A regular travelling companion of mine and a self-confessed technophobe often complains that we increasingly live in a world of bongs and beeps.

So how happy he was to climb aboard the new Mitsubishi Outlander.

Yes it had a fresh-look dashboard complete with eight-inch touchscreen, smartphone links and rear-view camera – but it’s pretty much a bleep-free zone.

The latest version of the Outlander is the most affordable sports utility vehicle on the market that offers seven seats and four-wheel drive as standard.

It’s an attractive package for family buyers more concerned with practicality and versatility than the latest high-tech equipment.

And this is certainly a flexible vehicle. In five-seat mode there is loads of cabin space to carry five adults together with a cavernous boot space.

Flip up the pair of rear seats that sit flat in the load space and the car quickly turns into a serious people shifter.

There is a refreshing sense of involvement with the Outlander driven here in Design trim.

If you want to open the tailgate you have to lift it yourself; if you want high beam on the headlights you have to flick the stalk yourself and when parking you need to keep your wits about you – there are no sensors front and rear here to make up for your own inattention.

That’s not to say the Outlander is anything but well-equipped. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and comes with heated front seats, keyless entry, an electronic parking brake, electric, folding heated door mirrors, front fog lamps, automatic lights and wipers, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and privacy glass.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 150 horsepower which mated to the automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters gives relaxed cruising.

Improvements for the 2020 model include a reduction in CO2 emissions, cutting the first-year excise duty rate by a whopping £325, as well as improved equipment specification including a new, eight-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth phone link, DAB digital radio and a rear-view camera.

The climate control panel has also been given a fresh look, while the driver’s seat has power lumbar support and rear seat comfort has been improved with extra padding.

If you crave more creature comforts there is a pricier model called the Exceed, which adds leather upholstery with electric driver’s side adjustment, a 360° camera, built-in TomTom navigation, LED headlamps, high beams and fog lamps, heated steering wheel, a powered tailgate, blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert and twin rear USB ports.

Arguably some of the Outlander’s biggest rivals also come wearing the Mitsubishi badge.

The thoroughly modern Eclipse Cross, with its blend of coupé styling and SUV versatility, has proved an instant success and it comes laden with rafts of advanced technology.

Also packed with technology is the hybrid version of the Outlander, which is the UK’s most popular plug-in vehicle, with almost 50,000 registered in the UK since 2014.

But it’s worth remembering that the petrol-powered Outlander delivers two more seats than the plug-in version and while it is less powerful and slower, it can tow 1,600kg – 100kg more than the hybrid.

But before you set off, just remember to secure your seat belt buckle. If you don’t, your ears will be assaulted with, you guessed it, a series of irritating beeps.

Auto facts

Model: Mitsubishi Outlander Design

Price: £28,085

Insurance group: 19E

Fuel consumption (combined): 32.5mpg

Top speed: 118mph

Length: 469.5cm/184.3in

Width: 181cm/71in

Luggage capacity: 1608 litres/56.7 cu ft (all five rear seats folded)

Fuel tank capacity: 13.2 gallons/60 litres

CO2emissions: 169 g/km

Warranty: Five years/ 62,500 miles