The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers the best of all worlds with its impressive Plug-in Hybrid technology and spacious cabin

“The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers the best of all worlds with its impressive Plug-in Hybrid technology and spacious cabin.”

  • One of the most practical electric options on the market

  • Comfortable and refined drive

  • Very economical for short journeys

78%

Overall Rating

  • Some questionable areas of quality in the cabin

  • Infotainment system feels slightly dated

  • Can get thirsty over longer distances

Overall Rating

Overview

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV seems to have an answer for every possible argument against electric vehicles. Thanks to its high tech Plug-in Hybrid technology, the back up of a petrol engine means never having to worry about running out of juice. It’s also one of the largest and most practical semi-electric options on the market. A 45km electric range makes it an ideal solution for those with shorter commutes and a spacious cabin makes it a realistic option for a modern family. It’s also got four wheel drive as standard, meaning on paper, there’s not a whole lot this car can’t do.

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Space & Practicality

At 463 litres, there’s not a lot you won’t fit in the Outlander’s boot. A wide opening tailgate and flat load bay make it easy to load, and there’s also a handy underfloor storage compartment for your charging cables.
This can be extended into the back, although you do have to first fold the rear seat bases down first, but once you do, you get a nice, flat load area.

Space in the back is extremely generous. The big boxy shape means there’s plenty of head and legroom – an advantage even the middle seat passenger can enjoy thanks to an almost flat floor across the middle.

The front of the cabin is a bit of a mixed bag in terms of quality, but for the most part it’s really quite good.The quilted leather upholstery adorning the seats and door frames of our test car gave it a very upmarket feel. There are areas of harder plastics to be found when you go looking for them, and some of the switchgear could do with a bit of an update, but the design overall is quite smart and easy to operate.

Equipment and Safety

Trim levels are straight forward enough, with three to choose from in the Intense, InStyle and top-spec S-edition. The pricing starts at just under €40,000 for the Intense when you take Government grants into account which actually makes it cheaper than the entry level diesel equivalent.

It’s also very generously equipped from the ground up with features like dual zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a touchscreen multimedia display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a reversing camera all as standard. It also gets 18 inch alloy wheels, roof rails and automatic lights and wipers. The mid-spec InStyle model adds some luxurious quilted leather upholstery, electrically adjustable heated seats, an around view parking monitor, LED headlights and additional safety features like lane departure warning and automatic cruise control.

At the top of the range is the S-edition which starts at €47,500 and gets some exterior and interior styling upgrades, a sunroof, power tailgate and nine speaker surround sound system.

Performance & Running Costs

On the road the Outlander PHEV offers two very different driving experiences depending on whether you are in electric or Hybrid mode. A full charge should deliver up to 45km of fully electric range. That can depend very much on how you drive it, and it does tend to perform better in and around time where there is opportunity for some regenerative braking then it does at motorway speeds.

It is a much more pleasant car to drive in electric mode. As with most EVs, the silent power uptake and instant torque delivery make for a very enjoyable drive. The suspension feels well judged and while the steering could probably do with a bit more feel, it’s overall a comfortable and sure-footed family cruiser. There’s also a drive mode selector which will allow you to select a sport option for some more spirited driving.

Once the battery runs out, it starts to feel more like a 2.4 litre petrol which is essentially what it turns into. The CVT automatic gearbox can get a little vocal as you accelerate, but thanks to good sound insulation, it remains fairly peaceful in the cabin for the most part.

The only problem is that because of the additional weight of the Hybrid and four wheel drive systems, not to mention the considerable bulk of the car itself, it can get quite thirsty when it’s on the petrol power alone. For that reason, it’s definitely better suited to those who can stick within the parameters of the electric range and only have to use this mode on occasion, but it is a great bonus to have that option.

Reliability & Residuals

The Outlander PHEV  comes with the added reassurance of an eight year/150,000km warranty. It’s a car that suits a very particular lifestyle, but if you happen to fall into that bracket then there are few cars out there that tick as many boxes as this one.

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Details correct at time of publication