Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2014 review

1 Apr, 2014 11:00am Steve Fowler

First-ever plug-in hybrid SUV promises to save owners thousands of pounds

Verdict

4
SUV owners – and company car users in particular – can save serious cash with the Outlander PHEV, especially if they don’t drive mega miles. That’ll make rival plug-in hybrid manufacturers sit up, take notice and, hopefully, react. There’s plenty of space and kit on offer, too. The only shame is that the Outlander isn’t more engaging to drive or better quality.

Once in a while a game-changer comes along – a car that proves a hit with buyers and makes rivals rush to copy the concept. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is one of those cars.

On the face of it, it’s a pretty good plug-in hybrid based on a pretty average SUV. But Mitsubishi has chosen to break with tradition and price this PHEV model exactly the same as its diesel equivalent.

To put that into context, the most expensive Volvo V60 diesel estate costs £35,505, while the plug-in hybrid version costs £44,275. The Outlander PHEV starts from just £28,249 (after the Government’s kind £5,000 grant) for the nicely equipped GX3h model, but even our top-spec GX4hs is still hugely tempting at £34,999.

For that you get a stylish SUV with a good-sized boot (436 litres) and plenty of space for five, at a price that’s the same as an Outlander diesel auto.

But while the diesel claims 48.7mpg, the PHEV claims 148mpg. Even Mitsubishi will tell you that’s unlikely, but we still managed an impressive 92mpg. If you plug in regularly and do less than the 32-mile electric range each day, you’ll barely see a filling station.

The savings don’t stop there – with emissions of 44g/km you’ll save thousands on company car tax compared to diesel SUVs, the road fund licence is free and there’s no Congestion Charge to drive into London.

The only compromises when driving are due to the Outlander’s dynamics. Whether on EV or petrol power or any combination of the two, performance is smooth if not scintillating.

The ride is a bit too firm for our liking, but there’s the reassurance of four-wheel drive for light off-roading or to help with towing.

With good visibility, light controls and decent practicality, the PHEV is an easy car to live with.

You’ll need a PhD to understand the infotainment system, though, and the quality inside is a bit of a letdown. But when you’re saving so much cash, there’s more to like than not.

• See our Real World MPG Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV video

Disqus - noscript

A thoroughly impressive plug-in hybrid SUV for a shockingly affordable price. Same price as a diesel in other words.

Even "a game-changer" as Mr Fowler calls it. The Outlander scores with company as well as private buyers.

Indirectly comparable Volvo V60 PHEV costs £45Gs. Double that for Porsche Panamera Hybrid and both are diesel.

But those looks... it looked dated before it was even launched and for that reason I'd ignore it.

You shouldn't buy a car just for it's looks but what it does overall

Another shockingly poor review of a PHEV. Clearly the car was driven in slow London traffic with minimal runs at 60 mph or above. A real test would be to run the diesel and PHEV side by side on several different routes. One in town, one o 40 mile commute including motorway and one trip to Cornwall. When will AE take into account that in the UK we burn more coal (it's cheaper than gas and Green tech) than 3 years ago. The true emissions are much worse than 44g/km CO2. Total energy required to shift the extra mass is higher than ICE versions of this SUV. How many kWh/100km did this car use? Multiply by 500g CO2 /kWh and add on the petrol emissions for a more realistic picture.

UK Govt should not subsidise big heavy cars no matter how they are powered. Today's machines are already too wide for UK roads and the extra weight of SUVs adds to road wear and tear.

How "poor quality" please explain>?

Well,
interesting rant from an obvious anarchist-lets-all-use-public-transport-greenie. Customers can choose to recharge their PHEV by
renewable energy (like wind). I think
the PHEV shows just how quickly this sort of technology is coming into the
reach of the average consumer. The
impacts of vehicles like the PHEV will be profound; a significant reduction in air
pollution in our cities, and a significant reduction in noise pollution.

But for me, I like the new look of the Outlander PHEV

Key specs

  • Price: £34,999
  • Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl petrol plus electric motors
  • Transmission: Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive
  • 0-60mph: 11.0 seconds
  • Top speed: 106mph
  • CO2: 44g
  • On sale: Now
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