‘Black’ makes light work of SUV challenge

By Derek Ogden, Marque Motoring

The auto industry continues to be awash with gizmos that are increasingly taking the ‘drive’ out of driver.

Sports utility vehicles – especially all-wheel drives – are particularly subject to systems that butt in. Welcome to the no-nonsense world of the Outlander Black Edition.

While the mid-size Mitsubishi petrol and petrol/electric hybrid SUV, for 2024, has been given a leg-up in equipment standards – plus price rises – the former LS Black Edition has been let loose from the pack to stand on its own.

Not that there’s any shortage of tech in the Black Edition, just that it seems less intrusive than that of many of the ilk.

Even so, any of a stack of bells-and-whistle warnings and driver aids can be silenced simply by switches located on the steering wheel.

The entry-level ES 2WD five-seater now opens the line-up from $37,740, plus on-roads, the plug-in hybrid EV five-seater from $56,490, with the top-of-the range PHEV Exceed Tourer seven-seater topping out the Outlanders at $71,790. The Black Edition seven-seater – the test vehicle – settles in the middle of the mob at $42,990.

The MY24 Outlander is covered by a five-year, 100,000km warranty that can be extended to 10 years and 200,000km if serviced within Mitsubishi’s dealer

network using its capped-price service program.

All vehicles are sold with 12 months of roadside assist, which can be extended for up to four years when the vehicle is serviced at an authorised Mitsubishi dealer.


‘Black’ is the byword here, with a black grille, black-finish door mirrors and lower bumper treatments, B- and C-pillar garnishes, and 20-inch black alloy wheels. The bold front, flared fenders and an aerodynamic rear spoiler combine to come up with a sporty stance, as well as adding to improved performance over its predecessor.

Automatic LED headlamps are newly added. Paint options are limited to Prestige Black, Prestige White, Prestige Red, and a new metallic Graphite Grey.


Inside, one thing dominates – you guessed it – black. There’s a black headliner and pillar trims, plus Mi-Suede seat upholstery with synthetic leather bolsters.

While the Black Edition, like others in Outlander range, boasts three rows of seats capable of taking up to seven ‘bodies’ Mitsubishi eschews the term ‘seven-seater’ for the more realistic ‘5+2’ definition. The rear seats are comfortable only for carrying a couple of kids, or for anyone else, on short journeys.

All seats can recline for added comfort, while the slide adjustable 40:20:40 split second row and 50:50 split rear third row can fold fully forward to create a multitude of versatile passenger and cargo configurations.

Seven-seat petrol models have a space saver spare wheel, and a claimed 163

litres with all three rows of seats upright. This goes up to 478 litres with the third-row seats folded, and 1461 litres with the second row also folded.


A 9-inch touchscreen presents information in sharp full-colour, while buttons and knobs allow for easy audio and sat nav operation. Apple CarPlay is wireless, Android Auto wired, which is de rigueur for vehicles of this standard.

Power outlets include USB-A, USB-C and 12V plugs, as well as a wireless charging pad, which doubles as storage when not servicing the phone.


Powering the MY24 Outlander Black Edition is a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine producing 135 kW of power and 244 Nm of torque (nothing new here), mated with a continuously-variable transmission with eight pre-programmed steps a la conventional automatic. Drive is sent to the front wheels only.


The Outlander was awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating on 2022 testing. With eight airbags, the suite of active safety systems is headed by autonomous emergency braking front and rear, including pedestrian and junction modes.

Forward collision warning leads in moving object detection, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist and emergency lane assist, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Adaptive cruise control is joined by driver attention alert and traffic sign recognition.

There are rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors, plus rear seat alert function.

A new rear seat alert function detects rear door use on entry and notifies the driver with either an instrument cluster message or horn note when getting out.


While the 2.5-litre motor doesn’t set the world on fire with its performance, it’s possible to spin the front-wheel drive system on gravel, especially when an incline is involved. However, the Outlander took lumpy going in its stride.

Overtaking on bitumen needs some decisive work from the driver but engine and wind noise are all but absent, except when the engine is pushed. Steering, while responsive, is on the weighty side but, generally, the Outlander stays firmly to the road, even on swiftly taken bends.

The whole driving experience is without fuss, which means it’s short on fun too.

Occupants were far from complaining, even in stop/start city traffic.

Fuel consumption is claimed at 7.7 litres per 100km combined, with CO2 emissions of 185g per kilometre. The test vehicle recorded 10.5 litres per 100 kilometres in city and suburbs, and five litres per 100km at motorway speeds.

Braked towing capacity across the range is 1600kg, with unbraked towing at 750kg.


Without trying out more members of the MY24 Outlander line-up, the standalone Black Edition has a lot going for it. Seven seats make for a rare shot at versatility despite the children’s high-chair pair out back. Pricing and warranty are a bonus.


Looks: 7/10

Performance: 5/10

Safety: 8/10

Thirst: 6/10

Practicality: 7/10

Comfort: 6/10

Tech: 8/10

Value: 6/10