Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The recently-revamped Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV combines the benefits of an electric car with the convenience of a petrol engine
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has consistently topped the list of the UK’s bestselling plug-in hybrid vehicles ever since the original version was launched in 2014. It combines two electric motors with a conventional petrol engine to provide impressive realworld fuel economy, permanent four-wheel drive and the option of travelling up to 28 miles on electricity alone.
UNDER THE BONNET
The latest model features a raft of improvements, including a new 2.4-litre petrol engine, an uprated electric motor on the rear and a slightly larger (13.8kWh) battery. Charging takes approximately five hours on a standard three-pin domestic plug and running on electricity alone equates to around a third of the cost you’d spend on fuel for an equivalent petrol-only model. What’s more, there’s a growing network of public charging points that will do it in as little as 25 minutes.
We managed a real-world electric range of 23.3 miles. That might not sound like much, but it’s more than twice the length of the average UK commute, so some people could feasibly carry out all of their day-today driving without using a single drop of fuel. Switch to hybrid mode and the fuel economy will depend heavily on how often you need to use the petrol engine, but keep the battery topped up and over 100mpg is attainable on short trips. Even with the battery depleted we averaged 43mpg, which is impressive for a car of this size.
HOW IT DRIVES
The Outlander PHEV’s electric drivetrain is smooth and virtually silent at low speeds. Things do get a little louder when the petrol engine wakes up, and there is a touch of wind and road noise, but it remains an impressively refined package overall.
The electric motors provide plenty of torque, which means that the initial pullaway feels livelier than the 10.5 second 0-to-62 mph time might imply. And, while it never sets out to be sporty, the Outlander
PHEV handles surprisingly well for a big car, with crisp steering and a nicely balanced chassis.
SPACE AND COMFORT
The plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander comes with five seats (unlike its petrol and diesel equivalents that offer seven). Unless you really need the third row, however, there’s little to choose between them.
There’s still plenty of head and legroom front and rear, plus lots of storage space. Boot volume is hindered slightly by the addition of the batteries, but it remains competitive at 463 litres, while the 60/40 split rear seats fold flat to give a cavernous 1,603 litres of load space.
AT THE WHEEL
There are five (mechanically identical) trim specs, ranging from £36,755 to £46,060. All barring the entry level
Juro feature leather seats, which offer a good blend of comfort and support, while a seven-inch touchscreen display is standard on all models, as is smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple Car Play.
The government may have scaled back the financial incentives for plug-in hybrids, but there is still the potential to save significantly on running costs if you keep the battery topped up. Meanwhile, generous equipment levels, decent dynamics and impressive refinement ensure that the Outlander PHEV’s appeal extends well beyond its eco credentials.
SPEC AND TECH Price: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4HS £42,020 (range from £36,755) Engine: 2,360 cc, 224PS, in-line four cylinder petrol hybrid with single-speed transmission Performance: 0 to 62mph in 10.5 seconds; top speed 106mph Fuel economy: 139.7mpg (WLTP combined) Electric range: 28 miles (WLTP) Electricity use: 169Wh/km (WLTP weighted average) CO2 emissions: 46g/km