It's an honest, handsome vehicle, the Outlander, one that does nothing brilliantly but has no vices either. As a package, it works, assuming you're into this kind of car.
The new engine tested here is a bit of payback for Mitsubishi designing, engineering and building the two French Outlander clones, Citroen's C-Crosser and Peugeot's 4007.
It's the superb 2.2-litre PSA diesel and it's an excellent unit, surely the best diesel ever fitted to a Mitsubishi, fairly gruff in this installation but good enough to make this 2.2 the Outlander of choice.
The car's biggest advantage is its third row of seats. Kids are easily housed back there, and will be able to watch the DVD screen fitted as standard to this Diamond spec car, which is well equipped for its £26,999 - you also get a reversing camera, leather seats and lots of other goodies.
There is enough room in the 'boot' behind the upright third row for a pram, too. The back seats would be better if they were slightly easier to fold, but they work well enough.
The Outlander isn't particularly refined, the suspension putting plenty of bump-thump through the cabin, but it's not bad. It feels a bit heavy through corners, blessed with the usual amount of SUV body roll, but it's perfectly comfortable and acceptable most of the time. And the sixth and seventh seats are a proper advantage over its non-PSA rivals.
So, it's a great engine and a good car. Can't help wishing the Freelander had seven seats, though.
Words by Bill Thomas