Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2013-2021) Review
An SUV that’s built for city, the Outlander caters for drivers who want a big 4x4 that can be driven on electric power alone
Strengths & weaknesses
- Low company car tax rates
- Quiet to drive
- Feels heavy and lumbering on the road
- Cheap interior
- Fuel economy poor on longer journeys
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV prices from £11,795 Finance from £403.50 per month
Niche in the market. Any viewers of The Apprentice or Dragons’ Den will have heard this phrase just as regularly as “you’re fired” or “am oot”.
But back in 2013, Mitsubishi found its own gap in the market - a plug-in hybrid SUV. And today, it’s a niche that not many car manufacturers are filling.
As ever with niches, they may require some explaining. A hybrid is a car that uses electric power as well as a conventional engine. A plug-in hybrid is one you plug in to a power source to boost the electrical power. And an SUV is a Sports Utility Vehicle - or a big off-roader-type-thing.
And while there are other hybrids SUVs out there, like the Lexus RX and Range Rover Sport P400e, the only other plug-in hybrid of this size is the Volvo XC90 T8, although a new Audi Q7 e-tron should be en route soon.
The Outlander might not be as well put-together as these, but at £36,755, it is much, much cheaper.
Company car buyers will also appreciate the big Outlander - as the 46g/km CO2 emissions rating means it has a very low Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rating.
So it ticks a lot of boxes then. And in 2018, the Outlander PHEV received a significant upgrade too. The 2.0-litre petrol engine was replaced with a 2.4-litre, and the battery was upgraded too.
As with any other hybrid, mpg figures vary wildly depending on how you use it. Hybrids work at optimum performance around town, so this is where it’s most efficient. Especially when the battery is fully charged. You’ll get an 80% charged battery in 25 minutes from a fast charger, or a full charge using a slow charger in about four hours. Using a regular socket to charge it fully will take around eight hours.
Officially it’ll cover 31 miles on electric only, and from our experiences you should get close to that.
On a test journey of 90 miles in mixed driving conditions we achieved 43 mpg. Despite covering close to 30 miles in electric only, 70mph on the motorway took its toll. Not as good as a diesel, but, a fair chunk better than a similarly sized petrol model.
The Outlander has an almost bewildering number of driving modes, which can be read about in the engine section. As with many other hybrids, the automatic gearbox is a CVT affair. This means it doesn’t actually have any gears and is just one speed. In EV mode it’s silent. In every other mode it is pretty quiet, unless under hard acceleration, where it will be loud and clattery.
The Outlander can never quite shake its weight - tipping the scales at a hefty 1880 kg. The batteries add to the weight, and sitting higher up means it does lean in fast corners. It doesn’t particularly affect day to day driving, but you will feel yourself leaning in your chair on fast curvy roads.
Inside it’s a mishmash of buttons, and our test car had faux carbon fibre accents that make it look cheaper than it is. As you’d imagine with a hybrid, there’s loads of tech, including adaptive cruise control and a bird’s eye view parking cameras. No matter which mode you choose, inbuilt sat-nav isn’t an option. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard though - both offering much better navigation options anyway.
There’s not a seven-seat option (because of the hefty batteries) but in the back there is ample room for three people, even on long journeys.
The boot is big too - at 463 litres. The cables for the plug-in hybrid system are tucked underneath the main opening in a neat cubby too, keeping them out of the way.
The Range Rover Sport and Lexus RX provide more comfort and luxury, but also cost a lot more. The Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq are better as forms of transport, but aren’t offered with plug-in hybrid options. And the Volvo XC90 T8 is far too expensive.
The Outlander then, isn’t the most accomplished SUV or plug-in hybrid, but it marries the two ideas nicely, and is an awful lot of car for the money if you truly want a plug-in hybrid SUV.
|Boot size||463/1,602 litres|
|Tax (mix to max)||£0 in the first year, £130-£440 thereafter|
Best Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for...
Best for Economy – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Juro
While there is only one engine available so mpg won’t change, to get the most for your money you’ll be wanting the cheapest model of the Outlander, the Juro.
Best for Families – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4h
Families will appreciate the power tailgate, 360° camera, and blind spot warning system that the 4h offers.
2014 First Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hits the UK
2016 Outlander receives facelift
2017 Receives new EV priority mode, brake auto hold, and forward collision mitigation added.
2018 New Outlander PHEV revealed. Engine goes from 2.0-litre to 2.4-litre and battery capacity increased by around 10 per cent.
Understanding Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV names
Engine 2.4 PHEV
There is only one powertrain to choose from - a 2.4-litre petrol engine with a 3.8 kWh battery.
There are five trim levels available - Juro, 4h, 4hs, 5h, and 5hs.
There is only one option - an automatic
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Engines
2.4-litre petrol with 3.8kWh battery pack
Picking an engine for your Outlander PHEV is a pretty easy choice - there’s only one.
The engine up front is a 2.4-litre petrol. Previous versions of the car had a 2.0-litre, but compared with that, this new engine is more economical despite the increase in size. It’s more powerful too - making 133bhp compared to the old 2.0-litres’ 119bhp.
It’s teamed with a 13.8kWh battery that powers the electric motor, which make 94bhp. Max power combined sits at 197bhp, which might sound like a lot, but considering it’s powering something that is nearly two-tonnes, it really isn’t.
0-62mph takes 10.5 seconds, but, as long as the batteries are charged, it feels a lot more urgent because the batteries don’t need to build up power.
The engine and plug-in hybrid system is what sets this car out from the rest of its competitors. And the good news is that the petrol engine and battery pack work well together, and there are some clever engine modes.
The Outlander is a four-wheel-drive, so sends power to all four wheels. The four-wheel-drive system has a snow mode to make things easier in the snow, as well as a diff-lock mode that will lock it in four-wheel-drive - making it one of the only cars that you can do some serious off-roading in using just electricity.
Other modes for the car include eco, pure EV, electricity save, and sport. All of these are useful in their own way. Eco mode is good for economy, EV priority locks it into using just electricity, and electricity save purposefully doesn’t use electric power so that it can be activated at a later time of your choosing. This is especially helpful if you know you’ll be driving in a city towards the end of your journey, and you want to make the most out of the electric power.
There’s also a normal mode, which will automatically detect everything for you if you don’t want to do any thinking for yourself.
The only mode that feels a bit pointless is sport. It sharpens the throttle response and makes the gearbox less smooth than it ought to be and generally makes things less pleasant. This isn’t a fast car - and it’s fooling no one.
Elsewhere, there are paddles behind the steering wheel. But these aren’t for the gearshift - they’re for choosing how much regenerative braking you want.
2.4-litre petrol with plug-in hybrid
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Trims
Juro, 4h, 4hs, 5h, and 5hs
There are four trim levels on offer, although even in base spec Juro, it’s pretty well equipped.
Juro models have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a heated windscreen, heated front seats, electric pre-heating via an app, brake auto hold, a reversing camera, cruise control, front and rear fog lights, and keyless entry.
4h adds a 360 degree bird’s eye view camera, leather seats (with electric adjustable driver’s seat), LED front fog lights, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, power tailgate, heated steering wheel, plus LED headlamps that auto level.
Next up is 4hs, which brings with it adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, and auto high beam.
5H adds larger 18-inch alloy wheels, an Alpine audio system, and Nappa leather in a choice of colours.
Top of the range 5hs adds an unintended acceleration mitigation system, more Nappa leather options, as well as colour-coded mat sets.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Reliability and warranty
A five-year or 67,500 mile (whichever comes first) warranty comes with the Outlander. This is a cut above the industry standard of three-years or 60,000 miles.
The latest Outlander PHEV didn’t place in Auto Express’ Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, and in fact, Mitsubishi didn’t sell enough cars to feature in it at all.
In the 2016 survey, Mitsubishi finished 31st out of 32 manufacturers. However, this should be taken with a pinch of salt - as out of 32 it finished 15th for reliability.
Used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The older, cheaper models were made between 2014 and 2018 and have smaller engines, and smaller batteries. They are also missing some safety features.
These older cars will still travel around 20 miles on electric power alone, and still have low emissions and green credentials.