The reversing camera was a must-have item for me. It is available from the GX4h upwards. I had first come across this technology when test driving a new Honda Civic, to replace my existing Civic. Because of the poor rearward visibility of the car, the camera transformed reversing and allowed me to park with millimetric precision. The Outlander’s camera is larger, at 8”, and switches on automatically when reverse gear is selected. There are issues, which I will come to, but overall, it is an excellent system and I am very happy with it. It is certainly worth the additional expense.
I have a racing car which I now occasionally use the Outlander to tow. The biggest problem with hooking up the trailer is that, if the tow-hook is not exactly under the hitch, it requires a lot of manly exertion to muscle it over the final few inches. Whilst I am fairly good at judging the reversing my Chrysler Voyager, I am usually a few inches out. I also like to keep the engine running when hooking up or, indeed, unhooking, and rather dislike breathing in the diesel fumes. Oh, and I’m also not very manly, hence the hard work!
Hooking up the Outlander could not be simpler. Simply position the car roughly in position, select reverse and use the camera to place the tow-hook directly under the hitch. Even if I was to get it a little wrong, which I don’t, I could breathe sweet air whilst jostling the trailer over the final inches.
The camera view is slightly offset, as can be seen in the photographs. That does need to be taken into account when precision-manoeuvring, but is easily adjusted to. It is not an issue usually.
What is an issue is the fact that the camera does not quite provide a full-width view of the car. So when reversing into a tight drive, for example, the camera alone will not tell you how close you are to a wall. You need to use your wing mirrors to see how close the side of your car is to the wall. Or, of course, look over your shoulders and use your judgement. The problem with the last scenario is that you can end up ignoring the camera and just looking, which defeats the objective. As I learnt to my cost, if you don’t look at the camera you won’t see any hidden obstacles. But the very act of having the camera gives a confidence that, if you are not using it, you simply are not entitled to having! I learnt that embarrassingly silly lesson the hard way.
There are not any serious issues, and the first is just me being very pedantic; I doubt any car has the first facility I am about to suggest. But as it is so minor, why not incorporate it?
The Outlander is a large car, so when pulling up in a supermarket or work’s car park, I like to position my nose right at the front of the space, ensuring the tail of the vehicle is just inside the bay. I also like to centre my car perfectly. When reversing into a slot, this is easy and the camera shows the exact position of the rear of the car. But when driving straight through one bay and onto the next, I’m travelling forwards and so the camera is not on. The solution is easy; either I get out and look or I can flick the car into reverse and observe the camera. But it would be nice to be able to switch the camera on as I am driving into position, easily allowing more precise parking. I did say I was being pedantic, but then it can’t be that hard to provide.
Occasionally when selecting reverse, the superimposed lines are not displayed. It is amazing how useful these are. The solution is to simply select Neutral, and then reselect Drive. This has worked every time so far. But it happens often enough for Mitsubishi’s test engineers to have spotted it, so maybe they don’t consider a solution worth pursuing.
Seatbelt Warning Sound
The Seatbelt Warning Sound is very useful and there is no excuse for not wearing a seatbelt, surely? I can think of one time when it becomes a highly distracting nuisance, and that is when reversing. What idiot at Mitsubishi thought it a good idea to wear a seatbelt whilst manoeuvring? When I am on my drive reversing a trailer round a tight bend into a constricted garage, I like to bob about all over the place and the seatbelt won’t allow that. I don’t appreciate listening to that racket just because I have the cheek to reverse with a measure of skill. The same applies when parking on my parent’s drive, squeezing the car into position. In fact every single time I reverse, I remove the belt. So please Mitsubishi, remove the noise.