-seat Mitsubishi Outlander has three top tether points in the second row and they are within plastic guides but REALLY difficult to connect to because the plastic casing is the wrong way around so you can not attach the tether hooks the usual way.
There are ISOFix anchor points in both of the outer seats in the second row and though they are not within plastic guides but weren't too difficult to connect to.
I found I could only fit two child seats in the second row. It's a real shame that Mitsubishi hasn't fixed the problem with the central seatbelt buckle, which sticks right up in the air above the seat on a rigid stem that meant I just couldn’t maneuver and any child seat I tried to put there. And you definitely do not want to sit on it! I installed the Britax Graphene rear facing and the Britax Platinum Pro forward facing. There are no top tethers or ISOFix in the third-row seats so I couldn't install child seats there. Legroom is also an issue in the seven-seater model; with a rear-facing child seat installed in the second-row there was 28cm of knee room for the front passenger but no room for the third-row passengers at all.
The third-row seats are pretty compact, with not much kick room under the second-row seats or legroom at all and the headroom was tight for me at only 162cm. So unlike its five-seater sibling, legroom is not the seven-seater's strong point!!
When you're only using five seats there are cup holders on top of the rear wheel arches!! These were obviously designed for the third-row passengers but when they're not being used you have 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!
Storage in the boot of the Outlander was quite good with five of the seven seats in use, it held 14 shopping bags from empty or all types of strollers fitted with good amounts of shopping bags beside them. Or you could get a large family dog in the boot.
When using all seven seats only four shopping bags would fit or the Mountain Buggy Nano compact stroller with two shopping bags.
Inside the cabin, the storage is average, the glove box has an extra shelf at the top which I found handy for popping the iPad when we parked up.
There are ample cup holders and general storage in all three rows throughout the car. The front door bins are a good size for holding large refillable water bottles, second-row passengers have smaller bins and third-row passengers both get big cup holders.
The media screen in the Outlander does have 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.
I tested the top-spec seven-seater Outlander Exceed which I found actually really nice to drive. There was a bit of road surface noise and vibration through the floor of the car as if you could feel the surface of the road with your feet on the footwell floor. The interior was quite pleasant, although there is a fair bit of shiny black plastic in the central console and dash, which I am not a fan of but overall it felt modern and practical. The seats were minimal fuss black leather so easy to keep clean and the dash and doors would wipe clean easily too.
I did find the air conditioning really blowy and loud in the Outlander and even the lowest setting was far too strong to be comfortable.
Overall the seven-seater Outlander is a practical everyday five-seater BabyDrive, with the occasional use of the sixth and seventh seats in the third row. The media system is good and the drive is greatly improved in the all-wheel-drive diesel model I tested than it was in the two-wheel-drive petrol five-seater model I tested previously.
The Mitsubishi Outlander has a five-star ANCAP safety rating in 2014 and has seven SRS airbags as standard.