Outlander GX4hs 2.0 PHEV Auto
mean you should ignore
every bit of PR puff you hear.
For example, Mitsubishis
Outlander PHEV plug-in 4x4 is
being called a
but it is!
FOUR-BY-FOUR SUVs, once mightily scorned but still bought
in large numbers (250,000 of them in 2013; and still rising) because of their
undeniable 'all things to all men' versatility are now,
thanks to Mitsubishi, being lauded for their 'greenness'!
The all-wheel drive, five-door, five-seater Outlander PHEV SUV makes use of
both electric and petrol power and can travel a useful distance
on electric motors alone: 32.5 miles. That's more than enough for most average
daily journeys whether it's to the shops or the office. If these distances match
your daily needs then you'll rarely need to visit a filling station for a fossil-fuel
good news? The PHEV emits just 44g/km of CO2 which means no road tax and no
London Congestion Charge. And not only is this plug-in, family-friendly 4x4
sports ute officially capable of 148mpg, but it also qualifies for the Government
Plug-in Car Grant which lops £5,000 off its purchase price.
For a change its
the man in the street
getting the best
deal here because,
unlike some car-makers,
Mitsubishi is not
charging a premium
mark-up for its
For a change it's the 'man in the street' who's getting the best deal here because,
unlike some car-makers, Mitsubishi is not selling its PHEV technology with a
premium mark-up. Prices range from £28-£35K (after applying the £5,000 grant)
which means you pay the same for a PHEV Outlander as you would for a conventional
diesel-powered one. The hybrid components, incidentally, come with a five-year/100,000-mile
As already mentioned, the PHEV's power comes from two sources: a 119bhp four-cylinder
2.0-litre direct injection petrol engine working alongside a pair of independent
electric motors each with 80bhp, one of which drives the front wheels and the
other only the rears. Both motors feed off the drive battery pack.
Despite all the high-tech wizardry orchestrating its hybrid powerplant, driving
the PHEV is simplicity itself: you press the start button then select either
Drive, Neutral or Reverse. There are three distinct drive modes in D, automatically
selected depending on the driving conditions and the battery charge level. The
first of these is the all-electric EV mode which is fine for city driving and
commuting it uses the electric motors powered only by electricity
stored in the drive battery.
Next there's the Series Hybrid mode for when the drive battery level is low
or when powerful thrust is called for during hard acceleration or hill climbing
the extra electricity is provided by the 2.0-litre petrol engine
functioning in its generator mode. During high-speed driving Parallel
Hybrid mode the petrol engine directly drives the front wheels,
assisted by the electric motors.
Not that you notice any switching between modes when the petrol
engine joins the party it does so seamlessly with nothing more than a muted
hum to betray its participation. As usual with electric motors, acceleration
and throttle response are smoothly, instantly punchy.
major Outlander PHEV plus point is that it brings freedom from the dreaded electric
vehicle bogeyman range anxiety. For a start, even if you use up
every last drop of your electric 'juice', by supplementing the electric motors
the petrol engine guarantees an extended range of over five hundred miles.
The PHEV is not just a
roader the 4WD Lock
button alongside the
handbrake links you in
to the Outlanders
managed in a different
way to non-hybrid
Outlanders with the front
and rear motors
driving their respective
sets of wheels...
we were unable to recharge properly during our week with the PHEV (out in the
sticks with no reachable mains power point) which you do need to do before your
journeys to make best use of the electric drive and get acquainted with that
headline 148mpg figure.
Consequently our test average worked out at 39.7mpg but be aware that that was
petrol-power-generation-only driving in the 'extended' mode, and with most of
our test miles being on fast-moving motorways. Used in the manner it's designed
to be used, 148mpg can really be yours.
The drive battery can be charged by the PHEV's petrol engine during normal driving
but it also has a nifty trick up its sleeve: if you're unable to plug into your
household's 240-volt mains supply for a full recharge (about £1.50), then your
PHEV can self-charge its battery pack to 80% capacity using the petrol motor
as a generator just leave it idling for 30 minutes (the same time
it takes for an 80% charge using public rapid charge points).
But the PHEV is not just a stealthily-silent on-roader the 4WD
Lock button alongside the handbrake links you in to the Outlander's traditional
off-road capabilities; albeit managed in a different way to non-hybrid Outlanders
with the front and rear motors driving their respective sets of wheels in sync.
It's fine for low- to medium-speed driving on dirt tracks and off-road as well
as for driving on proper roads in rain or snow.
The Outlander's state-of-the-art electronics haven't elbowed out conventional
equipment. Our test GX4hs model came with keyless start and entry, powered driver's
seat, front seat heating, leather upholstery, 7-inch touchscreen (infotainment
and navigation), dual-zone climate control, power windows, heated and powerfold
(on-demand and automatically on locking 'n' leaving) door mirrors, DAB tuner,
Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, reversing camera, powered tailgate
(opening and closing), tinted and privacy glass, one-shot-op tilt 'n' slide
glass sunroof, adaptive cruise control, speed limiter, auto lights and wipes,
lane departure warning, forward collision mitigation system, and a five-star
EuroNCAP safety rating.
Step aboard the Outlander and you'll find the cabin well laid out and both functional
and liveable. There's plenty of space and the black leather seats, with light
but effective bolstering, make it even more inviting. If you have the helm,
then a first class driving position can be quickly set using the powered seat
in the PHEV you're high enough off the road for a clear view over most other
car traffic. And thanks to excellent visibility in all directions (a third side
window significantly helps rear three-quarter visibility), the Outlander is
easy to place and park.
On the road,
despite the 190mm
the PHEV feels
helped by the additional
weight of the battery
pack located under
the floor in the centre of
just two pedals ensures plenty of foot room; there's also good knee- and shin-room
along with a proper left foot rest as well as a driver's knee airbag. The wheel
is multifunction, offering easy control of audio, voice, and phone as well as
of the adaptive cruise and speed limiter.
the instrument cluster is a standard analogue speedometer flanked by a hybrid-themed
electric power meter showing what's happening to your juice: it's easily understood
and clearly defined by three sectors: charge (blue), eco (green), and power
(white). It's not something that you have to keep an eye on like
your speed or range...
The more important range (both electric and petrol) readouts are shown in the
driver's display between the two main dials, along with other useful information
such as trip, external temp, current selected gear, and the degree of regenerative
The PHEV's handbrake is of the traditional pull-up type (still the most popular
choice with drivers), and the cabin offers plenty of stowage space
a large glovebox, a big centre bin (with a lift-out upper-tray) topped by a
wide armrest that can be shared by the driver and front passenger. The bottle-holding
door pockets are also of a real-world size, all of which contribute to the PHEV's
pleasant and practical character.
The rear cabin is equally inviting, with easy access and exit to and from the
comfy rear seats that are divided by a very-usable drop-down armrest with built
in cupholders. As in the front, you sit high off the floor so there's good lower
leg comfort. Plus there's lots of space for knees and feet as well as a fist
of headroom even when sitting upright. The seatbacks adjust through a number
of positions from sitting up straight to relaxingly reclined. And, confirming
the PHEV's status as a genuine five-seater, the minimal transmission tunnel
allows a third person to travel in the middle without cramping their wingmen.
Five adults' luggage is easily accommodated in the 463-litre boot. If there's
just the driver and a front passenger making the trip, the 60:40-split rear
seat bases lift and tumble and the backrests fold down to form a totally flat
and uninterrupted loadbay floor offering a 1,022-litre cargo capacity. Lift
up the two-section boot floor and you'll find two deep storage trays. And should
you have a need to tow, the PHEV will happily pull a braked 1,500kg
ample to manage a medium-sized caravan.
the road, despite the 190mm ground clearance, the PHEV feels reassuringly 'planted'
helped by the additional weight of the battery pack, located under
the floor in the centre of the vehicle. Manually maxing the regenerative braking
(via the gear selector or the steering wheel paddles) not only recoups the most
battery recharging every time you lift off the accelerator, but also provides
the strongest 'engine braking' which adds to the PHEV's driveability.
In heavy stop-start
Outlander PHEV drivers
will punch the air
with glee. Why?
Because all that braking
charges their drive
battery thus providing
plenty of free
steers accurately and never feels short of grip and you can press on with no
worries. When you need to kill your speed the strong braking (both in the first
stage, if you've selected maximum regeneration, and then when the disc brakes
chime in) is strong and confidence-inspiring.
Ride comfort is as good as you'll find on a non-hybrid Outlander; slightly firmer
maybe, but in a nicely compliant way. And, of course, it's always quiet in the
A never-ending source of irritation for today's motorists is heavy stop-start
commuter driving. However, Outlander PHEV drivers will punch the air with glee
in these conditions. Why? Because all that braking charges their drive battery
thus providing plenty of free all-electric driving.
The Outlander PHEV is currently the UK's best selling plug-in hybrid vehicle
no surprise at all once you've driven one. It offers all the usual
4x4 versatility and practicality of a conventional Outlander sports utility
vehicle along with amazingly good fuel economy plus its 'petric'
power combo offers a 500+ mile range. Best of all, range anxiety is banished
Mitsubishi Outlander GX4hs 2.0 PHEV Auto
Maximum speed: 106mph | 0-62mph: 11 seconds | Test Average: 39.7mpg
Power: 119bhp (petrol) + 161bhp (electric)
Torque: 140lb ft (petrol) + 245lb ft (electric) | CO2 44g/km