We Caught The Outlander PHEV Recently Ourselves At The Tokyo Motor Show

We Caught The Outlander PHEV Recently Ourselves At The Tokyo Motor Show

We have to admit that before checking out Autocar's review of the Outlander PHEV we have some pre-conceived notions on the plug-SUV and how it is being received.

Despite Battery Issues That Halted Production For 4 Months, Mitsu Still Sold 9,608 Outlander PHEVs in 2013 In Japan - slightly better than i-MiEV sales

Despite Battery Issues That Halted Production For 4 Months, Mitsu Still Sold 9,608 Outlander PHEVs in 2013 In Japan - slightly better than i-MiEV sales

To say it is being received well would be an understatement, as the extended range Outlander sold almost 5,000 copies in the Netherlands in December alone ; which stands as the high-water market for any EV sold into any market.

In less than a year, and having to still arrive in many countries, Mitsubishi has sold about 18,000 of Outlander PHEVs worldwide - no small feat.

How strong is the demand?  The Outlander PHEV was originally to debut this month in the United States; but why sell here when you can sell at home? Americans now have to wait an extra 12 months to own one themselves.

...table set - onto the review!

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Interior Seats Five

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Interior Seats Five

Autocar first does a little house cleaning by stating that the NEDC test cycle rating of 148 MPG is flat out not going to happen, saying that they don't believe - and neither does Mitsubishi.

Depending on where you live in the world the Outlander can be rated as having as much as 37 miles of range (we expect somewhere in the low to mid 20s when it arrives in the US) and Autocar finds that the five seat SUV can indeed get about 32 miles on electricity alone, with this disclaimer:

"It goes without saying that the potential range and economy will vary depending on the types of roads and driving style, but it’s still a decent indication of the benefits of the plug-in hybrid system, which switches between a 2.0-litre petrol motor and two electric motors according to needs."

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Gets A Boost In Tokyo (L2/CHAdeMO configuration shown)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Gets A Boost In Tokyo (L2/CHAdeMO configuration shown)

And that extended range system doesn't intrude into the living space much at all (there is a loss of 14 litres behind the rear seats), while stating that only differences of note is the added weight of the electric drivetrain and 12 kWh battery.

As for the driving experience and ride, Autocar finds a lot of quality in the cabin compartment and remarks how the "EV controls" are present, but not over-powering.

"Battery charged, the Outlander starts silently and stays eerily quiet for as long as you have charge and the car calculates that it is the best way to be using energy. On full throttle the 80bhp electric motors – the back one producing peak torque of 144lb ft and the front 101lb ft - can power the car from 0-62mph in 11.0sec, and they can – and often do - remain unassisted by the engine beyond 70mph.

The result, a common trait among all electric vehicles, is an impressively refined drive. What’s more, Mitsubishi has done a decent job of quelling, if not suppressing, the road and wind noise that become more apparent without the masking of engine noise."

The plug-in Outlander also allows the driver to hold any level of charge with the battery, or use the petrol engine to charge the battery back to 70 per cent of its capacity, which Autocar says is  "ideal for saving battery power for zero emissions driving in town, when towing or anticipating extensive 4x4 usage."  The Outlander PHEV is rated for towing 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs), a big plus to be sure.

As always Autocar wraps with their review by asking the question, "should I buy one?"

Unfortunately, as Autocar is based out of the UK, you can't actually buy one there yet, as the Mitsu doesn't go on sale until April - and has yet to be priced.

"In Europe, the PHEV is currently priced at around £35k - and it's an appealing proposition at that price - but until UK pricing is confirmed, all you can say with confidence is that the Outlander PHEV is a very fine car indeed."

Specifications of the Outlander PHEV (NEDC)

  • Maximum driving range : 824 km (512 miles)
  • Range in Pure EV Mode : 52 km (32 miles) - look for it to get about 20-22 miles of range on US/EPA standard
  • Fuel consumption : 1.9 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions : 44 g/km
  • Maximum speed : 170 km/h (105 mph – where legal)
  • Weight: 1,810 kg (3,990lbs)
Charging:
  • 5 hours – normal charging (230V / 10A)
  • 30 minutes – quick charging / up to 80% (CHAdeMO standard)
AutoCar

Video (below): Mitsubishi Japan TV spot on the Outlander PHEV