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Electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are
normally pretty easy to spot. They’re usually small standalone models
that are styled to look a little bit futuristic. Things like the
BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf are good examples. What they are not normally, however, is
big SUV’s that are just as comfortable in the
mud as they are around town like the Mitsubishi Outlander plug in hybrid
electric vehicle, or PHEV for short. Even though this car
looks pretty much exactly the same as the
standard Outlander from the outside and by and large on the inside there is actually two different
power sources underneath. There is an electric motor, which will
promise to run this car for about 30 miles on charge alone, and then there is a petrol
engine, which kicks in when the electricity runs out. One of the big advantages of running an
electric car is the noise, or rather the lack of it and, if you listen the PHEV is wonderfully hushed, especially when it’s running on electric power alone. There is a little bit more noise when
the petrol engine kicks in but to be honest you be very hard pushed to notice it and
you only really do so when you’re properly putting your foot down and overtaking. One of the other benefits that you often
hear about with electric cars is that instant sort of kick of acceleration you get
when you put your foot down. Unfortunately, that’s not something you
get with this car, but to be honest that’d been a bit weird if you did. I mean this is a quite high-riding SUV and if it performed like a, well,
performance car then that would be a little bit strange. So
in many ways this car driving pretty much like the normal diesel Outlander is no bad thing. It handles much the same as well, although because the batteries sit quite low down
in this car it does give it a little bit more stability when you’re going round corners. In fact the things that make it feel most like you’re in an electric car these paddles behind the steering wheel.
Now normally those are in most other cars used for changing
gear but in this car you actually alter the level
of brake regeneration that you get. So if you pull on this side then every time you
lift your foot off the throttle then it does loads of braking for you, so, especially when you are around town you barely need to touch the brake pedal at all. If you are going down the motorway then you probably don’t want that quite so much so you can take it all the way off so it is just like an
ordinary car. The seating position in the Outlander is
really good. You’re sat very high up, it is easy to get in
and out and everything – wheel and seat – has got lots of adjustment. Also, because of this high seating position you’ve got fantastic visibility all-round front and
back. But the biggest problem with this cabin
is this middle section here really. It just looks and feels really cheap and really quite dated, especially for a car
of this class. All materials just feel a bit flimsy, and
nothing’s got that feeling of quality that hope for from a car like this. Now the main controls, to be fair, are actually pretty simple to use. Things like the temperature and climate control are all set out very simply here. But it is
a bit odd that some of the other controls are tucked away over here. So you’ve got two separate places you’ve got to look at. But the biggest culprit is this screen. It’s an aftermarket unit. It’s clearly not
properly integrated into the dash and it’s just really really fiddly. These
buttons on the touchscreen are really small and you’ve got to be very
accurate with your stabbing motions and the chances are you will, on several occasions, end up pressing
the wrong button. Now what with the petrol engine up front
and the batteries there is quite a bit of stuff to fit
into the Outlander, and you expect that something has to give practicality
wise. The Volvo V60 plug-in hybrid, for example, has a boot that is a 125-litres smaller than the diesel equivalent, However that
is not the case with the Outlander. This boot is pretty much exactly the same size as
that on the diesel version. The only thing is you
can’t get a seven-seat version of this car whereas you can with diesel. The other difference is, under the boot there isn’t a huge amount of storage. There is not many clever bits, but there are a couple of big bins either side. The space in the five seats
that you do get is very good though. Headroom is very generous, and leg room is fantastic.
You get huge amounts of room that way and there is this almost totally flat floor and
that means that you can get a third person in the middle with almost no problems
whatsoever. Another totally flat thing is the
loading bay. There is almost no entry-lip, and when the
seats are all folded flat it is completely even. However, it’s a bit of a problem actually folding the seats, because you have to come around to the side, flip the bases up and then drop the backs. It’s not exactly
a one-handed movement. But how well this car drives, its
practicality etc, won’t really matter compared to one thing for a lot of
people, and that is how much it costs. We are quite used to the idea that plug-in cars cost a fair bit more than conventional petrols and diesel etc, but that
isn’t the case with this car. It costs, like-for-like, pretty much exactly the
same as the equivalent diesel – once you factor in the
government’s £5000 low-emission vehicle grant that is. The only thing you miss out on is that third row of seats and a tiny amount of space in the boot. Running costs should be good as well. That 148 miles-per-gallon official fuel economy might be a bit of a pipe dream for many
people but if you’re doing a lot of miles just around town on short journeys then you’ll do many of those on electric alone. A knock-on effect is
that has a tiny CO2 emissions figure, of just 48 g/km. That means it’s going
to be in the lowest company car tax band until at least the end of the decade, and also you get a free tax disc alongside that. We would say that if
you’re going to be doing longer journies then the diesel is a much more
worthwhile car to consider – this car really is, as we say, better for short
journeys around town. The PHEV only comes in the
top three trims on the Outlander – that’s GX3, GX4 and GX5 and all three are very well equipped. All of them get
dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and automatic lights, while the GX4
adds some serious luxury kit like electrically adjustable seats and a reversing camera and parking
sensors. If you feel the need to go up to GX5 then you also get an
electronic tailgate. You can also download an app to your
phone that allows you to control when the car charges, see how much battery there is left, and
even turn on the heater remotely before you get into the car. Now with all this technology on offer, though, it is a bit of a shame that you have to go to the top level trim to get DAB Digital Radio as standard.
The Outlander PHEV is a bit of a strange mixture then. It’s
great in some areas but it’s rubbish in some others. But you can pretty much
ignore that really cheap feeling interior, the infotainment system that
feels really complicated and a bit naff, and the fact you can’t get a
seven-seat version of this car because it will be so cheap to run
comparatively, especially as a company car. The hybrid Outlander
trumps all of its rivals by being no more
expensive to buy than the equivalent diesel. Now, bear in mind it won’t fit in with everybody’s driving needs but if it does this could be a very cheap
way to run an SUV. For more information on the
Outlander search for Mitsubishi Outlander on whatcar.com, but
before you go anywhere do click subscribe and keep up to date
with all of our latest video road tests.

24 thoughts on “Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2014 review – What Car?

  1. What a disappointing review. Just like every other journalist you haven't mentioned the real life economy. And I can tell you why because I've driven one; it failed to charge from the mains so I had to run it on petrol to get a charge in the battery. The petrol engine is very old tech and underpowered that it begs for mercy when you demand some overtaking performance from it. In 36 hours the amazing initial economy of 110mpg ended up at a disgraceful 26mpg. It's not a nice drive and the interior is scratchy old fashioned plastic.

    Finally I would still have bought one if it gave that amazing mpg figure, I would have sacrificed everything to run a car for next to nothing with only 5% BIK tax but 148mpg is just a dream and true economy was so awful I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

    Bought an Audi A6 Ultra, with the build quality and amazing comfortable and luxurious interior. Same price and up to 56mpg and improving as the engine wears in.

    There is just no competition.

  2. Who did the research on this review? There is no GX5 model in the PHEV and all your specifications are nonsense. Get it right or don't bother.

  3. I wish it were the case in New Zealand that it was priced the same as the equivalent diesel model but here the PHEV is considerably more expensive 🙁

  4. 1- battery sucks, 2- petrol engine is drives oddly and there is not power enough and 3- for money asked for it….. Honestly, I feel sorry for my colleague, he just bought one of this nonsense vehicle. Sorry if the truth hurts. It is a poor mix deffo! Positive side – it is quiet. 

  5. Real world mpg about 50mpg. Far far less than the headline claims. I'll stick to my Toyota Hybrid as at least it gets 75 to 80% of the claimed mpg in real life. This gets about 33% and that's false advertising in my opinion.

  6. I bought the top of the range spec of the Outlander PHEV, and can honestly say "I LOVE IT!"
    What is missing from the review is the FCM (forward collision mitigation) and ACC (adaptive cruise control).  I have both, and if driving in heavy traffic, turns you from a weary/tired driver with aching feet and weary eyes, to a relaxed driver with the car doing all the adjustment work SAFELY.
    The "speed limit" function is also great to ensure you restrict your driving in 30mph or 20mph areas where you don't know the area/changes.
    For true MPG? for less than 50mile trips, you'll wonder why you didn't buy one earlier, for massive trips (over 100miles without recharge) it sucks, but with a blended average, you get an SUV that you are happy with owning, couple it with a solar setup on your home, and you could even have a carbon neutral drive!!!!
    The media system and nav system can be covered elsewhere – clunky and difficult to use, but you get used to it over time.
    MY recommendation – Its great.  well done Mitsubishi.

  7. You don't get the electric heater in lowest spec model.  This partially defeats the whole point of this car if you need to run the engine just to heat it up in the winter.

  8. I have now completed 13,000 miles in my GX4,and enjoyed every minute. I keep a spreadsheet of my fuel usage, and am averaging just over 60 mpg, I convert the electric cost to fuel equivalent.
    Free charging at service stations with usually a very good reserved parking space,zero excise duty,no congestion charge, excellent BIK for business users, I have more than halved my running costs.
    Mitsubishi clearly advise you that if your daily mileage routine does not work well for the PHEV, then you should buy a diesel. MM have already sold over 10,000 of these cars in the UK, so some people must like them.

  9. my grandad bought the Top spec one and it has a pretty cool trick not shown in this video. a 'birds eye' view for maneuvering, 4 cameras generate an all round top-down view so you can see everything around you. I'd buy one if I could afford it, fantastic car.

  10. 50 thousand miles and my top spec outlander keeps going. I agree that the radio looks aftermarket and the sat nav is rubbish. Only problem I have had is a wonky driver's electric seat. It works but feels like a chair with loosely fit legs.

  11. I bought 2018 PHEV model in Feb-019 by trading my 2017 Subaru forester that had excellent collision mitigation system. But the PHEV is not giving me collision warning oh highway drive even if i have the far distance setting. I am happy for everything else but disappointment when i compare with Subaru for FCM. I tried all kinds of adventurous drive to get one collision warning oh higher speed but no success.any comments whats going on here?

  12. Nice PHEV. Only problem is some are reporting SIGNIFICANT BATTERY DEGREDATION IN AU, EU, CANADA AND POSSIBLY OTHERS!! They have channels here if you do a few quick search. This concept is great for some, including me. I hope a reliable company puts one together.
    All electric is great too. But, it does not suit everyone's needs. BUYER BEWARE!

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