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.

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