Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire

Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire Review: Underrated family SUV

Sean Parker gets behind the wheel of the new Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire and discovers the good-looking SUV is hard to fault.

Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire

When the Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire arrived for a week-long test, I immediately thought the front grille had been ‘Americanised’.

It’s bold, massive, and frankly was a bit ‘much’. I’m glad to say that impression lasted a few hours because it looks unlike any other family SUV on sale.

I’d soon find out the Outlander was more than just a handsome face but offered everything you could want from a luxury family SUV.


Mitsubishi is known for cars like the Lancer EVO and Pajero 4×4. Those were both good cars, and I’m glad to say the Outlander follows suit.

The Mitsubishi Outlander, now in its fourth generation, went on sale locally in the middle of 2023 and is available in five models: GL, GLS, GLS Plus, Aspire, and flagship Exceed. It stands out with seven seats and a capacious boot of 478 litres.


A solitary 2.5-litre petrol engine sans forced induction is available. Don’t scoff at it being non-turbo, this four-cylinder motor develops 135kW and 245Nm and is mated to an ‘eight-speed’ CVT.

Power delivery from the petrol engine is smooth, responsive, and linear. Even though peak torque is available at a highish 3600r/min, it feels orchestral rather than rushed to offer maximum pulling power.

The Outlander weighs a hefty 2355kg (GWM), but the engine didn’t feel to me like it struggled at any point. Granted, I mostly drove alone and didn’t transport shopping or other items in it.

On the fuel consumption front, I managed a remarkable 8.4 litres per 100km during my week-long test. I suppose that comes down to my driving style. My fuel consumption was still only marginally higher than the 8.1 litres per 100km claimed figure according to Quickpic.

The cabin of the Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire features black leather and soft-touch materials. Image: Quickpic


Being one of the top models, the seven-seater SUV offers comfortable leather pews all round. I never felt exhausted after a long drive and could get in some vitamin D thanks to the standard panoramic sunroof.

The Aspire model has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that houses clear graphics and is fuss-free. The centrally-mounted infotainment system is housed in a nine-inch touchscreen that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. An in-house satellite navigation system is also fitted as standard.

I found the controls a pleasure to use and of high quality. The Aspire also has an electric parking brake and an auto hold button. I found it frustrating that the latter button didn’t remain on when I turned off the vehicle.

A big boon is the leather-wrapped steering wheel with lovely dimples. There were no rattles from the cabin and the interior is a highlight of the vehicle.


As I mentioned, the Mitsubishi Outlander weighs 2.3 tons. But I’d be remiss to say it felt like a tank to drive, rather it offered billiard-smooth ride comfort. The noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) levels were low, and the steering was light and devoid of too much ‘play’.

The Outlander sits 210mm off the ground and uses the carmaker’s super all-wheel control which uses sensors to maximise vehicle control, distributing power to all four wheels.

The CVT ‘box has eight simulated gears and offers supremely quiet changes. It’s arguably one of the best CVTs I’ve experienced in my years of testing cars.

I never ventured off-road, but I can report that its on-road capabilities felt similar to what I’ve experienced in vehicles that cost R300 000 more.


At R789 995, the Aspire model is playing in the same park as the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, and Kia Sorento. Many models in its class use forced induction engines, whereas Mitsubishi stuck to their guns and fitted the Outlander with a normally aspirated motor.

The Aspire model offers almost everything you’d want from a luxury SUV and I reckon its price is justified.


I’m sure you can tell that I am impressed by the Outlander. Mitsubishi is often overlooked by South Africans because of various reasons. It’s a travesty that I haven’t seen more of these SUVs on the road as they’re well-equipped and can do the same job as more pricier vehicles.

The Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire deserves a score of 8/10.

*Sean Parker is an experienced motoring journalist who has been testing cars for over 10 years. Read more of his stories here.

The Outlander is available with a three-year or 100 000 and a five-year or 90 000km service plan with service intervals every 15 000km. Image: Quickpic