Mitsubishi Australia has been locally testing the next-generation Outlander and providing input on what it needs to deliver.

THERE’S NOT MUCH new metal in the yard at a Mitsubishi dealership right now but all of that will be changing over the next few years as the Japanese maker replaces its aging fleet with the next-generation of product.

While it has been busy releasing some significant facelifts – most recently the 2020 ASX small SUV – it seems there will be some huge improvements arriving on our shores to be excited about.

Among those will be an all-new Outlander SUV, and it has been testing in Australia with the parent company adopting feedback from the Australian market to shape the new model.

Speaking to Practical Motoring, Mitsubishi Australia product manager Owen Thompson was very excited when quizzed about the fate of the brand’s largest SUV soft-roader.

“It’s certainly a big upgrade,” he said. “Yes, it’s a big change.”

Although details are thin, inside rumour is that the new Outlander will sit on the same platform as the next-gen Nissan X-Trail. Naturally, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance is finding efficiencies from its group-sharing potential.

New drivetrain options might be the downsized 1.5-litre turbo engine form the Eclipse Cross, Nissan’s 2.0-litre variable-compression turbo motor and a revised electric hybrid for the PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle).

Outside, spy photos show the new-look Mitsubishi will adopt a fascia similar to that of the Engelberg Tourer concept first shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, and as rendered by Kolesa above.

But we can now also confirm that the Outlander will be even bigger inside while keeping very similar exterior dimensions. As it is today, the Outlander is already a reasonably spacious contender in the medium SUV segment, offering five or seven seats and 477L boot space.

According to Thompson, the upcoming Outlander has already been testing in Australia, with a focus on Australian market needs.

“We’ve always had a level of input with the parent company and performed some local evaluation, particularly with Triton, and even Outlander now. I think it’s because we’re a really important market with cars like Triton and I think some of the word might have got out to other development groups and we’ve had the Outlander here which is good for building a relationship with them.

“Our current car [Outlander] is fairly good but it’s really just tuning it to the customer preferences around space. If you look at what’s been happening with us lately it’s all about practicality, practical focus is a big focus on what we do.

“Yeah [there will be more space], we’ll see what comes of it, [but] more space doesn’t necessarily mean it’s longer.”

It’s unclear when the new model will launch, though it is most likely to debut globally next year, with no approximation on Australian timing.

“That car’s is in our future plans and I can’t say when it’s arriving,” Thompson told us.

“That will be a change in Outlander for the world, this timing around the world might be variable.”

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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