Mitsubishi Outlander: 4x4 with zero road tax

  • Petrol and electric-powered five-seater 4x4 attracts zero road tax
  • Claimed 32.5-mile range and up to 70mph on electric power alone
  • Prices start £28,249 after £5k Government grant for the GX3h model

Mitsubishi has launched its plug-in hybrid Outlander, and it's currently the only car of its type to cost the same as with the equivilent diesel engine, in entry-level GX3h guise.

What’s more, the five-seat 4x4 qualifies for zero road tax (and is London congestion charge exempt) and can run on just electric power for up to 32.5 miles.

Buyers are presented with a family car with a low cost of ownership and competitive purchase price because there is no price premium for the petrol and electric-powered Outlander over the diesel version.

This is unusual, since other plug-in hybrid cars - such as the Volvo V60 plug-in, costing £44,000 after the Government's plug-in vehicle grant - are significantly more costly to buy.

While the Outlander also qualifies for the grant, a far lower list price means Mitsubishi can offer it for sale at £28,249.

Decent-sized boot

The spacious Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid has a large boot of 463 litres with the rear seats up, making it a practical proposition. The boot in a 'normal' five-seat version of the Outlander measures 591 litres, so there's a bit of a penalty to pay for the batteries required for the hybrid system, but it's still far bigger than your average family hatchback.

Petrol and electric power

The twin electric motors are powered by batteries that can be recharged on the move or via a plug-in cable. On a full charge the Outlander can achieve speeds of up to 70mph.

Under the bonnet is a 2.0-litre petrol engine with an official claimed average fuel economy of 48mpg, but combined with the electric motors, the official fuel test puts the average at 188mpg.

We think it’s extremely unlikely that driving on UK roads and in real world traffic conditions that is achievable, but based on average mileage and a mix of driving conditions it should be possible to see over 100mpg.

Mitsubishi Outlander equipment levels

Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is offered in three trim levels: GX3h GX4h and GX4hs.

The GX3h features 18-inch alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free. Choose the GX4h also adds sat-nav with 7-inch touch screen, heated front seats (driver’s boasts electrically-powered adjustment), leather seats, reversing camera and power tailgate.

Range-topping GX4hs features the addition of adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and forward collision mitigation system (it can automatically apply the brakes if the car detects a crash into an object in front is inevitable).

Both the GX4h (£32,899) and GX4hs (£34,999) cost £1,000 more than the equivalent diesel-engined Outlanders, in part due to extra connectivity allowing owners to configure the heating and ventilation controls via a smartphone app.

Further strengthening the Outlander PHEV's case over the diesel are stronger resale values, with 49 percent of the purchase price expected to be retained after three years and 30,000 miles of driving.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is available to order now and to read the full Mitsubishi Outlander review click here.