Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the first plug-in hybrid SUV, and it has seen huge popularity ever since launch. Understandably so, given that – many years after it first appeared – the Outlander remains the most affordable way into a large plug-in hybrid SUV.
However, the competition has moved on and you’ve now got rivals in the shape of the MINI Countryman Cooper S E All4 through to the more expensive Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine. And don’t discount pure-electric alternatives such as the smaller yet cheaper Hyundai Kona Electric.
Not only that, but the Outlander PHEV is a tricky financial proposition for private buyers. There’s no government grant on plug-in hybrids any more, so you’ll need to find the full cash price (minus any discounts you can haggle), which can be as high as £45,000 for the top-spec model.
Company-car buyers can rejoice, though, as the 46g/km CO2 emissions the Outlander PHEV achieves mean very low Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV features a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with two electric motors – one on each axle – to deliver 28 miles of pure electric running.
In electric mode, the Outlander drives with the typical smooth refinement of an electric car, and even with the petrol engine thrumming away it’s quieter than a diesel.
For all that, the automatic gearbox sometimes lets the engine rev higher than it needs to, and the handling is quite cumbersome, with lots of sway in the corners and performance that’s adequate at best.
There’s loads of space inside the big, bluff-looking Outlander. You’ll get three across the rear bench with relative ease, access is good for strapping kids in and a driver of any size or shape should be able to get comfortable.
There’s no seven-seat option in the PHEV, as there is in the petrol Outlander and rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Skoda Kodiaq.
Overall, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continues to plug a gap in the market that no rival directly competes with, and until something does come along to challenge the Outlander, it remains the best-value big 4x4 plug-in hybrid you can buy. Just stick to the lower trim levels, as it really is hard to justify the £40,000-plus models.
However you dress it up, the Outlander PHEV makes most sense as a company car.