Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

FIRST DRIVE: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Refreshed for 2019, Phil Huff finds out if the hybrid-powered Outlander is still the green SUV of choice…

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-05.jpg

Who’d have thought that the best-selling plug-in hybrid car would be a sizeable SUV? Mitsubishi understood the market when the Outlander first appeared in 2014, combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a decent battery pack, creating something that was big and green.

Well, a bit green. Actually, most owners never plug the car in so it’s usually driving around using an overworked petrol engine and lugging an empty battery pack and an unused electric motor around with it, but tax benefits meant company drivers pay just 13% benefit-in-kind company car. That’s enough to overlook some economy shortfalls, especially if the company is picking up the fuel bill.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-08.jpg

Thanks to the third revamp in its short life, there’s now reasons to like the Outlander for more than its tax avoiding abilities. There’s a bigger battery (up from 12kWh to 13.8kWh,) a bigger engine (up from 2.0-litres to 2.4 litres) and a beefier electric motor, which result in more power and more range. Confusingly, the official electric-only range drops from 33 miles to just 28, but that’s a quirk of changes to how these things are now calculated. In the real world, you’ll be a couple of miles better off than previously.

The new engine is also more frugal, despite the official economy figures also dropping down to ‘just’ 139mpg. Having a torquier engine and an improved electric drivetrain allows the car to work less hard, which should translate into fewer stops at the petrol station.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-04.jpg

It’s more enjoyable on the road, too. Mitsubishi has strengthened the joints around the car, added new shock absorbers, fiddled with the steering and switched tyres to something a little softer, all of which combine to make the Outlander feel both a little sharper on the road, as well as slightly more comfortable.

There’s a new Sport switch that sharpens the throttle response and adds weight to the steering, but it’s rather unconvincing. Ignore it, and just relax in what is a surprisingly comfortable car. It’s quiet too, even when running with that petrol engine, although it does get a tad raucous under provocation.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-01.jpg

Keep it running on just electricity and everything is calm and relaxed. It’ll manage motorway speeds without switching on the engine, but that eats into range quickly. However, if you commute 20 miles or so to work, can can plug in for a few hours to charge up while you’re there, you’ll be able to do most of your motoring at just a few pence per mile.

Then, once the weekend comes round, there’s the flexibility of long distance range thanks to the engine. That comes with a penalty though – petrol power alone means economy is laughably bad. Cruising along the motorway is unlikely to see you return even 30mpg, while figures dropping down to high teens are possible. Plug in when and where you can and take advantage of the battery power available and you’ll soon be rivalling a diesel hatchback for fuel use.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-03.jpg

Then there’s the SUV practicality, making it a perfect car for a family of small adventurers. Sadly the battery pack and motor eats into boot space, so there’s no seven-seat option, but the boot remains sizeable, and positively cavernous once the rear seats are folded down. There’s plenty of equipment too, although it’s all housed in a rather brittle plastic dashboard. Fake carbon fibre, leather panels in the doors and some chrome highlighting adds a sense of modern luxury, but it jars with the dated switchgear and cheap plastics.

The Outlander itself isn’t realistically good enough to tempt you from your BMW or Audi SUV, but the hybrid powertrain adds an intriguing financial draw. Company owners and company car drivers will save bucket loads in tax, and all will benefit from the relaxed, comfortable feeling the Outlander provides. It’s not a jack-of-all-trades, but does what it does with aplomb and, if you’re exactly the right customer, will do so without costing you much either.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mitsubishi-Outlander-PHEV-2019-07.jpg


Motoring powered by FrontSeatDriver.co.uk.

Related entries

FIRST DRIVE: Honda CR-V Hybrid

FIRST DRIVE: Honda CR-V Hybrid

Standfirst There’s been a lot of diesel difficulties over recent months, and that’s had quite an impact on Honda’s CR-V range. While the petrol engines remain, downsized to 1.5-litres, the diesel versions have been dropped entirely and replaced with a petrol-electric...

FIRST DRIVE: Aston Martin Vantage

FIRST DRIVE: Aston Martin Vantage

Beauty and the beast? Phil Huff finds out if the Vantage provides both... Since the DB11 arrived, Aston Martin has been enjoying something of a renaissance. The big grand tourer sits at one end of Aston’s range, with this, the Vantage, at the other, all aggressive,...

FIRST DRIVE: Kia e-Niro

FIRST DRIVE: Kia e-Niro

Finally, an electric family car without compromise. Phil Huff drive the electric Niro... Talk to anybody about electric cars and the first question is always “how far will it go?” Range anxiety is still a big deal to potential purchasers but, having now lived...

Latest entries

10 tips to support your child after break-up

10 tips to support your child after break-up

In 2020 Dad.info ran a survey asking 1000 separated parents about their experiences of divorce or separation and they generously shared their concerns and most importantly their tried and tested solutions. If you are looking for ways to save your children from being...

We Support The Parents Promise

We Support The Parents Promise

More couples discuss what they would do if they won the lottery than how they would co-parent their children if they separated.  87% of couples have talked about how they would spend a lottery win. Just 5% admit to having discussed potential parenting...

ASK DEBBIE- MY DAUGHTER DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME

ASK DEBBIE- MY DAUGHTER DOESN’T WANT TO SEE ME

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is about problems in...

Pin It on Pinterest