Some cars make a strong first impression. Others may be less immediate in their appeal, but nonetheless reveal their quality. As a tow car, the Mitsubishi Outlander is in the latter camp.

At first it feels too wallowy and short of body control, a trait that’s also noticeable without a caravan in tow. But it’s actually very stable, with data from the Al-Ko ATC sensors showing how the Mitsubishi kept the caravan on a short leash.

There’s plenty of pulling power to haul any well-matched caravan, with a respectable 30-60mph time of 14 seconds. That’s steady but dogged acceleration.

With its electronic parking brake applied, the Outlander holds still on a 1-in-6 slope with a caravan in tow. The combination of four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox makes pulling up the gradient easy.

As a daily drive, the Outlander’s inconsistently weighted steering, stodgy handling, and high levels of wind and road noise make it an also-ran when so many modern SUVs drive so well, despite improvements made by recent revisions.

However, it’s a practical car, with a solidly put together cabin and flexible seating for seven.

With the two rearmost seats stowed away, our practicality testers found room for a full load of holiday luggage, and were impressed by the neatly installed towing gear.

With a price tag of around £34,000 the Outlander isn’t cheap, but ‘4’ trim comes with plenty of standard equipment. What’s more, the Mitsubishi has a five-star safety rating from the experts at Euro NCAP.

2019
Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners
2018
1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2017
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*

2016
1400-1549kg

Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business

2015
1400-1549kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG

2014
1400-1549kg

Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

2013
Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance

2012
1725–1899kg

Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury

2011
1425-1574kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport

2010
1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS

2009
1900kg+

Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic

2008
1575-1724kg

Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto

2007
1575-1724kg

Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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