Used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV long-term test review
Does buying a used example of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV make more sense than buying a new one and can its exceptional on-paper economy be matched in real-world conditions? We've got six month...
- The car 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5hs
- Run by Mark Pearson, used cars deputy editor
- Why it’s here To find out if a used petrol-electric hybrid SUV makes any sort of financial sense and to see if it can live up to its impressive claimed fuel consumption figures
- Needs to Cope with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life, as well as proving itself a sound alternative to its large SUV rivals
Price when new £43,555 (including Government grant) Value on arrival £28,068 Value now £28,068 Miles on arrival 7810 Mileage now 8455 Official economy 166.1mpg Test economy na Emissions, yearly tax 41g/km CO2, 0% tax 0-62mph 11sec Top speed 106mph Power 198bhp Insurance group 27E
31 October 2017 – the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV joins our fleet
“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
Indeed, he was right: it is a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – bang on-trend for our changing times, despite actually having been on sale in the UK since 2014. Underneath our Mitsubishi’s long bonnet is a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to two battery-driven electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, enabling the Outlander PHEV to be driven by engine power alone, by the batteries or by a combination of the two. These batteries can be charged a little while the car’s on the move or plugged into the mains for a much more sizeable dosage. Fully charged, our PHEV should then have an electric-only range of around 30 miles. Perhaps more impressively, its official fuel consumption is listed at 166.1mpg and its CO2 figure as 41g/km, which is extraordinarily good for such a large and practical five-seat SUV.
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.
Our new long-termer is a 2016 one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from the bustling Mitsubishi main dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. There, brand manager Lee Higlett talked me through some of the finer points of Outlander ownership. On close inspection, our PHEV certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs will set you back a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the £2500 grant – so straight away there’s something to be gained by buying it at this age.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision-mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of colour-keyed elements to please the eye, including bumpers, mirrors and door handles, and the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
Hop in and first impressions are favourable – there’s certainly no sign of any wear. In fact, it really does look as good as new, and there’s loads of room, too. Unfortunately, hybrid Outlanders are five-seat only (the diesel versions have seven seats), but at least all five have plenty of space to lounge around in. The driving position is tall, upright – commanding even – and although the placing of some of the switchgear seems a little haphazard, and the infotainment system is a little clunky to use, the instruments are clear and easily readable.
It’s easy to drive, too. So far, I’ve discovered the best thing to do is to sit there and try to work out what methods of propulsion the PHEV’s using. There is a handy energy flow display on the screen that shows you just that and, as with all similar cars, the object soon becomes seeing how long you can keep the car going on full electric drive around town before the engine cuts in. I dare say there’ll be a lot more on that in future reports.
So we’re going to be running this for the next few months to see if it can live up to those bold economy claims (unlikely, we know, but it’ll be interesting to see what we can actually get from it in everyday use) and, of course, to see how it stacks up as a used proposition. Is it too early to say our Outlander will live up to those impressive economy figures? Definitely maybe, some might say.