Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014 – 2021) Review

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014 – 2021) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
One of the most common hybrid SUVs on the used market, the Mitsubishi Outlander offers good economy, but a below par drive.

+Cheap to run if you can charge at home and don’t do many miles. Masses of space. Significantly improved for 2019.

-Very heavy. Uncultured cabin and driving experience. Only available as a five-seater.

Insurance Groups are between 22–27
On average it achieves 42% of the official MPG figure

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was a huge hit with buyers. It’s easy to see why, when it was the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV and felt like a true game-changer. But there are obvious flaws such as mediocre fuel consumption when not running on battery power and the noisy petrol engine. Read on for our full Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review.

When it was launched in 2013, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV held the honour of being the world’s only plug-in hybrid SUV. It was also the first plug-in vehicle that could genuinely fit in with day-to-day life... the boot was big enough for families to go on holiday and, being a plug-in hybrid, you could just fill it up with petrol rather than stop to charge it up with electricity all of the time.

There was a long list of perks, too: free VED road tax, a £5000 government electric car grant, exemption from the London congestion charge and very low company car tax.

Combine that with incredible economy figures (148mpg and 41g/km CO2) and no wonder electric car charging companies struggled to keep up with the sudden demand from Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drivers.

Those advantages have diminished over time and into the used arena. Road tax remains free only for earlier models, and buyers have a much greater choice of plug-in hybrid SUVs such as the Ford Kuga, dependable Honda CR-V, and its Japanese rival the Toyota RAV4, plus several pure EV alternatives.

Various upgrades were applied over the years in an attempt to keep the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV looking fresh, with the last of the lot bringing a higher quality cabin than the original, improved performance and better ride quality.

Journey carefully for fewer than 20-25 miles per day, and always keep your Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV plugged in at home, and in theory you’ll never delve into your fuel tank.

But once you begin to task the four-cylinder petrol engine with work, things go downhill rapidly – unless you’re literally going down a hill. You can expect 30-40mpg from the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV if the battery is flat, because the engine is not only moving this two-tonne car about, but charging the massive battery too.

And it does so in noisy fashion generally, although conversely when running on electric power alone the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a model of quiet comfort and refinement – and surprisingly good at going around corners, too.

Despite the cabin improvements brought about with the facelift in late 2019, the interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is hardly inspiring. It’s well put together and feels durable, but the design is bland, the switchgear incoherent and the infotainment system old-school.

The driving position conspires to perch you too high in the car, while some practicality is lost compared to the non-hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander because the rearmost seats (six and seven) make way for an electric motor and the boot is smaller.

Ultimately, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV found a very useful niche for a while. However, those advantages are declining and the car lacks charm and flair, and remains very much a purchase for the head rather than the heart.

Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar's Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review.

Ask Honest John

Can I turn off lane keep assist?

"I read today Judith Ridgers question on a replacement for an Outlander PHEV. I had one of the last of these and there was no lane assist. I replaced it with a Renault Astral which does have it but it can be switched on or off. It remains in the chosen state until the driver decides otherwise . So my question is what is the regulation referred to when Andrew says it has to turn on automatically when a car is restarted? "
Most new cars are tested by independent crash test experts, Euro NCAP, and given a safety rating out of five. To be in with the best chance of achieving a maximum rating, lane support systems need to be fitted as standard without the ability to be turned off permanently. See the below quote from the NCAP safety assist collision avoidance protocol: "To be eligible for scoring points in ELK [Emergency Lane Keeping], the ELK part of the LSS system needs to be default ON at the start of every journey and deactivation of the system should not be possible with a momentary single push on a button." You can read the requirements in full here:
Answered by Andrew Brady

What car do you recommend for someone who suffers from arthritis in the hands?

"I'm looking for a 4x4 car about 10 years old that is easy for someone who suffers from arthritis in the hands, an automatic with an easy to move gear stick. We currently have a Freelander which requires a bit of force to push when moving in and out of reverse."
We'd recommend a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It's a very versatile 4x4 that uses a joystick as a selector lever - it's really light and easy to operate. If you can charge a car at home, the Outlander PHEV will be ideal as you'll be able to cover short journeys under electric power, too. We'd also rate the Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, although I'm not sure any of these will be much easier to operate than your Freelander.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is the procedure for crossing a ford different in a hybrid, electric or automatic vehicle?

"I recently crossed a ford in my Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. I am aware of procedure in manual car. What advice can you give for automatics, hybrids and electric vehicles?"
Broadly speaking the procedure for crossing a ford is the same regardless of the vehicle, with the important factor being to enter at a low speed and follow the bow wave as you cross. Hybrids and electric vehicles have a separate issue with battery packs that are generally fitted beneath the vehicle. Although they are waterproofed to deal with rain water, it very much depends on the individual vehicle as to whether they are capable of being submerged - we would suggest checking the vehicle handbook for any specific information regarding wading depth.
Answered by David Ross

How much value would a new drive battery add to our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

"We have a 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV that's done 98,000 miles. Our local Mitsubishi dealer has confirmed that the drive battery is below 70% and we've just heard that they will replace it under warranty. I've just had a valuation of £7500 for a trade-in as the condition is only fair. I realise that the value offered will vary considerably depending on the dealer's situation, but I was wondering roughly how much a new drive battery will add to the value of the car for trade-in? "
It's good news that the dealer has agreed to replace the battery under warranty, as this would be an expensive replacement if you were paying for it yourself. It's difficult to assess what this would add in value as far as a trade-in goes, but given the cost of the work could easily be in excess of £3000 we would expect at least some of this to be reflected in the trade-in value. If you want to get the maximum value for this repair we would suggest selling privately, as including the fact that the car has a new drive battery would be very attractive to anyone looking to purchase a used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Answered by David Ross
More Questions

What does a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2014 – 2021) cost?