Billed as the SUV with attitude, the Outlander is the perfect rugged vehicle with excellent off-roading capabilities that still offers the ultimate in luxury. Its emissions may be low, but be warned the specification is as high as they come. Available as a go-anywhere plug-in hybrid electric vehicle option too.
The goodOutstanding value and build quality
The badIn a fiercely competitive segment
Mitsubishi Outlander 4h PHEV Auto 4WD
With 100,000 sales notched up since it was launched four years ago, there is no doubting the fact that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has taken the European market by storm.
And we Brits simply can’t get enough of the beautifully styled car as we account for more than 34,000 sales which makes us the biggest buyer in Europe.
Even the influx of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that have appeared on the scene in recent years have done little to dampen the enthusiasm for the Outlander PHEV, which remains the car to catch.
So, with that in mind, we tested the latest model in mid-range 4h trim level priced at £36,955 and the Japanese SUV lived up to all the hype and big build-up. It is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine assisted by two 60kW motors, which help propel the car to 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds, topping out at 106mph.
According to official figures the combined fuel economy on the Outlander PHEV is 166.2mpg with carbon emissions of 41g/km. Realistically, those mpg figures would only be achieved if the car was plugged in daily and used for quite short commutes, but in real driving terms, the car is still highly efficient.
The Outlander has always been a good-looking car and the latest model is even more appealing thanks to its upright yet muscular body style, complemented by smart 18-inch alloys, LED headlamps with auto levelling, an electric sunroof, LED daytime running lights, front LED fog lamps and a powered tailgate.
Step inside and the vehicle is beautifully laid out with a perfect mix of upmarket yet practical features to explore. There is full leather upholstery, heated seats, an eight-way electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, heated steering wheel, colour touchscreen, Bluetooth with music streaming, a DAB digital radio, 360-degree parking camera and dual zone climate control.
With practicality in mind, the Outlander offers on-demand four-wheel drive so it can confidently venture off road without a care in the world and the interior, while being stylish and upmarket, has lots of wipe-clean and sturdy surfaces so won’t be ruined by a spillage or some grubby hand prints.
There is some PHEV-specific instrumentation and controls to explore. For example, there is an EV priority mode which means the Outlander will run on electric power until it runs out of juice. Then there is a Charge and Save mode whereby you can use the petrol engine to boost the EV charge levels. Finally, the regenerative braking can assist with charging the battery on the move.
When it comes to performance, the Outlander PHEV is an accomplished model. It can cruise effortlessly along at quite a click and the acceleration is both smooth and responsive. Admittedly, it’s not the most dynamic SUV on offer, but the all-round driving experience is good. The road-holding is assured meaning the car can be driven into bends at pace with a degree of confidence and the cabin is well-insulated against road, engine or wind noise. Another plus factor is the efficient suspension system which smooths out all but the biggest bumps and potholes along the way.
When it comes to charging the car, time scales vary depending on the power source. For example, it can be boosted to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes from a fast charger, but a standard three-pin plug will see that time increase to five hours.
Passenger comfort levels within the car are excellent and the Outlander PHEV can easily accommodate four adults – five if the back-seat occupants don’t mind rubbing shoulders. And storage options are impressive too with a boot capacity ranging from 463 to 1,602 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. There is an illuminated glovebox, a centre console box, under-floor luggage compartments, cup holders, a sunglasses holder and, on some models, a reversible boot mat that is traditional carpet material one side, but a washable rubber the other so carrying muddy boots won’t be an issue.
Safety systems on the Outlander are comprehensive and it has achieved the maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating. Features include anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, hill start assist, four-wheel drive, Mitsubishi’s RISE body shell (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) and numerous airbags. Additional driver aids include blind spot monitoring, dusk sensing headlights, rear cross traffic alert and lots more besides.
All in all, the multi award-winning Outlander PHEV has evolved over the years but it still remains the leader of the chasing pack.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 5hs Auto
Mitsubishi’s record-selling Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has just got even more appealing with a raft of improvements and upgrades for 2017 models.
Since its launch back in 2014 the car has gone on to be the UK’s best-selling PHEV with 26,600 sales notched up by the end of last year. And now the Japanese marque has really upped the ante with its revised model which boasts reduced emissions, faster charging times, an EV priority mode and increased battery range. In addition, the chassis has been modified with new dampers and improved suspension which makes it more refined and quieter than its predecessor.
The latest Outlander PHEV also features better headlights, an electronic parking brake, improved regenerative braking and lots more besides.
The car has always been a good-looking vehicle with a clever mix of sporty design cues combined with plenty of muscular off-road characteristics. And the test car boasted the likes of 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, tinted windows, a sculpted bonnet, a sunroof and a powered tailgate.
Move inside and the interior is generously-equipped with all the latest technology and connectivity options including a colour touchscreen, a pitch perfect sound system, sat nav, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, heated seats, mood lighting, a heated steering wheel and plenty more.
Comfort levels are very high and the car has a premium, upmarket feel to it with fine Nappa leather upholstery, soft-touch materials and lots of black ash and chrome styling. There is ample space for five adults to stretch out with generous head, leg and shoulder space in the back. And luggage restrictions need never apply either as the boot can accommodate 463 litres of luggage – a capacity that increases to 1,602 litres with the rear seats dropped flat. The test car had removable and reversible boot mats too so muddy shoes or bikes could be transported and the surface washed down afterwards.
Charging the Outlander PHEV to 80 per cent now takes about 25 minutes instead of 30 and the EV range has been increased slightly to 33 miles from 32 – all small tweaks maybe, but certainly in the right direction.
Safety specifications have been taken up a notch too and now include forward collision mitigation technology with pedestrian detection, and on the range-topping 5hs model (with ‘h’ standing for hybrid and ‘s’ for safety), there is the addition of a full suite of safety systems including high beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and unintended acceleration mitigation.
The driver can select from three drive modes on the latest car. EV is an all-electric mode during which the front and rear motors drive the car using only electricity from the drive battery. In this mode there are no carbon emissions and no fuel is used.
Next is the Series Hybrid mode whereby the petrol engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors.
Finally, Parallel Hybrid mode is used when the car is travelling at faster speeds. The petrol engine provides most of the power and the electric motors assist as and when necessary such as climbing a steep slope or for a rapid burst of acceleration.
In addition, a ‘Save’ button protects the charge for when it might be essential and if charge levels are running particularly low the ‘charge’ button will help boost the battery by using the petrol engine. Extra juice can be gained by engaging the regenerative braking facility via the paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
The test car was powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine along with two 60kW motors and it could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds and topped out at 106mph. According to official figures the combined fuel economy is 166.2mpg with carbon emissions of 41g/km.
Despite its popularity the Outlander PHEV has never been a particularly cheap car to buy although the financial rewards are reaped in the running costs especially if the vehicle is used primarily for shorter commutes where the battery power can be fully utilised.
The 4WD test car carried a price-tag of £45,999 (£43,499 after the Government’s plug-in grant). But for that outlay you do get an astonishing amount of car and kit plus exceptionally economical running costs even if the 166mpg figure is a tad ambitious to say the least during day-to-day use.
The car is extremely comfortable and the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position. The road-holding is confident and assured although expect a little body roll if thrown too enthusiastically into tight bends. And the acceleration is certainly fast enough for an SUV although be warned, switching between all the different modes can be quite addictive as you watch battery power levels rise and fall.
All in all, the Outlander PHEV is a fabulous piece of kit. It looks rugged and sporty, drives well, is kind to the planet and is packed with technology.
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 GX4 Manual
It’s quite rare that I watch the weather forecast with such eager anticipation hoping for a cold, wintry snap, but that’s always the case when I have a Mitsubishi Outlander arriving on test.
That’s because the vehicle elegantly combines a very high standard of creature comforts with all the Japanese company’s off-road know-how and that means the Outlander will keep you going no matter what Mother Nature has in store.
It looks fabulous with its sporty, rugged, go-anywhere stance thanks to sweeping headlights clusters and daytime running lights, a sunroof, chunky 18-inch alloys, a striking grille, privacy glass, roof rails and a very practical powered tailgate.
But it’s not simply a case of grunt and force because the Outlander is packed with state-of-the-art technology including the likes of sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, a great sound system which is compatible with all modern media devices, dual zone air conditioning and plenty more besides.
The generously-sized cabin is big on space with a massive boot capable of accommodating all your luggage requirements. Elsewhere there are deep door pockets, a handy central bin, cup holders, several smaller trays and a good-sized glove-box.
And should an extra couple of passengers want to come along for the ride, there are an additional two seats folded flat to the boot floor which quickly and conveniently transform the vehicle into a seven seater.
The Outlander has plenty of refined touches too such as supportive heated leather seats, a soft-touch dashboard, a leather multi-function steering wheel and clear and precise instrumentation.
And when it comes to performance, the Outlander is no slouch.
Powered by a 2.2-litre 147bhp diesel engine, the test car was deceptively spritely and could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 11.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 118mph.
According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 48.7mpg with carbon emissions of 153g/km.
In and around town, the Outlander ambled along effortlessly and the elevated driving position is a real bonus factor especially as this car will frequently be used on the school run with cars and children darting out from all angles.
Then out on the faster roads, the acceleration through the six-speed automatic transmission was nice and smooth.
Admittedly, it’s not blisteringly fast, but nicely consistent and steady as it moves through the gears. There are also steering wheel-mounted paddles.
The ride is comfortable for all occupants and the vehicle’s insulation helps to stifle some of the road surface noise.
That said; there is a fair amount of engine sound when the vehicle is pushed particularly hard.
Sadly during my week-long test, the weather was warm, dry and what the majority of people would have wished for, so there was no opportunity to put the vehicle’s tried, tested and very accomplished 4WD capabilities to the test.
But it does have three driving modes – 4WD Eco, 4WD Auto and 4WD Lock.
It also boasts a comprehensive range of safety features, which helped it achieve the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP ratings.
All in all, the Outlander is a fabulous piece of kit priced at £34,499 (plus £644 extras).
While the plug-in hybrid model has been soaking up all the plaudits lately, the diesel model has simply gone about its business with the minimal amount of fuss.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX4hs
There’s no doubting the Mitsubishi Outlander’s pedigree – it’s a go-anywhere SUV that looks great, boasts outstanding driving dynamics, is bursting with technology and it’s packed into one neat bundle that won’t break the bank.
But now the appeal has got even greater with the launch of the Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) which after years of research can deliver staggering mpg figures yet still provide all the robust characteristics associated with the model.
The range-topping test car was priced at £34,999 (including the Government’s £5k grant) and delivers the perfect blend of pure electric driving of up to 32.5 miles, which is well above the average daily commute of 25 miles.
And there is the added reassurance of a 2.0-litre petrol engine to cut in as and when needed.
It can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in a creditable 11.0 seconds and tops out at 106mph.
And the list of benefits to business drivers and private users are seemingly endless thanks to carbon emissions of just 44g/km. It is exempt from congestion charges and there is no Vehicle Excise Duty, plus the 5% benefit in kind rating will turn heads amongst fleet buyers.
Yet, all these financial rewards come in a five-seat car with permanent 4×4 capabilities that are tried and tested.
The Outlander PHEV certainly looks the part with its low slung stance and low centre of gravity that helps deliver excellent all-round driving dynamics.
It boasts 18-inch alloys, electrically adjustable, foldable and heated door mirrors, a powered tailgate, a sunroof, wide-vision xenon headlights, privacy glass and body-coloured bumpers.
The interior is richly equipped with techno treats such as leather upholstery, dual zone air conditioning, a DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows, front seat heaters, a premium high-definition navigation and music system that is iPod compatible and plenty more besides.
It comes with an ECO mode switch that controls electricity and fuel usage for maximised efficiency and an ECO Driving Support System Display that shows how much energy is being saved. Another neat trick is the option to save battery power which can be very useful when visiting a congestion charge area.
There are also three driving modes – EV Drive Mode is purely electrically-powered; Series Hybrid Mode means the petrol engine is acting as a generator to power the electric motors and Parallel Hybrid Mode for when the vehicle reaches higher speeds and the petrol engine provides the majority of the power.
It has to be said the Outlander PHEV handled perfectly. The acceleration is beautifully smooth and acceleration is excellent with a constant supply of power on tap. In fact, after a few minutes behind the wheel it’s very easy to forget you are in a state-of-the-art vehicle with a cruising range of 512 miles.
Maybe that’s just one of the reasons Mitsubishi states with confidence that this latest arrival is the best 4×4 SUV PHEV on the market today.
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 diesel GX5
Mitsubishi’s powerful Outlander has an accomplished record in the SUV market offering a beautiful blend of power, refinement and innovating safety features.
But the arrival of the third generation model takes the Outlander to a whole new dimension with class-leading environmental performance too.
The new model is much lighter than its predecessor weighing in at just 1,555kg – less than a BMW 1 Series.
It has been designed to be extremely aerodynamic and Mitsubishi has scrutinized every aspect of the car in order to achieve this goal. Even the washer nozzles are hidden to reduce any drag – that’s how seriously the company takes this project.
But make no mistake, the Outlander may have been re-designed from the wheels up, but it’s still instantly recognisable. It boasts a rugged, imposing stance with high flanks and strong lines. It has a newly designed slim grille, sculpted wraparound lights and a generally smoother appearance than previous models. Add in the tinted windows, roof rails and smart alloys and you have a vehicle that stands out in any crowd.
Mitsubishi recognises the importance buyers put on the environment and economy these days and with that in mind they have created an SUV very capable of dealing with off-road conditions, but still able to return impressive fuel efficiency and carbon emission figures.
We tested out the top-of-the-range GX5 model with all the bells and whistles priced at £33,999.
It can achieve 48.7mpg on a combined cycle and carbon emissions are 153g/km.
The interior of this seven-seater is exceptionally comfortable and light floods into the cabin through the large sunroof.
The electrically-adjustable leather seats can be heated and the driver and front seat passenger are surrounded by top notch techno treats.
All displays, controls and read-outs are perfectly positioned for ease of use and there are plenty of driver tips to help maintain an economical driving pattern – if selected.
For example, there is automatic stop and go, along with an ECO mode which supresses the engine output with a more gentle acceleration to conserve fuel, a reduction in air con power and an ECO 4WD mode which only kicks in when needed.
As Mitsubishi MD, Lance Bradley explained: “There are hundreds of little features that help make this car more efficient.”
Creature comforts are plentiful and include a six-speaker DAB sound system compatible with all modern devices, dual zone air conditioning, a high contrast colour LCD display with sat nav, a powered tailgate, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and high powered xenon headlights.
There are aslo a number of outstanding safety features such as forward collision mitigation system, lane departure warning, hill start assist and plenty more besides.
In fact, the Outlander received maximum safety marks in the extensive Euro NCAP tests.
So the new Outlander looks great, is packed to bursting with technical wizardry and is as safe as houses, but how about performance?
Once again, it’s top drawer. In slow moving traffic, it cruises effortlessly and those fuel-saving modes are very useful.
Then out on the faster road the 2.2-litre diesel engine bursts into life and the car eases through the six-speed automatic gearbox very smoothly. There are steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts if you want to change gear manually.
The car can reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.7 seconds and tops out at 125mph.
It is incredibly quiet even on rougher road surfaces and there is very little engine noise.
Comfort levels are really good and the third row of seats mean you can transport up to seven people with ease.
And when you factor in the largest load capacity in class and excellent towing capabilities, the new Outlander really is a high quality, economical, practical and versatile vehicle to suit all tastes and requirements.
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.2 DI-D Juro SST
Come rain or shine, one thing in life is guaranteed – your Mitsubishi Outlander “special edition” Juro will never let you down.
I watched with amazement as parts of the country came to a complete standstill due to a heavy snowfall, but thanks to the Outlander’s capabilities, I was able to continue on my journey without any skidding, sliding or wheel spins.
And that’s because the Outlander has been built to cope with any driving condition and can easily be switched from the more economical two-wheel-drive to four-wheel drive or the four-wheel-drive Lock mode for really difficult conditions.
But the beauty of the Outlander is it maintains all the creature comforts and luxurious styling and specifications that we expect these days.
There are leather seats throughout – the front ones can be heated, climate control, cruise control, a multi-function steering wheel, a multi-information monitor, neat and clearly marked dials and readouts, a stereo system that is compatible with all of today’s modern devices and plenty more besides.
All passengers are treated to ample leg, head and elbow space and the vehicle can quickly be converted from a five-seater to seven-seater in a matter of seconds.
The luggage area is very generously sized and there are plenty of good-sized storage compartments throughout.
In and around town, the vehicle proved deceptively agile and the high-seated driving position helped achieve excellent all-round visibility. Then out on the open road, the 2.2-litre diesel-driven engine provided ample power and acceleration.
Road holding was superb even at higher speeds and on tighter bends and the movement through the automatic transmission was very smooth. There is also the option of manual gear changes via paddles mounted on the steering wheel if so wished.
Mitsubishi has kitted the Outlander Juro with a whole host of quality features including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, numerous airbags and electric anti-trapping windows to name just a few.
In fact, the Outlander really seems to have it all – the 18-inch alloys, roof rails, sleek lines and privacy glass make an excellent first impression and once inside, you cannot fail to be impressed with the quality of comfort and performance.
All in all, it’s quite an all-rounder priced at just shy of £27.8k.
Outlander 2.2 D Diamond
There is something very reassuring nowadays to have the option of four-wheel-drive capabilities at your fingertips for life’s little emergencies and that’s just what the Mitsubishi Outlander offers.
By turning a dial you can easily and quickly move from two-wheel to four-wheel drive and even to a lock setting for much more demanding terrain.
But that’s not where the versatility ends, as despite the Outlander looking like a spacious five seater, a third row of seats are conveniently hidden beneath the floor of the boot and can be folded out to create an extra two seats complete with headrests, so turning the Outlander into a seven-seater as and when required.
The vehicle boasts an eye-catching rugged exterior with strong, ready-for-business lines and features which are accentuated by the menacing tinted windows.
And once inside, despite a somewhat simplistic design, the vehicle has plenty of creature comforts too. The leather seats can be heated and there are features such as sat nav, an excellent sound system, air conditioning, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, cruise control, a glove box with cooling facility and a whole lot more besides.
One factor that cannot fail to impress is the amount of space all occupants are treated to. Even the rear seats offer relatively good comfort levels. The cabin is very light and airy and this is enhanced further by the large sunroof.
In and around town the Outlander performed admirably for such a large vehicle and the excellent all-round visibility made parking a complete breeze.
Then out on the open road, the 2.2-litre diesel-powered engine delivered plenty of power and the six-speed manual transmission was both smooth and responsive.
I know for a fact the Outlander can perform in the most demanding conditions having driven one across sand dunes in another life, so if the weather does take a turn for the worst or Mother Nature decides to throw some real obstacles in its path, it can certainly rise to any challenge.
And as one would expect, Mitsubishi has packed the Outlander with a very comprehensive list of safety specifications, including anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, numerous airbags, childproof rear door locks, anti-trapping sunroof protection, active stability and traction control and plenty more.
All in all, a vehicle for all seasons which boasts great looks, performance and equipment levels at a very reasonable price of £28.
Outlander 2.0 DiD Elegance
There is something about a biting winter snap and being behind the wheel of a very capable 4×4 that almost brings out a little bit of smugness in me.
Now, I appreciate we have to look after our planet and I certainly do my bit when it comes to recycling – all the plastic in one box, papers in another and I even re-use carrier bags when I remember.
But, and it’s a big but, during the latest snow storms, big freeze and watery thaw, we constantly saw on our TV screens stranded motorists in their cars which were totally unsuitable and incapable of dealing with the conditions.
Then in the background you could glimpse a chunky 4×4 eating up the ground with ease trudging tirelessly through the conditions.
I was fortunate that when the heavens opened and released the white stuff I was testing out a very capable Mitsubishi Outlander.
In the past I have been lucky enough to drive an earlier edition of the Outlander range the complete length of New Zealand’s North and South Islands so I was fully aware that come snow, sleet, storms or even sand dunes it would chew up anything Mother Nature put in its path… and spit it out with ease.
So, it came as no surprise that the 2.0-litre Elegance made light work of the winter terrain.
The diesel-driven engine provided ample pulling power and having a six-speed manual transmission was a bonus too as this meant I could keep the revs low and the gears high when necessary.
Fitted with three drive modes – two-wheel, four-wheel and lock – the Outlander was a real pleasure to drive and, unlike some off-roaders, boasted creature comforts more at home in a family saloon.
There were 18-inch premium alloy wheels, heated leather seats, an anti-trapping electric sunroof, reversing camera and sensors, a seven-inch touch screen sat nav and music system, privacy glass and a whole lot more.
Out on the open road, the ride was smooth, responsive and deceptively quiet for such a large vehicle. And in town, the all-round visibility was excellent and parking was a complete doddle thanks to that reversing camera.
When you add in the outstanding array of safety and security features the Outlander is kitted out with, it really is a car for all seasons.