2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review
Isaac Bober’s 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review with Price, Specs, Performance, Ride and Handling, Ownership, Safety and Verdict.
In a nutshell: Mitsubishi has refreshed the Outlander PHEV which remains alone as the world’s only plug-in hybrid electric SUV.
2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Specifications
Price From $53,990+ORC Warranty five years, 100,000km Service Intervals 12 months, 15,000km Safety 5 star ANCAP Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, two x electric motors (60kW each) Power 87kW at 4500rpm Torque 186Nm at 4500rpm Transmission Single speed Drive all-wheel drive Dimensions 4695mm long, 1800mm wide, 1710mm high, 2670mm wheelbase Ground Clearance 190mm claimed Angles 19.5-degrees approach 21-degrees departure Boot Space 463 – 1602L Spare No Fuel Tank 45L Battery Charge Time 6.5 hours Thirst 1.7L/100km claimed combined
Watch our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review
It’s no secret the world’s automakers are rocketing towards an electric vehicle world, or that the internal combustion engine is on its last legs. But infrastructure hasn’t quite caught up with EV development and for many car buyers the leap to an EV is, for now, a financial step too far. And that’s where things like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes in. It was and remains the world’s only plug-in hybrid SUV and it doesn’t get the attention it deserves.
WHAT’S THE PRICE AND WHAT DO YOU GET? So, there are two variants in the Oultander PHEV line-up and an active safety option. This means, you can get into the ES for $45,990+ORC and the Exceed that we’re testing for $53,990+ORC. The active safety pack lists for $1500 and can be added to the ES to be called ES with ADAS; and that pack includes forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, active high-beam and a self-dimming rear vision mirror. But the Exceed packs in more active safety, so, while the pack gets you some handy active safety it doesn’t get you everything that Mitsubishi offers.
In terms of what you get for your money, the Outlander PHEV Exceed offers keyless entry, push-button start and stop, leather interior, small sunroof, powered tailgate, dual-zone climate control and rear air vents. The headlights (both low and high beam) are LED and you get dusk-sensing lights and rain-sensing wipers, the front seats are heated and powered for the driver. There’s a 7.0-inch infotainment screen which offers Apple and Android connectivity but it doesn’t offer native sat-nav which we’d suggest is a bit of a miss at this price point.
WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET? There’s a conventional 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine making 87kW at 4500rpm and 186Nm of torque at 4500rpm. The petrol engine is happy on 91RON and will drink a claimed 1.7L/100km. But this isn’t the whole story because the petrol engine is mainly just there to support the two electric motors, one on the front axle and the other on the rear axle. Each motor makes 60kW and combined torque is up to 332Nm.
The driving range depends on how and where you’re driving but you could get anywhere from 50 to almost 100 kilometres from the battery. Indeed, in my week with the PHEV I managed 65km from the battery before the petrol engine was needed.
In terms of charging the battery, you can do this via a conventional wall socket and it’ll take around 6.5 hours to recharge, or you can find a fast-charger which will give an 80% charge in 25 minutes. Or, you can use the petrol engine as a generator to charge the battery while driving. Doing this will see you recharge the battery from almost empty in around an hour of non-stop driving.
WHAT’S THE CABIN LIKE? The Outlander PHEV was given the Outlander’s recent update a little after the garden variety Outlander. We tested the top-spec Exceed model and while the cabin is largely as it was before there’s now more soft-touch materials, one-touch up and down for all windows and directional rear air vents.
The infotainment screen is a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple and Android connectivity and that’s about the best thing you can say about it. The screen is small in this day and age of 8.0-inch-plus screens and it’s graphically uninspiring.
Indeed, while the cabin itself is nicer than before that’s not saying much and there’s nothing much in the cabin that suggests you’re driving anything other than a regular Outlander. Well, beyond the stubby gear lever and EV buttons by the gear shifter.
WHAT ARE THE FRONT SEATS LIKE? The Outlander PHEV Exceed gets leather front seats with the driver’s getting powered adjustment. There’s good adjustment so getting into a good driving position isn’t difficult but the seats are flat and lack side support.
WHAT ARE THE BACK SEATS LIKE? Unlike other Outlander’s that offer seven-seats, the PHEV only gets five because of the battery pack taking up room where those extra seats would live when not being used. There’s enough room in the back for three adults in a pinch, although two across the back would be more comfortable. With the driver’s seat set up to suit myself I found I had good legroom and there was enough headroom too. But the door openings aren’t huge, so you need to be mindful to duck your head if you’re taller. The directional rear air vents are a worthy improvement for this update and help keep those travelling in the back warm or cool.
HOW BIG IS THE BOOT? The battery pack lives under the boot floor, so, as already mentioned the Outlander PHEV is a five-seater only. There’s a small panel towards the back of the car where the charging cables are stored. The boot offers 463 litres of storage space.
DOES IT HAVE A SPARE? No, the batteries take up too much room. Instead, you get a tyre repair kit.
WHAT’S IT LIKE ON THE ROAD? The Outlander PHEV is at its best when you’re just wafting along. It’s quiet, comfortable and relaxed. Like before, the Outlander PHEV doesn’t really like to be hurried.
That said, the suspension and body stiffening tweaks have added some dynamism to the ride and handling with a lot less bodyroll and a general feeling of more responsiveness to steering inputs than before and that’s all despite being a little heavier than the old car.
The ride is better than you’ll get in other Outlander’s but at around town speeds there’s an air of stiff-legedness to sharp edged hits that jolt into the cabin. But that’s partly because the dampers seem to be tuned for higher speed response rather than, say, at speeds up to 60km/h. And, once you’re travelling beyond that the ride and body control to bumps is better than at low speeds.
In EV mode acceleration is easy and efficient and you’ll barely notice the petrol motor chiming in when the battery is depleted or you’re using it as a generator to keep the battery topped up.
CAN YOU TOW WITH IT? Mitsubishi recommends a maximum braked towing capacity of 1500kg with a 150kg download. The kerb mass is 1860kg, the GVM is 2370kg and the GCM is 3870kg. The maximum payload is 510kg and that needs to cover passengers, luggage, and towball download.
WHAT ABOUT OWNERSHIP? Mitsubishi offers a five-year, limited kilometre (100,000km) warranty for the Outlander PHEV with service intervals set at 12 months or 15,000km. It offers three years of capped price servicing with prices running from: $310; to $420 and $365 for the three annual services.
WHAT SAFETY FEATURES DOES IT GET? The Outlander PHEV Exceed we tested gets Mitsubishi’s full suite of active safety, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and more, like automatic high beam, traction and stability controls. It features seven airbags and continues with its five-star ANCAP rating.