In 2015 Mitsubishi updated the third generation of their Outlander. This SUV has been around since 2001 and it has largely kept through to its original design. This is a midsized crossover that feels big. During 2014 things got really exciting for the Outlander when Mitsubishi unleashed the technically brilliant Outlander PHEV on the world. The car is big, imposing and versatile which explains some of the reasons for armies and other such national services opting for this vehicle.
Irish customers have two choices of engine when it comes to the Mitsubishi Outlander. First up is their diesel offering, a 2.2 litre that offers 380 Nm of torque at between 1,750 and 2,500rpm in the two-wheel drive version or 360Nm between 1,500 and 2,750rpm in the four-wheel drive version. We’re told that the Outlander will reach 0-100km/h in 10.2 seconds and that it has a maximum speed of 200 km/h. In terms of fuel economy we are told that it can achieve between 4.8 and 5.8 litres per 100km (depending on whether you take 2WD or 4x4).
In 2014 Mitsubishi claimed a world first by creating the first four-wheel drive plug-in hybrid vehicle. On-paper the manufacturer claims that this PHEV can reach a fuel economy of 129 mpg or 1.9l/100km. This vehicle is ran by a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder MIVEC petrol engine that is mated to a front and rear motor. The electric battery can be charged by plugging it in but it also charges itself as the vehicle is running on the petrol engine. The claimed cruising range of a full battery is 52 km.
The steering of the Outlander is surprisingly well-weighted but on account of the bulk of the vehicle it does suffer from body roll on corners. The steering gets lighter at high speeds and adapts well to the change. The car’s suspension system can be bumpy even while cruising which would also be connected to the sheer size of the vehicle.
The PHEV version is extremely refined. Starting the vehicle is silent and will leave you wondering as to whether or not it is actually turned on. Even the petrol engine in the PHEV is quiet. The same cannot be said for the diesel option. The diesel is loud and when the foot is put down the noise becomes even louder. Road and wind noise also slip into the cabin, especially at higher speeds.
The infotainment system of the Outlander is very easy to use and is laid out in a driver focused way. This crossover is available with Mitsubishi’s Multi Communication System which is very intuitive. Of course, if you opt for the PHEV you also get access to readings on how the vehicle is operating and the screen tells you when you are in EV mode and when you are charging, etc. The seats are nicely comfortable.
In 2013 the Outlander PHEV underwent the Euro NCAP safety tests and received a full five stars. It scored 88% for adult occupancy and 84% for child occupancy. For pedestrian safety the vehicle scored 64%. The non PHEV Outlander also received a full five stars in 2012. It scored 94% for adult occupancy, 83% for child occupancy and a full 100% for safety assistance systems.
Despite the fact that this is a “midsized” crossover it feels massive both inside and out. This car is available with seven seats. Leg room and head room in rows one and two are more than enough and row three is ideal for children. With seats six and seven down there is ample boot space too.