Small business owners look for value and flexibility in a commercial van, coupled with style and performance. That’s why many are making the choice of a commercial SUV as their transport mode, and Michael Moroney found that Mitsubishi’s Outlander Business ticks lots of business and comfort boxes.
Some business decisions take time while others are obvious and almost spontaneous. The decision to buy a commercial SUV can take time from the point of view of tax saving advantages and business sense.
Once that decision is made, the choice of brand and model may seem obvious. Weighing up the costs and savings advantages of a commercial vehicle choice can often be a matter that demands a visit to your accountant. That decision is sometimes it down to a delicate financial balance, while at other times it makes solid business sense to go the commercial route with low road tax of €333 and low benefit-in-kind payments.
Either way you get the choices with the Mitsubishi Outlander range. Over recent months I’ve driven Mitsubishi’s impressive hybrid version of the Outlander which is the passenger choice. More recently, I’ve taken to the roads in the Outlander Business, this time powered by an impressive 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine.
There is a strong and solid feel to the Outlander Business. Its long wheelbase gives good on road comfort making the vehicle pleasant to drive as I cruised across routes from Dublin to Waterford.
The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine is responsive through the six-speed manual gearbox. With acceleration performance of 10.2 seconds for a 0 to 1200km/hr pace, this commercial SUV has pace enough for most situations from the torquey engine that delivers 380Nm of pulling power.
Out on the motorway it cruises comfortably at 120km/hr with the rev counter needle just sitting on the 2000rpm mark. This ensures reasonable economy, especially on longer drives. I found that over a week of lengthy driving I notched up an economy figure that was about 20% off the rated figure of 19km/litre (5.3l/100km or 53mpg). That’s a reasonable result for a mid-sized SUV with all of the four-wheel-drive features included and its helped by the smooth performing start/stop system for city driving.
Mitsubishi offers its full suite of 4×4 systems in the Outlander Business version. These include 4WD lock, 4WD lock eco and 4WD auto. The choice is available at the touch of a button with clear indicators on the dash to tell you what choice you’ve made. I used the eco mode most of the time to generate the best economy figures and stretch out the capacity of the Outlanders 60-litre fuel tank capacity.
This 4×4 system has some safety advantages, especially on the wet and muddy roads of a south Kilkenny winter. The Outlander also comes with an active stability control (ASC) system that gives traction control for better handling in poor road or off-road conditions. There are seven airbags included along with an ABS braking system that includes electronic brake force distribution to give safer braking with a full load behind the solid mesh bulkhead. These combine to give the Outlander an impressive five-star rating in the EuroNCAP crash test system.
The load area to the rear is well protected and spacious. The use of the side doors and the hatchback boot opening gives good access for smaller items and tools. The floor is level and solid to give a load capacity of 2,068 litres, which converts to impressive van carrying space.
The Outlander Business comes with a two-tonne towing capacity, which is equivalent to others in the mid-SUV market. The towing kit adds a little more to the €32,250 including VAT price list.
The Outlander comes with cloth covered seats that are easily adjustable and comfortable. The dash layout is modern and easy to use. The Outlander’s reversing camera is clear with the images displayed on a large central screen that stayed relatively clean, despite the poor weather.
I found the Outlander to be one of the most comfortable 4×4 commercials that I’ve driven so I was very impressed and relaxed after lengthy drives. The entry price of €32,250 includes a high level of specification while the price gap between the commercial and equivalent passenger versions is in the region of €6,950.
The Outlander can make good business sense with the benefit of great driving comfort. Its load area is big with good access and the five-year warranty deal will keep you on the road.