54:59 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2019 // The hit plug in hybrid electric SUV
OSV Published on Feb 2, 2019
The Outlander PHEV is a plug-in hybrid SUV that gives Mitsubishi a real edge in this corner of the market.
The improved Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV gets a smarter look, a nicer interior and a new, more efficient 2.4-litre engine. As before, it’s a plug-in hybrid that can’t fail to impress. It’ll get 28 miles on a full electric charge, which means that many commutes will cost pennies in energy charges.
Prior to the launch of the Outlander PHEV in 2013, Mitsubishi wasn’t really a car maker that you looked to for leadership in exploiting profitable market niches. The Japanese company was instead merely a purveyor of solid, well-priced and reliable cars that were rarely exceptional in any key regard. But the Outlander PHEV changed all of that, bringing Plug-in hybid technology to buyers at a time when rivals still had designs barely on the drawing board. As a result, this petrol/electric SUV was Europe’s best selling Plug-in hybrid in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and more than 100,000 units have been sold across the continent, with 140,000 Outlander PHEVs sold worldwide.
Now though, is when it gets difficult. Competitors have got their acts together and this Mitsubishi is facing ever-tougher competition in the SUV D-segment family sector where this car competes. Hence the far-reaching changes made to the revised model we’re going to look at here.
Mitsubishi has made far-reaching changes to this PHEV model’s drivetrain. A 2.4 Atkinson cycle petrol engine with 135PS replaces the previous regular Otto cycle 2.0 litre unit. It allows for higher torque, smoother operation, and overall higher efficiency. As part of this, the generator output is increased by 10%, the rear motor output is increased by 10%, the drive battery capacity is increased by 15% and the drive battery output is increased by 10%. All significant increases. There are more driving settings too, for the 4WD system. The NORMAL and 4WD LOCK modes of previous models are joined by two additional options. A SPORT mode gives the driver more direct control. A SNOW mode provides greater confidence on snow-covered, or slippery surfaces.
Otherwise, things are much as before. Drive in full electric mode and you’ll feel the huge torque of the motors and be able to cruise at motorway speeds on electric power alone, although not for too far. Refinement is very good, even without the sound of an engine to drown out wind and tire noise. There’s a very handy feature included where you can request the battery holds a particular level of charge and you can also use the petrol engine as a generator, to drive battery power back up to 70 per cent of its capacity. There’s also a sophisticated five-level regenerative braking system that the driver can select using the wheel-mounted paddles or what you’d otherwise take to be the gear lever.
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Observations of two commenters:
This is a detailed review, but with a pessimistic view most of the time, its almost annoying. Its not meant to be a sports car & if you drive it like one you will be disappointed. It is a near 2 ton 4×4 and the ride and control are very good for a brick shaped car, although I believe MM have invested a lot of money in keeping it “unbrick” like in its travel along the road. It is extremely comfortable to drive, did you mention that? Another annoying thing is the simple mistakes you have made, also pointed out below, by another viewer, which are extremely negative for anyone looking to buy when comparing models, the “coin holder” where did you get that from? And the rear seats folding down in your review, do actually fold down flat, if you took the time to lift the seat base first and fold that forward against the front seat the rear then becomes very flat & much more of a positive than the negative view you showed. I only got half way through your review and felt compelled to add this comment. You are allowed to smile too, even though it’s a serious review !
3 weeks ago
The review is correct in stating that mpg figures vary wildly according to the style and duration of your journeys, but it was pessimistic in some of its figures. Last summer, I achieved an average of 220mpg over a 3 month period. However, it failed to mention that if you don’t put in at least 15 litres of fuel in a 3 month period, the engine turns itself on in order to prevent damage to fuel seals etc, and will stay on while being driven until you can get 15 litres in in one fill. I am now on my second PHEV, having bought one when they first appeared in 2014, and replaced it with a later model in 2018, and over that period of nearly 5 years my total average, including business trips and long journeys, is still 100 mpg over that total period, so electric power really does make a difference.