At a glance: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

At a glance: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
At a glance: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of the best-selling alternative fuel cars in the UK. It combines a 2.0-litre petrol engine with electric motors; high-capacity batteries can be plugged in to give enough charge for a degree of all-electric driving.

Official CO2 figures are very low so the Outlander PHEV is a tax-efficient choice. It’s a pity the spacious cabin is cheap and dated, though.

DRIVING

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Performance
• There is a petrol engine and two battery-powered electric motors, but the Mitsubishi is remarkably conventional to drive
• Electric assist gives quick pull-away from standstill
• The drivetrain is fully automatic and decides when to switch between petrol and electric power

Ride and handling
• The ride is softer than it was but the Outlander PHEV can still be caught out by bigger bumps
• Quick steering gives it an agile feel
• The clever drivetrain has four-wheel drive functionality for safe winter motoring

Refinement
• When it’s running on electric power, the Outlander PHEV is very refined
• The engine can roar loudly when you floor the accelerator
• Wind and road noise are better isolated now than they used to be

IN THE CABIN

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Behind the wheel
• The driver’s seat has limited height adjustment: it’s too high for taller drivers
• The steering has no reach adjustment
• Visibility is good and big windows and door mirrors give clear all-round vision

Space and practicality
• The front cabin can feel a little cramped but it’s otherwise reasonably roomy
• The Outlander PHEV only seats five people: there is a diesel-powered alternative that has seven seats
• Its boot is a reasonable size and the middle row seats can fold down completely flat

Equipment
• The high-tech Outlander PHEV is well-equipped, particularly range-topping models
• The infotainment system is gadget-packed but fiddly to use and looks like an afterthought
• All versions have three years’ pan-European roadside, home and accident assistance cover

BUYING AND OWNING

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Price and running costs
• List prices look high but Mitsubishi dealer discounts soon cut them down to size
• Retained values are only average
• The Outlander PHEV uses no fuel if you can travel short distances on electric power alone. Economy is much less impressive over longer trips

Quality and reliability
• The upper surfaces of the dashboard have a nice soft-touch surface which seems good quality
• The Outlander PHEV generally has a solid feel, although some of its fit and finish is poor
• Mitsubishi’s reliability record is so-so but PHEV models have a five-year, 62,500-mile warranty

Safety and security
• Seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, are fitted to all models
• Top-spec versions have clever active safety kit including adaptive cruise control and automatic collision mitigation
• Four-wheel drive gives dynamic safety a boost in slippery conditions

Instant verdict: This plug-in hybrid SUV is a tax-friendly car, but not an exciting one to sit in or drive. Only the powertrain feels state-of-the-art

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