Long termer: Mitsubishi Outlander - Third Report

Long termer: Mitsubishi Outlander - Third ReportJon Reay

I've never been much of a fan of the usual 4x4-buying types, I have to admit. Not so much those who actually take their cars off the road once in a while (or at least plan to), or even live up a hill in snowy Wales - they're getting a genuine use out of all the extra bulk.

It's the 'could have managed with an MPV' set that I don't understand - why buy something you don't even remotely need?
It comes with great annoyance, then, that I've found myself falling for a 4x4 I so greatly don't require.

I'd like to blame part of it on the recent flooding that's hit the UK, but we all know I'd be lying: In the end I just like driving the Outlander.

With that said, I did borrow it for a particularly dicey trip to Heathrow to drive the new Auris last week, and found the switch for four-wheel-drive an oddly reassuring presence on a river-like M3. Perhaps 4x4s are the answer to climate change after all.

It's doing wonders for my masculinity too. For a start the beefy stereo makes even Natalie Imbruglia sound butch, and parking it up at Sainsbury's of an evening, I like to think I look like some sort of outdoorsy surfer type - though I'm sure that's not the case. In reality it does dwarf me a little: I'm more of an ASX-sized individual, I think.

Unfortunately though, it's not just me that's fallen for the Outlander's charms: AOL Cars editor James Baggott rather likes it too.

I say "rather likes it", what I actually mean is that he's claimed it as his own. Seriously, we're not allowed near it. He'll turn up in it one day with a personalised plate on the front - you mark my words.

Just one irritation remains: the sat nav. Unfortunately it suffers from that common in-car unit issue of not knowing where on earth anything is.

Post codes? I'm afraid not. Street and house numbers? Not so hot on those either. I even tried entering latitude and longitude markers at one point, but it threw in the towel four digits in. You'd think I was asking it to find area 51, not Terminal 3.

Still, it's not enough to spoil what is on the whole a very pleasant package. I may not be driving it up muddy hills or pleasing too many Al Gore-types, but who cares.

Morals are nice, but heated seats are nicer.
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