- Hybrid or diesel options to choose from
- PHEV model drives better than diesel
- Manual gearbox available in diesel only
There is a choice of Mitsubishi Outlander performance. A buyer can choose from a 150hp 2.2-litre diesel with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, or for drivers that rack up average miles or less in a mix of urban and open roads the Outlander PHEV hybrid model may appeal.
The 121hp hybrid uses twin electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries and a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Running costs on this version are particularly compelling and it is very close to the diesel in terms of performance.
Mitsubishi Outlander diesel
From a standing start the diesel Outlander can get from zero to 62mph in 9.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 124mph when mated to the manual gearbox, or up to 118mph with the automatic gearbox.
On the road the Mitsubishi is competent on all kinds of roads and at motorway speeds it makes light work of longer journeys.
When overtaking on single-lane carriageways you will have to drop the Outlander down a gear or two but thanks to the 380Nm of pulling power, passing slower traffic is a fairly simple affair.
Mitsubishi Outlander hybrid
The PHEV version launched in 2014 mixes petrol power with electric motors and batteries. The electric motors are powerful enough to deliver a claimed range of over 32 miles and to push the car to 70mph plus. With full hybrid power the car can hit a top speed of 106mph.
The advantage of the electric motors can really be felt in town as they quickly propel the Outlander off the line and can provide rapid progress through town.
The electric power is also strong enough for the Outlander to cruise along motorways at 70mph. Depending on the amount of charge in the batteries and/or the need for more speed (to overtake for example) then the petrol engine will start up to help recharge the batteries or provide more power to the wheels or both.
The PHEV uses a fully automated drivetrain system that automatically works out when to use electric and/or petrol power. There is a drive selector that engages drive, reverse, neutral or park.
You’re able to save electric power for low-emissions zones, or indeed tell the car to use the engine exclusively until the petrol runs out. This is carried out using buttons on the central console, allows the driver to have more control of the Outlander’s power management.
Updated 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
The big news for 2019 is the inclusion of a larger 2.4-litre petrol engine on the PHEV, with power rising to 135hp and torque to 211Nm. This means 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds.
A number of modifications have been made to the EV hardware, including a more powerful 95hp rear electric motor and battery output increasing by 10%. This gives the Outlander a greater sense of urgency when accelerating at low speeds.
Top speed in electric mode also increases from 78mph to 84mph.
However, it still uses a technologically advanced transmission and as such, can be susceptible to unpleasant noise without the associated acceleration when you hit the throttle pedal too hard. In this respect it performs similarly to a CVT. It's a car best driven slower.
The engine’s output can also be adapted using the two new drive modes: Sport and Snow, altering the throttle response, steering weight and torque delivery between the front and rear motors.
Petrol 2.0-litre AWD engine added to range for 2019
Available only with a CVT automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine was added to the range for the 2019 model year. This produces 150hp and 195Nm of torque, with 0-62mph taking 13.3 seconds. Top speed is rated at 118mph.
While paddles on the steering wheel allow you to take manual control of the simulated ratios, the drive mode buttons found on the PHEV are notably absent.
- PHEV drives better than diesel
- Four-wheel drive for off-road ability
- Updated in 2019 for a much better drive
Given that it’s quite a sizeable car, you might be surprised to find that the Mitsubishi Outlander’s handling is good. Of course there is quite a lot of body lean if you drive it enthusiastically through corners, but you have got to remember that this is a large car.
When driven in a less aggressive fashion the Outlander is more than comfortable on long motorway journeys. The only real downside is that there is not enough feedback through the steering wheel - but this is a comfy cruiser and not a performance model.
The Outlander has shed about 100kg of weight, which helps it to turn in and corner much better than its predecessor.
It also has a Multi-Select four-wheel drive system. This should help keep the Outlander in control whether the road surface is wet or dry, as it helps improve stability and traction. Fuel usage and emissions are also reduced by this system, thanks to the four-wheel drive being disengaged automatically when not needed. It’s an intelligent system that is worthwhile, both from the point of safety and improving fuel economy.
Handling: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
As with several other sections of this review, the PHEV Outlander differs from the regular diesel model. It has a significant number of heavy batteries that drive up the kerb weight, but updates to the 2019 model have meant it’s as good to drive as any other model in the range.
The steering response has been sharpened up, making the Outlander just that bit easier to manoeuvre, while firmer suspension reduces the amount of bodyroll when cornering. The stiffened-up body shell also helps deal with mid-corner bumps better. Larger front disc brakes should help it shed speed better too.
Its electrical all-wheel drive system is accurate in its torque distribution, meaning it’s fairly decent off-road too.
A new Sport button adjusts the four-wheel drive system for slightly livelier cornering. There’s also a new Snow mode that allows for more slippery conditions.
Towing with the Mitsubishi Outlander
The Outlander’s braked towing weight is 2,000kg for the diesel, but 1,500kg for the plug-in hybrid model.
- Not the prettiest, but comfy and useful
- Controls feel very hard-wearing
- Multimedia system left lacking
The interior of the Mitsubishi Outlander is a vast improvement on its predecessor. The plastics are softer to touch but put this up against a Toyota RAV4 and you will see that the interior is still lacking in quality and looks a little cheap.
The use of false aluminium or carbon-effect trim on the dash and doors is a tad gaudy and does nothing to raise the appeal of the interior of the Outlander. The high driving position does help to improve visibility, however.
We found the 2019 Outlander a much nicer environment. The revised dials are bright and easy to read, while the buttons on the centre console have been rearranged to cater for the Sport mode button.
Quilted leather, decent seats and a sunroof help a lot here on higher-spec versions, while the touchscreen multimedia system was conspicuous by its lack of built-in sat-nav. It does have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though.
- PHEV has an extremely quiet drive
- Non-adaptive suspension but still fairly comfy
- Supportive seats with lots of adjustment
In the main the Mitsubishi Outlander has high levels of comfort. The front seats are well bolstered although the side supports could be bigger to help keep you in place when cornering.
The cabin is much more refined than the previous generation. Road, wind and tyre noise don’t intrude into the cabin too much thanks to the thicker glass used in the windscreen.
Finding the perfect driving position is easy thanks a wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustments. The rear of the Outlander offers ample room for passengers over six feet tall and there are two seats in the boot of diesel models, though these are best for children. This makes the Outlander very useful if you have a big family or if you just need the flexibility of seven seats from time to time. However, the PHEV version only comes with five seats.
The ride is compliant and comfortable, meaning you will still feel fairly fresh even after a long motorway journey.
Comfort: 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander
The recalibrated suspension may improve its handling characteristics but the ride quality isn’t quite as soft as before, let alone cars equipped with adaptive dampers. This means the ride is a little busy on bumpy roads and never really settles down. Models prior to this update did isolate road imperfections better from the cabin.
Otherwise, the updated 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV remains to be a comfortable car. The front seats have been tweaked to provide more support while quilted leather items on the flagship 5s and 5hs models provide even more comfort.
The hybrid system means it can be almost silent on the move and there’s plenty of space for passengers on longer journeys. The addition of rear air vents will benefit passengers too, as well as the fitment of a USB port to power devices. Heated rear seats are also standard on 5s and 5hs models.