Three-pronged attack: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV first drive review

A red Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on the road.

Craig Duff

Posted August 15, 2022

Mitsubishi is banking on its plug-in Outlander hybrid to bridge the gap between traditional internal combustion vehicles and dedicated battery electric cars.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology will be an important interim step in the transition to fully electric vehicles, according to Mitsubishi Australia.

The company’s rationale, as articulated by chief executive officer, Shaun Westcott, is owners can achieve zero-emission driving (for up to around 70km a charge), without needing to find a public charging station and have to wait 15-20 minutes for other EV owners to complete their charging.

“The future is EV, but the journey to get to EV is the PHEV right now,” Westcott said.

Mitsubishi Australia is relying on the Outlander PHEV mid-sized SUV to normalise electric driving ahead of introducing pure BEVs (Battery-powered Electric Vehicle).

The company’s senior product strategy manager, Owen Thomson, said the company’s existing PHEV owners drive an average of 155 kilometres a week, of which 131km are on battery power.

“Our survey shows 99 per cent of owners charge at home and 73 per cent do it daily,” he said.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review | RACV

On this page

How much does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cost?

Plug-in hybrids are complex machines. They can operate in battery-only mode, as a parallel hybrid (where the engine and motor can both provide power) and as a series hybrid, where the engine charges the battery to provide power for the motor.

That’s reflected in the price. The entry level Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV EV version is aimed at fleets looking to reduce their CO2 emissions and starts at $54,490.

Private buyers typically start with the $60,990 Aspire, which is $15,500 dearer than an Outlander Aspire purely powered by an internal combustion engine.

The Outlander Exceed PHEV costs $65,900, as opposed to $49,990 for the comparable petrol-only version and the $68,490 Exceed Tourer PHEV is a $16,000 premium over the ICE vehicle.

Servicing intervals are 12 months or 15,000km, with the first five visits capped at $299 a trip.

Owners who continue to have their vehicle serviced at the dealership will see the warranty extended from five years to a maximum of 10 years or 200,000km.

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV safe?

A five-star rating for the Mitsubishi Outlander based on the latest 2022 standards is a big tick for the mid-sized SUV.

ANCAP assessed adult occupant protection at 83 per cent and child occupant protection at 92 per cent.

Vulnerable road user protection earned an 81 per cent rating and safety assist systems came in at 83 per cent.

Default equipment across the range includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, emergency lane assist and lane-departure prevention, blind-spot warning and traffic sign recognition.

Front and rear parking sensors are standard across the range, as is hill descent control.

Aspire and Exceed versions pick up rear cross-traffic alert, head-up display and a 360-degree monitor view when reversing. 


The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drives very similarly to a conventional Outlander, which is a compliment.
The ES and Aspire versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are five-seater; the Exceed duo have a 5+2 configuration.
Stylish looks are standard across the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV range.

What’s the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV like inside?

The infotainment display is on the smaller side at 9.0 inches, compounded by the fact Mitsubishi has intentionally tried to accentuate the width of the Outlander’s interior by using strip-like vents integrated into the front facia highlight.

The system has standard satellite navigation, along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

Physical buttons and dials for volume and frequently used functions have been retained and that extends to the climate control functions found just below the infotainment unit.

One of the positives is the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, which can be configured to show a variety of functions, including which mode the vehicle is operating in.

ES and Aspire versions are five-seaters with 485 litres of boot space with all seats in use. The seven-seat Exceed and Exceed Tourer don’t suffer much from the extra row, with a 478-litre capacity. The reflects the fact you’re not shoehorning anyone beyond a small child who can’t complain too much into those rearmost seats.

Aspire versions benefit from the visual impact of 20-inch rims, along with tinted “privacy” glass, a power-operated driver’s seat and heated front seats.

A pair of 240-volt standard household plugs (one in the cargo area and below the air vents in the second row) enable owners to charge anything from electric drills to hair straighteners, providing the draw isn’t greater than 1500 watts.

There’s also a powered tailgate, a pair of USB ports for second row occupants and a wireless phone charger.

The Exceed ups the ante with a five-plus-two seat layout, quilted leather-accented upholstery, three-zone climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system and powered passenger seat, along with a hands-free tailgate.

Finally, the Exceed Tourer adds two-tone paint and two-tone leather upholstery, along with a massage function for those in the front seats.

What’s under the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s bonnet?

There’s an electric motor on each axle; the front with 85kW and 255Nm and the rear packing 100kW/193Nm.

Supplementing the electric drive is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 98kW/195Nm.

Total combined outputs are 185kW/450Nm.

There are four modes to operate the motors and engine: “Normal” which uses petrol or electric drive depending on torque demand and the battery’s state of charge; “EV”, which maintains electric-only driving until the battery is depleted; “Save”, which focuses on using the engine for power and “Charge”, which fires up the engine to act as a generator and recharge the battery.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a braked towing capacity of up to 1,600kg.


A nine-inch infotainment display looks small in the Outlander's large interior.
A 240-volt household power plug resides in the second row of Mitsubishi Outlander Aspire and Exceed versions.
A tray under the cargo floor secures the charging cables for the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV efficient?

The Outlander PHEV has a claimed combined fuel consumption of just 1.5 litres every 100km. That applies only to the first 100km, given every click thereafter will be using the petrol engine to provide either direct power or recharge the battery so the motors can keep operating.

Mitsubishi says fuel consumption when the 20kWh battery is fully discharged is 6.7 litres over 100km.

Expect that to be closer to eight litres in real operation; depending on how the Mitsubishi is being driven.

Urban driving provides plenty of opportunity for regenerative braking to help top-up the battery charge. At the other extreme, highway running will see the engine having to do the heavy lifting.

The same optimism applies to the 84km claimed electric range when the battery is fully charged.

The figure is based on the NEDC cycle and the more realistic WLTP results are typically about 20 per cent less, so around 70km.

Mitsubishi quotes nine and a half hours to recharge the battery from drained to full on a standard 10-amp household wall socket or 6.5 hours if it is a more modern abode fitted with 16-amp circuitry.

Topping from 0-80 per cent using a public fast charger should take just under 40 minutes … and you’ll need to find a CHAdeMo outlet.

How does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drive?

If you’ve driven a conventional Mitsubishi Outlander, you’ve driven the PHEV variants.

That’s a big testament to how well Mitsubishi has adapted the suspension to account for the extra mass of the motors and battery.

Sharp-edged depressions, like recessed manhole covers, still induce a jar through the cabin. Regular undulations are accounted for with more finesse … you won’t wake up the kids by easing over a speed hump.

The steering is reasonable for a family mid-sized SUV: there’s enough feedback to know where the front wheels are pointed without being sensitive enough to excite enthusiasts.

Performance depends on which mode you are driving in. In the default “Normal” setting, the 0-100km/h times takes a leisurely 10.2 seconds. Switch into “Power” or “Tarmac” and that drops to 8.2 seconds. Head off-road and drivers can also select gravel, snow and mud settings. The Eco setting is, as it says on the dial, intended to maximise battery life at the expense of acceleration.


Range from the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's 20kWh is around 70km.
The 12.3-inch digital driver's display will show how the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is accessing its power.
Cargo capacity is 485 litres in the ES and Aspire versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, or 478 litres in the Exceed variants.

Should I buy one?

The plug-in market is limited in the mainstream ranks and the Mitsubishi Outlander is playing at the premium end of the pack.

In its favour is the unique 5+2 seat layout in the upper-spec versions, a trait rivals such as the MG HS Plus and Ford Escape ST-Line PHEV can’t match.

The circa-$15,000 premium over a regular petrol-powered car restricts its desirability but if the buying process involves trying to minimise your CO2 footprint, the Outlander is worth a trip to the dealership.


The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.