Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.
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The Outlander arrives in two trim levels, the entry-level (but not cheap) LS – which is the car we’ve tested here – and the more luxurious-feeling Exceed.
The LS arrives pretty comprehensively equipped, with leather-trimmed seats, dual-zone climate control and keyless entry and start. You can also expect 18-inch alloy wheels, auto headlights and wipers, along with an Apple CarPlay/Android Auto-equipped 7.0-inch touchscreen that partners with a six-speaker stereo. LED DRLs join LED head and tail-lights, along with roof rails, rear privacy glass and front fog lights.
Step up to the Exceed model and you’ll add full-leather seats that are heated in the front, an electric sunroof, powered boot and a cool ‘EV remote’ function that displays the car’s electric vitals on your smartphone.
Mitsubishi describes its plug-in Outlander as the “EV with no sacrifices” and that’s certainly true of on-board space. Boot space is in the five-seat-only PHEV is 463 litres with all the seats in place – near identical to the conventional Outlander models – and climbs to 1602 litres when you drop the 60/40 rear seats. Interior space is unchanged, too, so the cabin remains a nice and airy place up front, with enough room for back-seat passengers to ride in comfort.
There’s all sorts of dark magic taking place under the bonnet, and at each axle, and how much power you get depends on how you’re using it. Leave the Outlander in pure EV mode, and 60kW is your total output. Venture into “series hybrid” mode, and the engine will help deliver another 60kW, bringing your total to 120kW. Finally, drive entirely on petrol power, and you’ll be using the petrol engine’s 87kW.
Mitsubishi claims the maximum combined power at 120kW and combined torque at 320Nm.
Sliding into the driver’s seat is comfortingly familiar experience, whether you’ve driven EVs before or not, and if you keep it on surface streets in the CBD or suburbs, it’s smooth and quiet in full EV mode, and seamless in the way it flicks between power sources.
The acceleration in this refreshed model has been mapped to be “more aggressive”, but a speed demon this ain’t. The flat-footed sprint to 100km/h is hardly a world-rocking experience, but it feels plenty perky enough when pulling away from a light, or when you’re already up and running.
One issue, though, is that the Outlander PHEV’s is carrying some extra weight in some unusual locations, and it makes cornering something of a mystery. That, combined with soft suspension that’s great at ironing out road bumps but less so at preventing the vehicle rocking, left us feeling a little seasick when we tried pushing the boundaries.
A 45-litre fuel tank means you can keep on powering on long after the batteries go flat, but it also means you’ll be stopping to refuel more than you might normally on long-distance trips.
CarsGuide – Go beyond the test drive
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