Many electric cars are small, as this helps to decrease weight and increase their range. However if you’re after a 5 seater, proper 4WD with good clearance and the ability to tow all while having a lot of room in the back for camping gear there aren’t many options.
Enter Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV – a plug-in hybrid electric and petrol powered family oriented SUV. Mitsubishi has been selling the Outlander PHEV model around the world for a few years with great success.
It’s currently the highest selling PHEV in the world with over 150,000 sales as of the middle of 2018. It’s also one of the very few EV or PHEV’s (Plug-in Electric Vehicle) that is actually for sale here in Australia too.
Drive Zero Car Guides are written for people trying to get a feel of the electric car landscape in Australia. We only wrote guides for battery (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) electric vehicles that are confirmed to be on sale in the market in Australia now, or are coming soon.
Our goal is to summarise as much as you might want to know about the different considerations for each of these electric cars and who they may be useful for. That said, we’re not qualified car reviewers, so full reviews of these models, we’ve included the best links and video for reviews that we could find.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – all the basics
The 2017 and later Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes in two separate models, the base LS version and the more expensive Exceed.
Both models are offer plug-in capability and both have the same range, power, and torque. It seems the only added extras for the Exceed model are technology based options like Blind Spot Warning, and other luxuries like leather seats and a sunroof.
Prior to the 2017 refresh the two models were called “PHEV” and “PHEV Aspire”. With the new names come new styling to the exterior and interior which includes things like a new steering wheel, improved seats as well as more premium finishes throughout.
They also added a number of other things such as LED lights, revised wheel arch and better tech inclusions.
Being a PHEV it contains both a petrol 2.0 L 87 kW engine as well as two 60 kW electric motors (one front, one rear). This is for the current 2017 and later models as well as the older versions that have been around since 2013.
The just announced 2019 version is said to have a slightly bigger, 2.4 L petrol engine as well as a 15% bigger battery and some small design tweaks. There’s no word yet though on when this model will be released in Australia.
The on board battery is 12 kWh and allows for an estimated all electric range of around 54 km.
While this doesn’t sound very grand compared to other all electric vehicles, PHEV’s can still be very efficient. If you live within 20 km of your work it’s quite possible to go all week without using any petrol.
You simply commute to work and back (40 km total) then charge the car up again overnight. In the morning you’re all electric range is back to full and the process repeats itself. If you then want to go out on longer drives on the weekend it also allows for this via the petrol engine.
All up it is rated to have 1.7 L per 100 km fuel consumption which is quite impressive for a vehicles that’s 2,370 kg!
How much does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cost and what models are on sale in Australia?
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV comes with very few options. When looking at the entire buying process you only need to make two decisions:
- Do you want the base model Outlander PHEV LS or the more expensive Outlander PHEV Exceed?
- Do you want one of the free base colours (Starlight, Red or Titanium) or the more expensive Ruby Black (shown above) colour for an additional $500?
Brand new the base LS model will start at $50,490 while the Exceed version is $55,490. If you’re after an older, second hand model they seem to start at around $26,000 for a 2014 model (75,000 km’s) and go up from there.
Keep in mind though the older pre-2017 models won’t have the new interior or fancier features.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV key details
While the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV clearly isn’t a luxury car like the Tesla Model X or even the Volvo XC90, it does represent a very solid option for more “average” Australians.
Also, if you really do plan on doing some serious 4WD runs you might prefer having a car that’s not $130,000+ getting scratched or dumped in mud!
You can get a complete print out of the cars specifications direct from Mitsubishi here, but for the key parts look below.
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV LS||Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed|
|Table last updated July 2018|
|Features:||Twin electric motors and 2.0L MIVEC petrol engine|
Super All Wheel Control AWD (S-AWC)
Smartphone Link Display Audio (SDA)
Climate control dual zone air conditioning
Reversing camera and sensors
Smart Key and One Touch Start system
18-inch alloy wheels in black/chrome
Rain sensing wipers
Electric folding and heated exterior mirrors
LED headlamps with auto levelling
Electronically controlled park brake with Auto Hold function
DC fast charging socket
|EV Remote Smartphone App|
360 degree Multi Around Monitor
Blind Spot Warning (BSW)
Lane Change Assist (LCA)
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
Leather seat facings plus electric sunroof and tailgate
Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward Collision Mitigation with human detection
Auto High Beam
Lane Departure Warning
Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration Mitigation System
Leather faced seats, heated front seats
Steering wheel camera switch
|Release Date & Availability||On sale since 2017|
|Price||$50,490 plus on-road costs||$55,490 plus on-road costs|
|Electric Range||25-54 km (+ 45L petrol tank)|
|0-100 km/h||11 Seconds|
|Top Speed||170 km/h|
|Battery||12 kWh (9.8 kWh Usable) Lithium Ion Battery|
|Drivetrain||2.0L Petrol Engine (87 kW / 186 Nm)|
2 x 60kW (137 Nm front, 195 Nm rear) Electric Motors
Maximum Generator Output: 70kW
|Seats||5 Seater 4WD|
|Charging||Type 1 - J1772 Plug|
Maximum AC Charge Rate: 16 A Single Phase
DC Charging Port: CHAdeMo
|Vehicle & Battery Warranty||Mitsubishi's 5 year / 100,000 km warranty (whichever comes first)|
As mentioned before you also have a couple of choices of colours such as the included Red above. It’s nice to see a number of freely thrown in colours that aren’t just black or white, Mitsubishi could have given a few more options for the interior though as currently there aren’t many.
That being said the interior is quite modern with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included as standard.
All up, the $5,000 extra for the Exceed version seems like a steal considering the amount of extra stuff you get: electric sunroof, leather faced seats, multiple extra safety features such as blind-spot monitor and lane departure warning not to mention the EV Remote smartphone app.
What do the reviewers think of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?
Having been out in Australia for a number of years there’s plenty of reviews out there for the Outlander PHEV. To begin with Drive.com.au goes through and details the overall ride quality and design for the Exceed version.
Next up we have CarsGuide testing out the base LS model and going through the specifics quite a bit more.
For a more UK orientated view as well as a look at the pre-2017 model there’s this review from Fully Charged.
Finally there’s this long term review by CarAdvice.
The common trend seems to be that there is a bit of a quick learning curve to get used to at first, but after that the car performs as expected and is great.
It’s also widely appreciated that the internal spaces are almost identical to the non PHEV version and that it doesn’t look like a “weird” EV.
The price did still create some sore spots but as noted, you can make a lot of that back over time due to the reduced fuel savings.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – the battery and how to charge it
Although it’s not a fully electric car the Outlander PHEV can still be charged via the Type 1 – J1772 Plug. It has a 12 kWh Lithium Ion Battery in it however only 9.8 kWh’s of it is “usable”.
By default it comes with a charging cable that you can use at home, however it only charges at 10 A (2.4 kW) and so takes around 6 hours for a full charge. If you get a more powerful home charger installed though (or use a more powerful charger out and about) it can charge at a rate of up to 16 A (3.8 kW). This reduces the charge time to around 3.5 hours for a full charge.
As it uses the J1772 Type 1 plug this also means that you can charge it from a range of public charging stations, such as from the Chargepoint network. Charging it at home will be what most owners do though as it’s quite easy to just plug it in once you hop out of the car at home.
With its rather limited 50 km electric only range it still can be quite useful for many people, as most work commutes are around the 20-40 km’s return range.
In the picture above you can also see the underlying layout of the battery and engine/motors. This is for the 2019 model that should hopefully be coming out soon in Australia and has the slightly larger 13.8 kWh battery in it.
How does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV look inside?
Although not a premium luxury SUV, the Outlander PHEV isn’t exactly a slouch inside either. With the higher level Exceed version you get the leather covered seats which, along with the all black interior, give it quite a nice look and feel.
There have been some minor complaints about the “finishing touches” not being amazing however most agree that is nit picking and overall it’s a very comfortable feel and ride.
There’s no upgrades for the sound system or really much else beyond things like electric tailgate and sunroof but that also means the base level model includes a very similarly nice interior too.
Another great addition inside is the inclusion of an EV button which forces the car to drive only via the electric motors. Obviously once the battery runs out it will automatically switch back to the engine, but it’s great to have the choice if you know you’re only going a short distance or want the car to be extra quiet.
Reports also say that with the 2017 upgrade Mitsubishi have upgraded the sound proofing internally too, which gives you a much quieter ride even when the engine is on.
Other key features
One of the features that’s only available (strangely) if you buy the higher Exceed model is their Android or Apple app. You can see the charge level, control the charging timer settings, check the alarm, turn the headlights on/off and also control the climate controls.
While it might not look as slick as the Tesla App it still has a lot of the same functionality which is the main thing. It’s also a feature you don’t see in traditional petrol only cars.
Beyond the phone app there’s also a huge array of safety features on both models. The Exceed once again gets the royal treatment with extras like Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Lane Change Assist (LCA), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Mitigation with human detection, Auto High Beam, Lane Departure Warning and Ultrasonic Mis-acceleration Mitigation System.
It would have been nice to see most of these included in the base model as well given they’re quite important safety features. But the option is there for those that want it and it’s good to see Mitsubishi including much more technology in their cars.
Other inclusions are the electric tailgate, heated front seats and a 360 degree multi around monitor system to help you park. That last one will certainly help a lot of people given how large and bulky the car itself is.
Finally there is also a decent range of official accessories available including towball, roof racks and motion pods.
While this isn’t anything ground breaking it’s definitely important for those that plan on using the Outlander PHEV as a serious 4WD out and about.
Summing Up – Why consider a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?
While the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV isn’t one of the typical electric cars we discuss here at Drive Zero due to its rather small electric range, it is a great option for those that want to combine an EV with a full-on 4WD.
The 50 km electric only range is also enough for most people’s general work commutes, especially if you have access to a charger at work.
Even if there are no chargers at work it’s quite feasible to drive 10-15 km to work and then another 10-15 km back, all on electricity and then recharge the car overnight. The next morning you’re fully charged and the cycle just repeats itself.
At the end of the week you’ve hopefully not used much petrol at all. So while it obviously won’t get your from Sydney to Melbourne on all electric power anytime soon, it can still be easily and regularly used to cut down on the commute kilometres driven with petrol.
On top of all that you’ve got a huge car that can be used to haul around anything from snowboards to camping gear and even a full caravan.
While it’s a bit disappointing to see that the up and coming model doesn’t improve the EV only range, it’s clear Mitsubishi is still working hard to improve the Outlander PHEV, and it hits the right notes for a more price sensitive, emissions and fuel economy conscious buyer.
*Supplementary photos courtesy of Mitsubishi Australia