The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
Not everybody will find a comfortable driving position, partially because seat height adjustment is limited – it just can’t drop low enough for taller drivers. The steering wheel doesn’t adjust sufficiently for height or reach, either. Excel models get an eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and every Outlander provides adjustable lumbar support.
Most of the dashboard controls are simply laid out, but some of the buttons are tucked away out of sight. All versions come with a footrest, giving drivers somewhere for their left foot on long journeys.
Visibility, parking sensors and cameras
You get a decent all-round view from the driver’s seat, aided by large door mirrors and big windows. That high-set seating position aids visibility, too.
Both versions of the petrol Outlander have a reversing camera as standard, but you’ll have to visit your dealer to add front and rear parking sensors. Front fog lights are standard across the petrol range, with top spec models getting LED headlights and fog lights plus blind spot monitoring and a rear cross traffic alert system. The latter warns of traffic approaching from the side when you’re reversing out of a driveway, for example.
Sat nav and infotainment
Entry-level Design trim gets an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity and a DAB radio. Upgrade to top-spec Exceed and you also get TomTom sat nav and a couple of extra USB ports for rear-seat passengers.
With or without nav, the Outlander’s touchscreen system has complex menus and small, hard-to-hit icons. It’s rather fiddly to use and feels like an aftermarket accessory when compared with the better-integrated systems of rival cars.
The upper surfaces of the Outlander’s interior feel pleasantly squidgy when you give them a prod, and harder plastics are generally confined to lower areas where they are less noticeable. Fit and finish isn’t quite up to rivals’ standards, though, and the overall, the inside design is rather dated.
With no colour choice other than black unless you opt for a top-spec PHEV, the interior feels drab – despite bits of gloss-black trim and chrome highlights on the fascia. Top-level 4 trim does add some further decoration in the form of black ash trim on the doors but, while this is pleasant enough, it still doesn’t disguise the fact that the Outlander is no class leader in terms of perceived quality.
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