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Popular plug-in Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hones hybrid highlights

PUBLISHED: 12:27 26 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:27 26 November 2018

Refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been substantially revised including a bigger petrol engine and more efficient plug-in hybrid system. Picture: Mitsubishi

Refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been substantially revised including a bigger petrol engine and more efficient plug-in hybrid system. Picture: Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV is the UK’s best-selling plug-in hybrid – Ryan Hirons drives the new, improved version of the popular, electrified SUV.

New Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's rear spoiler brings a fresh edge at the back. Picture: MitsubishiNew Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's rear spoiler brings a fresh edge at the back. Picture: Mitsubishi

Think PHEV and you’re likely to think of the Mitsubishi Outlander. After all, the Japanese company’s SUV has long been the best-selling plug-in hybrid vehicle in the UK, accounting for one in six sales.

Mitsubishi isn’t resting on its laurels and has refreshed the Outlander PHEV. At first glance, you may be hard-pressed to notice any changes but the revisions are quite substantial.

A new 2.4-litre engine offers more power and better efficiency than its 2.0-litre predecessor, while a revised hybrid system has Mitsubishi claiming more range and improved battery performance too.

Inside, there are more supportive seats, a new instrument cluster, ‘more convenient’ USB ports and the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a practical SUV and a popular plug-in hybrid. Picture: MitsubishiRefreshed Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a practical SUV and a popular plug-in hybrid. Picture: Mitsubishi

Looks and image

A new front grille and bumpers feature along with updated fog lamp bezels, while a rear spoiler brings a fresh edge at the back. There’s also new 18in alloy wheels.

It’s pretty inoffensive to look at – imore about function than form, which is no bad thing, but those looking for sheer style may not find it here.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is claimed to travel 28 miles on a charge. Picture: MitsubishiMitsubishi Outlander PHEV is claimed to travel 28 miles on a charge. Picture: Mitsubishi

Under the bonnet

The revised 2.4-litre petrol engine produces 135PS and 211Nm of torque, the battery-powered electric motor a further 95PS and 195Nm. Both are linked to a CVT transmission.

The system feels more refined and fruitful than before. Perhaps most impressive is the electric vehicle (EV) range – a claimed 28 miles (35 in city driving) realistically enough for a daily commute.

Cabin and fascia feature a lot of plastics. Picture: MitsubishiCabin and fascia feature a lot of plastics. Picture: Mitsubishi

How it drives

Ride comfort feels marginally better and the suspension more supple, while improved sound-deadening creates an overall more refined experience and makes it more pleasant for long-distance cruising.

It feels pretty big on the road, although good visibility and the addition of a reversing camera help in tight spots.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers decent cabin accommodation. Picture: MitsubishiMitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers decent cabin accommodation. Picture: Mitsubishi

Space and comfort

The cabin may have been tweaked but plastics are a common feature, along with aluminium-effect trim.

The new seats are an improvement on those of the old car, but they’re quite firm.

The 463-litre boot is respectable given the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's large drive battery. Picture: MitsubishiThe 463-litre boot is respectable given the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV's large drive battery. Picture: Mitsubishi

The new instrument cluster is certainly an improvement, offering better clarity and a good amount of detail on the workings of the PHEV’s hybrid system.

Interior space is the same and there’s a 463-litre boot – respectable given it’s carrying a load of batteries.

Final say

The Outlander PHEV is now more comfortable, efficient, well equipped and better to drive so it should continue to sell well and makes even more sense if you have a reasonable commute but need SUV practicality.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: £36,755 to £45,600 on the road

Powertrain: 2,360cc, 135PS four-cylinder petrol engine with 95PS electric motor

Performance: 0-62mph 10.5 seconds; top speed 106mph

MPG: 139 combined

CO2 emissions: 46g/km

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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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