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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

Plug-in SUV that takes i-MiEV tech into the mainstream

EV rider

The same goes for the interior, which looks decidedly un-EV. In fact, the various charge management buttons and recuperative braking paddles aside, it looks much the same as the diesel model.

Maybe a bit too much the same — to bring up the power flow and EV range displays you need to drill down a little too far into the touch-screen’s menus. They should be closer to the ‘top’.


Cabin very un-EV like. Note flappy paddles to adjust the severity of the regenerative braking system

Now to the thorny issue of economy. It should go without saying that the fundamental issue with plug-in hybrids is that they only make sense if you plug them in regularly.

If I owned an Outlander PHEV I’d easily ace the official 148mpg figure because I very rarely do more than 20 miles a day. Even allowing for the Outlander’s less-than-advertised ‘leccy range, I could get through a week without using a drop of petrol if I charged it up each night.


This as about as far off-road as most Outlander PHEV's will go but 4WD system useful on snow, ice, grass, etc

If I didn’t charge regularly, I’d just be dragging a 230Kg battery around using a drivetrain that’s not running as it was designed to for optimal efficiency.

That would be just silly. When I was being silly I got around 29mpg on local suburban runs and 42mpg on a longer, open road drives. In either case the diesel Outlander can do better.

The same caveats apply to the Outlander’s quoted 44g/km CO2 emission figure. Run it as a conventional hybrid without recourse to a regular mains top up and that figure will be higher. Get your mains electricity from a particularly dirty source and the same is true.


Binnacle gives at-a-glance info on fuel tank and battery. How clean is the PHEV? Depends where you plug it in

The amount of carbon dioxide an Outlander PHEV will actually put into the environment if you account for what is released during electricity generation will vary quite a bit, depending on whether it’s being used in Sweden or France at one end of the scale or India or South Africa at the other.

The final feather in the Outlander PHEV’s cap is price. After the British Government's £5,000 plug-in vehicle tax rebate the hybrid Outlander will set you back the same as the diesel-powered equivalent – £28,248. If you make lots of short journeys rather than a few long ones that makes the PHEV model a no-brainer purchase.

The Reg Verdict

Priced to sell at the same OTR as the diesel Outlander, it's no surprise the PHEV variant is becoming such a common sight on the roads of Blighty.

Sure, the same usual critics of 'leccy cars will trot out the same usual reasons to dismiss the Outlander, but not knowing how to use a plug-in hybrid or living in a country with a CO2 intensive energy generation infrastructure doesn’t in any way negate the basic concept behind the Outlander PHEV. And a more-than-decent execution of the concept it is. ®


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

A plug-in hybrid SUV that's big, quick, anonymous and, if used the right way, very economical.
Price: £28,249 OTR RRP

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