Driving

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review

Manufacturer price from:£27,680
What Car? Target Price:£21,943
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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cornering
Review continues below...
24 Jan 2017 15:08 | Last updated: 17 Oct 2018 12:44

In this review

Driving

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Given the exotic nature of the powertrain – a conventional four-cylinder 2.4-litre petrol engine combined with two battery-driven electric motors – it’s actually remarkably conventional. There's no gearshifting – just a seamless transmission of power. You can drive without doing anything special; the onboard 'brains' will decide when the electric motors should contribute to your progress or convert themselves into generators to recharge the battery when its charge has nearly run out.

If you want to, you can decide (via console switches) when to recharge the batteries, when to use electric drive only and when to ensure all four wheels are being driven.

On the move, the Outlander is easy and relatively pleasant to drive. Refinement is very good at low speeds, while the electric motors do the work of moving the car. The 2.4-litre engine is quiet and refined, only becoming audible under heavy acceleration.

The car can travel at speeds of up to 84mph in full electric mode, meaning small jaunts on the motorway without waking up the petrol engine are possible. But given that the car's claimed 28-mile electric-only range will fall by a large margin at motorway pace, pure electric running is most effective during trips around town.

A Sport driving mode (which can be selected via a button on the centre console) sharpens the car’s throttle response and adds weight to its steering, but in reality it doesn’t make the Outlander any more engaging to drive. Even under full acceleration, the Outlander fails to deliver the kind of effortless pace associated with a more traditional diesel engine.

The same goes for the Outlander’s handling. Compared with other SUVs such as the Skoda Kodiaq, it feels less agile, generating plenty of lean through quicker corners, while the steering lacks the accuracy we’ve come to expect from the latest crop of modern SUVs. This is a car that feels best when wafting along at a relaxed and comfortable pace.

But surely the Outlander’s soft suspension results in a more supple ride than that of sportier rivals? Well, yes and no. At higher speeds, the Outlander does a reasonable job of dealing with long-wave undulations. However, around town, sharp abrasions such as expansion joints and potholes send jarring impacts through the interior.

 

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV rear
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There are 7 trims available for the Outlander 4x4. Click to see details.See all versions
Juro
The entry-level Outlander PHEV still gets plenty of kit including 18in alloy wheels, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone link display, a...View trim
Fuel Petrol, Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£21,943
Average Saving £5,737
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OUR PICK
Juro
The PHEV Juro is essentially the hybrid version of the 3 model, but it also comes with neat touches such as heated seats, heated electric folding door mirrors and automatic wipers...View trim
Fuel Diesel
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£23,967
Average Saving £5,803
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4
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Petrol
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£26,388
Average Saving £3,292
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4h
Along with all the bits Juro gets, 4h adds blind spot warning with rear cross traffic alert, LED head and fog lights, a power tailgate, 360-degree camera, leather seats and a heated steering wheel...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£37,471
Average Saving £2,039
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4hs
Think of the S in this model standing for safety; you get automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors included...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£39,529
Average Saving £2,081
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5h
Based on 4h, you gain Nappa leather seats, an Alpine stereo and a colour coded mat set. It is expensive, though...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£41,391
Average Saving £2,119
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5hs
All the goodies of 5h plus automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.Far too expensive to recommend...View trim
Fuel Petrol/Plug-In Elec Hybrid
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£43,449
Average Saving £2,161
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