2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review

Andrea Matthews

Posted July 01, 2024


The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) is not only Australia's best-selling plug-in electric vehicle, but also the country's longest-standing PHEV SUV, celebrating a decade of sales in 2024.

Offering frugal fuel usage of as little as 1.5L/100km (ADR combined) thanks to its large hybrid battery and electric first powertrain, the family-friendly Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was introduced in its current form in 2022 and is available in a range of variants in either five-seater, or seven-seater configuration. 

With a raft of plug-in hybrid vehicles recently arrived from new manufacturers such as BYD with its Sealion 6, does the most experienced plug-in hybrid SUV have enough to stack up against the new wave, or will sharp pricing from its competitors topple it from the top spot?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer

The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid offers practical space with a competent all-wheel drive system. Image: Shannon Morris


 


How much does a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV cost?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV range is priced from $62,620 to $79,810 drive away, and offers an array of choices for medium SUV buyers and families looking for a fuel efficient driving solution. Prospective Mitsubishi Outlander drivers can choose from five all-wheel drive grades as either five-seat or seven-seat vehicles.

More broadly, the Mitsubishi Outlander range also includes front-wheel drive and petrol only variants, with a total of 14 configurations. The most affordable Outlander ES is priced from $42,250 drive away, a saving of $12,000 over its plug-in hybrid equivalent.

With such choice, it's easy to see why the Mitsubishi Outlander is currently the sixth best-selling passenger vehicle in Australia according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) in May 2024, ahead of last year's global number one vehicle, the electric-only Tesla Model Y.

2024 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid drive away pricing in Victoria

  • Outlander PHEV ES 5-seat - $62,620
  • Outlander PHEV Aspire 5-seat - $69,390
  • Outlander PHEV Exceed 5+2 seat - $75,120
  • Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer 5+2 seat - $77,720
  • Outlander PHEV GSR 5+2 seat - $79,810

What does it cost to service the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

Mitsubishi backs the Outlander with a five year/100,000 kilometre warranty, which is extended to an industry leading 10 years/200,000kms if you choose to service at a Mitsubishi dealership.

It offers 10 years capped price servicing with intervals set at 15,000 or 12 months, whichever comes first. Expect to pay $299 per service for the first 60,000kms, and then between $299 and $799 for services up to 150,000 depending on the schedule requirements.

More: What you need to know about capped price servicing

What powers the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

All Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV models are powered by the same plug-in hybrid powertrain which comprises a 98KW 2.4-litre petrol engine, 20kWh lithium-ion battery and twin electric motors which generate a total of 185KW. 

In place of a regular continuously variable transmission, the Outlander PHEV driveline employs a single speed transaxle with a two-stage gear reduction that allows connection to either the front electric motor and differential in pure EV mode or to the engine and front differential in parallel hybrid mode, when the engine is also driving the front wheels.

The large battery capacity allows for electric only driving of up to 84km (NEDC), while the total potential range of the car on a single charge and full tank of petrol is around 800km.


More: Hybrid vs plug-in hybrid vs mild hybrid vs electric vehicle: what’s the difference? 

What is the specification of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer?

On test here is the highly-specified Mitsubishi Outlander Exceed Tourer model which was the range topper until recently when Mitsubishi introduced a new GSR model with additional design highlights. 

As the best-equipped Mitsubishi Outlander model, the Exceed Tourer features a high level of specification including BOSE premium audio system with nine-speakers, leather interior including steering wheel, advanced safety equipment, two 1500W, 240V sockets, head up display, powered handsfree tailgate, wireless smartphone charger, panoramic sunroof and tri-zone air-conditioning with rear controls.

 

The Mitsubishi Outlander has a well finished interior
Isofix fitting points allow for safe installation of child seats

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV exterior design

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer is a boldly styled medium SUV that shares a familial feel with the sharpened exterior lines of the new Mitsubishi Triton Dual Cab Ute. LED headlights and daytime running lights are standard on all variants and create a distinct look for the Mitsubishi Outlander when illuminated.

Exceed and Exceed Tourer Outlander variants are differentiated by additional styling treatments such as colour coded and gloss-black accents and panoramic sunroof with tilt and slide. The Exceed Tourer is fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels (but only a tyre repair kit, no spare), and is enhanced by the inclusion of two exclusive two-tone paint colours offered over the seven available on the lower grade variants.

What is a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV like inside?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer has a distinctly premium look with quilted leather appointed upholstery and trim both smart and plush. Our test car was fitted with a black interior with burnt orange details and contrast stitching - a very attractive option. Both powered front seats are heated with massaging function, well proportioned and supportive.

The dashboard of the Outlander is topped by a 9-inch colour touchscreen which is easy to use and compatible with both Apple CarPlay (wireless) and Android Auto (wired). All variants of the Mitsubishi Outlander are equipped with onboard satellite navigation. 

The Outlander fits five passengers comfortably, the second row air conditioning controls in the Exceed Tourer offering additional appeal for rear seat passengers looking to control their own temperature.  Head and legroom are decent, and the cabin is a pleasant environment for a family of four adults to enjoy a road trip across Victoria. In fact our party of four took an excursion in the Mitsubishi Outlander to RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort, a round trip of 300 kilometres, planning to make use of the resort's electric car chargers during our stay.

The Exceed Tourer is available exclusively as the 5 + 2 seat configuration, offering the added flexibility to include two bonus (small) passengers. The seats are cleverly packaged within the boot space to maximise the 478 litre luggage capacity when not in play, but when in use, there's still adequate space for a large suitcase and extra bags to be stowed in the boot.

The Mitsubishi Outlander's two rear seats are tightly positioned with basically no legroom, so they really only make sense to be used by small children. There are no top tethers or Isofix points in the third row so only children tall enough for booster seats will be able to use them.

The Plug-In Hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander is available in 5 and 7 seat variants

The Plug-In Hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander is available in 5 and 7 seat variants.


 

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer good to drive?

The plug-in hybrid system on the Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the most accomplished hybrid powertrains currently available in Australia. Its large battery allows for up to 84 kilometres of electric only driving, which means most drivers' will complete their daily commute on electric power only. By combining regular charges and top ups with the 2.4-litre petrol engine and 56-litre petrol tank, fuel economy is calculated at just 1.5L/100km (ADR Combined). This compares well with the newly launched BYD Sealion 6 which promises a slightly shorter EV only distance of 81km but improved fuel economy of 1.4L/100km (ADR Combined) and a claimed 1000km+ range.

In the real-world, on a one way trip of around 150 kilometres, largely 80km/h and with a fair amount of regenerative braking at the end of the journey,  the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV showed fuel consumption of 4.4L/100km on arrival. Topping up at the RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort put 80km range back into the battery, which was sufficient to cover a day's exploring of the region on battery power alone.

Driving a dedicated EV on a road trip is a constant numbers game, including calculating distance to chargers and adjusting potential range downwards by the type of driving and terrain you'll be covering (long inclines and highways can severely impact an electric car's driving range). The power of a plug-in hybrid is its petrol back up system, which will keep you on the road for longer, with the added knowledge that you're never that far from a petrol pump. But like many EVs, you can also do a top up charge of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV over any regular 240V socket, which is convenient to do a quick charge without hunting out a dedicated EV charger, although it will take 9-10 hours to fully charge if your battery is completely depleted. 

What I really like about the Mitsubishi Outlander is the addition of a DC CHAdeMo charge port which allows the Outlander's battery to charge to 80 per cent on a compatible rapid charger. Most electric vehicles arriving in Australia use the more common CCS charger so it can be inconvenient to roll up to a twin charging station to find the CCS cable in use and the CHAdeMo plug, which is mainly used by Japanese EVs, looking utterly tempting but completely useless.

Then there's the other benefit of a PHEV like a Mitsubishi Outlander when you arrive to an EV charging station that's in use - you can just cruise on by knowing that a petrol station won't be far.

In terms of driveability, the Mitsubishi Outlander is well suited to country roads. My preference would be for a smaller wheel and tyre package as 20-inch tyres have a shorter lifespan and are a lot more expensive to replace.

Rear seat passengers reported little support from the second row seats as they found themselves sliding around on the leather, but visibility from the large windows was good, although the rear seat sunblinds were a bit flimsy.

 

The Mitsubishi Outlander has a well finished interior
The Mitsubishi Outlander's Super-All Wheel Control system offers improved all-wheel drive
There's still sufficient room for a suitcase with the third row of seats in play
Mitsubishi was the first company in the world to introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV back in 2014

What is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer like off-road?

The Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer has motors mounted on both the front and rear axles, working in with Mitsubishi's super all-wheel drive system. The electric motors deliver torque more quickly to the wheels than a conventional all-wheel drive system, enhancing driving response and resulting in a decent driving experience on a variety of road surfaces.

Seven drive modes can be selected through a rotary dial. Normal will be your regular mode of choice however ECO maximises range on tarmac while POWER optimises the electric drive and petrol engine to boost acceleration. Tarmac, Gravel, Snow and Mud modes optimise drive on their respective surfaces while a hill descent control helps with steep declines, applying the brakes up to 20km/h.

While mud and snow were untested during our trip, the gravel mode did delver extra assurance while driving on unsealed sections of road.

More: AWD vs 4WD: What's the difference?

 

What safety features does a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV have? 

The Mitsubishi Outlander was tested by ANCAP in 2022 and achieved a 5 star safety rating. To ensure the integrity of the battery during a crash, the Outlander was subjected to additional pole and front offset test, scoring a maximum of 6/6 for each additional test.

All variants are fitted with eight airbags and a standard suite of safety systems however only the Aspire, Exceed, Exceed Tourer and GSR variants benefit from rear automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert and multi around monitor (a 360 degree camera). 

Standard safety features on all Mitsubishi Outlander variants include:

  • Forward Collision Mitigation including vulnerable road user protection and junction assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Blind Sport Warning with Lane Change Alert
  • Emergency Lane Keeping with traffic recognition
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear view camera
  • Driver Attention Alert

 

The third row is a cramped space best suited to small children
Two 240V sockets provide up to 1500 Watt V2L capability to power work and leisure gear.

How does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer compare?

The Mitsubishi Outlander sells in the competitive medium SUV segment where it is pitched against the popular Toyota RAV4 hybrid, Tesla Model Y and a variety of extremely compelling mid-size vehicles that hit the sweet spot for families looking for the practicality of an SUV. The newly arrived BYD Sealion 6 also has it in its sights as, while it only offers five seats, it mounts a compelling case for an affordable plug-in hybrid, with its range topping Premium variant priced at just $52,990 plus on-road costs.

So far this year, the Mitsubishi Outlander is more than holding its own and is the second best-selling SUV in Australia, although the Toyota RAV4 has sold almost twice as many vehicles. The plug-in versions of the Mitsubishi Outlander were impacted by the superconductor shortage last year, but Mitsubishi says supply is improving and PHEV variants could make up 15-20 per cent of Outlander sales this year, but despite recent end of financial year sales, Mitsubishi has not made any price adjustments to the PHEV variant.

Should I buy a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Tourer ticks a lot of boxes for mid-size SUV buyers looking specifically for an electric seven seat vehicle - at present there's little in the way of direct competition but its complex technology is charged at a significant premium to its own ICE equivalent and it only really comes into its own as an electric vehicle if you are able to charge it every 80-100kms.

If you are regularly undertaking longer journeys and don't have access to overnight or workplace charging, then you won't be driving the Outlander PHEV within its optimum conditions and petrol usage will creep up. At that point, you may be better off with a more affordable conventional hybrid like the RAV4. Or for the $70,000+ price tag, you may start to look at seven-seater vehicles in the large SUV segment, such as the compelling Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid which offers a more spacious seven-seat option for $75,000 plus on-road costs but uses more fuel.

If you've determined that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is going to match your daily driving requirements, and you're thinking of making use of the current EV fringe benefits tax benefits, then be quick. Plug-in hybrids will no longer be included in the tax perk from 1 April 2025.

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 racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.