Mitsubishi’s new Outlander PHEV stands out from the hybrid crowd by being no more expensive than its diesel powered equivalent. The PHEV range starts at £28,249 for the entry level GX3h, which is the same as the equivalent Outlander diesel GX3 auto.

Visually it looks very similar to the rest of the Outlander range – that is to say functional and understated – with the exception of the grille, which features more chrome.

Outlander PHEV is an easy car to drive, despite the inherent complexity of the technology on board. The hybrid system comprises a 2.0-litre petrol engine fitted with Mitsubishi’s Valve Timing Electronic Control and twin 80 bhp electric motors – one powering each axle – hooked up to a high-capacity 12.0 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This gives constant four wheel drive, yet still results in a claimed official economy figure of 148 mpg, with the PHEV able to drive on electric-only propulsion for up to 32.5 miles. The car’s low CO2 emissions of 44 g/km also means there’s no Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) payable.

Additionally, a favorable benefit in kind rate of 5% means a 40% tax payer will pay £665 in this tax year – making the Outlander PHEV a keen proposition to company car drivers.

Three different driving modes work to derive the most energy efficient propulsion. EV Drive Mode is an all-electric mode, in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery. Series Hybrid Mode sees the petrol engine operating as a generator, supplying electricity to the electric motors. At higher speeds the system switches to Parallel Hybrid Mode, where the petrol engine provides most of the motive power, assisted by the electric motors as required.

Regenerative Braking also plays its part in assisting efficiency of the hybrid drive train: during deceleration, the motors function as generators so that electricity can be created to charge the drive battery. When the 12kWh lithium ion batteries are depleted, the petrol engine can either act as a generator – replenishing up to 70 % of battery charge (ideal for saving power for zero-emission driving), or provide drive directly to the wheels.

A slow charger comes as standard with the Outlander PHEV (complete with adaptors for home and public use) that will charge the battery via a normal 13 amp outlet in about 5 hours. Alternatively, British Gas can install a 16 amp socket, giving a charge time of roughly 4 hours. A fast charger using a different cable set-up is also available, at additional cost. This will restore up to 80% of battery capacity in around 30 minutes.

On the road the Outlander PHEV has more than enough performance for a car of its ilk - when you accelerate you get a turbine-like sound and then whoosh, you’re propelled smartly along. However, a very firm prod of the pedal results in the less impressive sound of the petrol-engine roaring into life to provide assistance, following a slight hesitation. Most of the time however, there’s only the whir of electric motors and some road noise to be heard.

Although surefooted enough, with responsive brakes, this Mitsubishi SUV is certainly no driver’s car, with light steering and a fair amount of body lean through corners. The good news being that the ride is acceptably comfortable and composed most of the time – especially for a hybrid vehicle.

The cabin has a high quality feel, with an ergonomic laid out dashboard and easy-to-read instrument displays, including a hi-definition LCD multi information display system which informs the driver where the energy is going, whether it be to drive the wheels or regenerate the battery.

A high up driving position offers good visibility and is comfortable with a spacious foot well, incorporating left leg footrest, while elsewhere the cabin offers decent amounts of accommodation for all five occupants. Inevitably however, in any vehicle, the extra bulk of a hybrid system and battery has to be felt somewhere and in the Outlander it’s the deletion of the extra two rear seats. But the boot remains a decently sized 463 litres and there’s an under floor area to store the charging cable out-of-sight.

Base models get 18” alloy wheels and cruise control, dual-zone climate control air conditioning, Bluetooth, leather steering wheel, privacy glass and electric folding/heated mirrors. More premium versions boast extras including powered tailgate, wide-beam HID headlamps, DAB Radio, heated front seats, electric sunroof, reversing camera and sat-nav, with a seven-inch touchscreen. The GX4hs adds adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation system.


Mitsubishi’s highly effective and efficient hybrid powertrain has brought new life to the Outlander SUV. It can also lay claim to being the most practical vehicle currently qualifying for the Government’s £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant.

Tech spec:

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Prices from: £28,249
0-62mph 11.0 sec
Top speed 106 mph
Economy148 mpg
CO2 44g/km
Kerb weight 1810kg
Engine type 4 cyls, 1998cc, petrol motor/generator plus two electric motors
Installation petrol engine and one AC motor front, one AC motor rear, 4WD
Power 200bhp (est)
Torque 249lb ft (est)