After going on sale in Russia and Europe, the third-gen Mitsubishi Outlander has been launched on its home ground, with four variants priced between ¥2.4 and 3.1 million (RM93-118k).

The variants are 2.0G, 2.4G, 2.4G Safety Package and 2.4G Navi Package, all powered by MIVEC petrol units, with the larger-engined cars getting 4WD as standard. Gearbox is an INVECS-III CVT with six virtual speeds.

The 4WD drivetrain is electronically controlled and features three modes of selection. Mitsubishi’s S-AWC vehicle dynamics integrated control system is an optional extra; this splits torque between the left and right wheel to improve handling and stability. Electric steering replaces the hydraulic system on the previous Outlander.

The Japanese carmaker is keen to point out that the SUV is geared towards safety – the Outlander is the first Mitsubishi vehicle to feature the e-Assist safety bundle, which comprises Forward Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control.

Active Stability Control and seven airbags are standard across the line-up in Japan, as are keyless operation, a start/stop system, Hill Start Assist, ECO mode switch, and auto dual-zone climate control. The range-topping 2.4G Navi Package gets a power tailgate.

A low 0.33 drag coefficient contributes to claimed fuel economy figures of 15.2 km per litre (2WD) and 14.4 km per litre (4WD) enable the Outlander to achieve Japan’s 2015 Fuel Efficiency Standards, which means it qualifies for eco-car subsidies to enjoy 50% reductions in acquisition tax and tonnage tax at the time of purchase.

The interior benefits from a gloss black instrument panel, silver decorative accents for the switches and the use of soft-touch dashboard trim material, amongst others. Between the twin dials sits the Multi Information Display, which is a high-definition colour LCD.

Second row seats are split 60:40 and third row 50:50 – with all of them folded, luggage compartment length is 1685 mm; 335 mm longer than its predecessor. The third row offers more legroom and is also wider.

As for gadgets, the 2.4G Navi Package gets as standard the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System (MMCS) with a high-definition 7.0-inch display. This brings together GPS with traffic and altitude data, Bluetooth and side and rear-view camera display. MMCS or a Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touch display are factory options on other trim levels.

A Rockford Fosgate Premium Sound system can be specified as an option on MMCS-equipped variants.

There are six body hues to choose from: Cosmic Blue Mica, Black Mica, Titanium Grey Metallic, Cool Silver Metallic, White Pearl and a new Copper Metallic finish.

Mitsubishi aims to sell 1,000 units a month in Japan for the 2012 fiscal year. The new Outlander’s next destinations are Oceania and North America, and a plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) will debut in Japan early next year.