What's the used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4x4 like?
Being in the right place at the right time can make you look like a hero. The uncanny knack of knowing exactly what is needed at a particular moment will earn you the admiration of many and do wonders for your reputation. Back in 2014, Mitsubishi found itself in just that situation with the Outlander PHEV, which quickly found favour with company car buyers thanks to its low CO2 output and minimal tax liability.
The ordinary Outlander was a rather dull large SUV, but the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain meant the PHEV version stood out in its segment. But that was then. Over the subsequent years, until its withdrawal from sale in 2021, many newer and fresher rivals have come along to shake the Mitsubishi tree, many with ranges equal to or sometimes superior to the Outlander PHEV's. The latest Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is perhaps still the closest competitor, in terms of its rugged feel, followed by more premium SUV offerings such as the Lexus NX and RX – both of which cost considerably more.
GX3h kicked off the range and came with 18in alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. GX4h added heated leather seats, sat-nav, a reversing camera (but removed rear parking sensors) and xenon headlights.
Higher-spec GX5h was added after the 2016 facelift and gets Nappa leather and an uprated Alpine sound system. GX4hs and GX5hs models have additional safety tech such as lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.
After the 2019 model revisions, GX3h became Verve with the addition of heated front seats; GX4h was renamed Design but the infotainment screen was increased to 8in; a new trim level called Dynamic was added that got blindspot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, while GX5h became Exceed. Dynamic Safety and Exceed Safety models are much like the previous GX4hs and GX5hs Outlanders in that these have additional safety features.
Early Outlander PHEVs suffered from a poor ride, but this was improved as part of the 2015 facelift. Regardless, this isn't a particularly enjoyable car to drive, but it can be peaceful in EV mode. The steering is light and uncommunicative, and the nose generally washes wide sooner in corners than is the case with most of its rivals. Road and wind noise are an ever-present part of travelling in the Outlander, so it’s not the best for long journeys. A tight turning circle helps you out when parking, though.