Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
With no turbocharger to boost its low-rev pulling power, the 2.0-litre petrol engine needs working hard if you want to get up to speed with any urgency. Even then, the Outlander’s yawning 0-62mph time of 13.3sec would be more in keeping with a sluggish city car than it is a big, brawny SUV. The similarly powerful Skoda Kodiaq 1.5 TSI is far brisker and much happier to slog from low engine speeds in a high gear.
A CVT automatic gearbox is standard; no manual is available. It’s exceedingly smooth and unobtrusive when you’re trundling around gently, but it has the engine revving away noisily if you tread on the accelerator pedal. If you want to know what the PHEV is like, have a look at our separate Outlander PHEV review.
Suspension and ride comfort
The Outlander rides reasonably comfortably, although the Peugeot 5008 is better at sponging up sharp-edged bumps, such as potholes, which can have the Outlander jolting and thumping quite a bit. Body movement isn’t especially well controlled, either, so the car can bounce around at higher speeds. It leans a fair bit in corners, too.
While the steering is helpfully easy to twirl when driving around town, it’s disconcertingly light at higher speeds. Combine this with pronounced body lean in corners and the Outlander isn’t a particularly reassuring car to drive on faster roads.
The four-wheel drive system can shuffle power between the front and rear wheels when sensors deem it necessary. Alternatively, it can be locked with a 50% split between the two axles to improve traction. However; although this’ll probably help out on slippery surfaces, the Outlander just doesn’t have the ground clearance of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, and can’t tackle serious off-road excursions.
Noise and vibration
The petrol engine sounds particularly old-school, with a coarse edge when you work it hard, and a bit of vibration through the controls. It quietens down when you’re cruising, but the din is replaced by considerable wind and road noise at higher speeds. This can make the Outlander a little tiring on long journeys.