Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – Real World MPG

What mpg can we get from the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? Watch our video to find out.

Tried and Tested

The new Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is a breath of fresh air. Its economy is officially rated to 148mpg and the car emits just 44g/km of CO2, yet unlike other plug-in hybrids, amazingly, it costs no more to buy than the equivalently-specified diesel version.

Mitsubishi challenged us to see what economy we could achieve with the Outlander PHEV out in the real world – and in our video you can see how it performed on two different commutes. 

During our time with the Outlander PHEV, we also found out what it’s like to drive, how it measures up in terms of practicality and whether it is still a genuine off-roader. Finally we surveyed the Auto Express team to find out what they think of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s price. 

Industry-leading Pricing

After taking into account a £5,000 Government grant, the Outlander PHEV starts from £28,249 - that’s the same price as the similarly specified diesel model.

Until now, every other plug-in hybrid has cost significantly more to buy than its internal combustion-engined equivalent. This means it often takes a while before you really get to take advantage of their lower running costs. But with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, because there’s no price premium you start saving straight away.

The Outlander PHEV will also be very enticing to company car drivers. Attracting only 5 per cent Benefit In Kind (BIK) in the first year means it will cost a higher rate tax payer from just £665 (40% tax payer) – that’s thousands of pounds less than its nearest rivals. There are further savings, too. The hybrid won’t cost you a penny in Vehicle Excise Duty nor to drive into the centre of London as it’s exempt from the Congestion Charge.

But, of course, we must not forget the impressive economy. Under the standard European economy test cycle, the Outlander PHEV is capable of 148mpg.

If your daily journey is less than 32 miles it could be considerably more, but on longer journeys, such as a motorway trip this will reduce this, but can still return impressive figures.  For some high mileage drivers the Outlander diesel may be the better option. 

Cutting Edge Technology

So how is the Outlander PHEV capable of such impressive economy? The reason is simple – it can run on electric power alone for up to 32.5 miles.

Under the bonnet, the Outlander PHEV has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor both of which can power the front wheels. At the back there’s another electric motor under the boot floor that powers the rear wheels and means that, just like you’d expect from a Mitsubishi SUV, the Outlander PHEV is all-wheel drive. The location of the rear motor means the hybrid is only available with five seats. Other than that there are no compromises on practicality, as unlike with many other hybrids, the boot is virtually the same size as in the Outlander diesel.

Most of the time the Outlander PHEV runs on battery power alone. However, if the batteries need topping up or more drive is required the petrol engine kicks in.  The Outlander PHEV can sprint from 0-62mph in just 11 seconds, that’s 0.7 seconds quicker than the diesel, while top speed is 106mph. It can even drive at up to 75mph on battery power alone. 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV weighs approximately 200kg more than the diesel, but because the batteries are located under the floor of the cabin, it has a lower centre of gravity which aids stability when cornering.   You also get an enhanced version of Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control. The system – which is a development of that used on the Evo X performance saloon – can alter the amount of power sent to each individual wheel to maximise grip for superior handling. 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is also available with a smart phone app which lets you monitor its battery remotely, program charging times so you can take advantage of off-peak electricity rates, and even turn on the heating or air conditioning so the cabin is ready and waiting at your desired temperature. If you operate this last function when the Outlander is plugged in and charging, the heater cleverly draws power from the mains, not the battery.

It takes up to five hours to fully charge the Outlander PHEV from a normal household 13amp socket. However, you can charge batteries to 80 per cent in just 30 minutes from a fast charger. Or, at the press of a button in the cabin, you can do the same by using the SUV’s petrol engine as a generator. 

The batteries in the Outlander PHEV are also topped up whenever you brake, as when you slow down the electric motors work in reverse as dynamos to generate electricity thereby recouping lost energy. You can even alter the extent of the ‘engine braking’ effect using the steering-wheel mounted paddles.

All this technology works together to enable the Outlander PHEV to return incredible economy. But just how incredible? Watch our video to find out. 

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