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Used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV long-term test review

Does buying a used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV make more sense than getting a new one and can its exceptional on-paper economy be matched in real-world conditions? We've got six months to find out

Words By Mark Pearson

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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
  • The car 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5hs
  • Run by Mark Pearson, used cars deputy editor
  • Why it’s here To find out if a used petrol-electric hybrid SUV makes any sort of financial sense and to see if it can live up to its impressive claimed fuel consumption figures
  • Needs to Cope with a variety of uses, including daily commuting, motorway journeys, school runs and family life, as well as proving itself a sound alternative to its large SUV rivals

Price when new Β£43,555 (including government grant) Value on arrival Β£28,068 Value now Β£28,068 Miles on arrival 8455 Mileage now 10,425 Official economy 166.1mpg Test economy 38.6 Emissions, yearly tax 41g/km CO2, 0% tax 0-62mph 11sec Top speed 106mph Power 198bhp Insurance group 27E


21 March 2018 – saying goodbye to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

So after six months of wafting around town on electric-only power, it's time to bid farewell to our long-term Outlander PHEV. Ours was a two-pronged mission, remember: to find out if the Outlander could live up to its outrageous fuel economy figures and to discover if running a used one made more sense than splashing out on a new one.

Well, I can tell you straight away that if the only purpose of our test had been to see whether buying used made sense, then the answer would have been a resounding yes; our car was in nearly every way as good as new. True, the children of the previous owners had rather ingeniously left some toys buried deep within the bodywork, but that was soon remedied. There was a suggestion that the steering was out of kilter, too, but it was not irritating enough for me to do anything about it during our tenure. Everything else was faultless, spotless and blameless.

And that’s not really surprising. The Outlander had a perfect score of 100% in our 2017 reliability survey. With that kind of reassurance behind you, why would you not consider a used one?

You’ll soon get used to all the luxuries our top-of-the-range 5hs version offers, too, such as heated seats and steering wheel, as well as a raft of safety features, including lane departure warning and a collision mitigation system. On top of that, the spacious interior and practical boot were a constant boon. And never forget that our car would have set you back some Β£15,000 less than a new one, enough to buy you another car.

However, if the purpose of our long-term test was to establish whether the petrol-electric hybrid bit of the equation made any sense in the real world, then I’m afraid I’m not so sure. Yes, if you used it purely for short hops and school runs, and charged it up in-between, then it most certainly does make sense. Its electric-only range varied between 14 and 28 miles, depending on weather; I used it for a 12-mile round-trip daily commute, where it worked very nicely indeed.

However, if your journeys are of a more regular length and type and you don’t have access to a charging point, the jury’s out. You see, once you’d used up that electric range, you are for most of the time left with just a petrol engine propelling a rather heavy and blunt-nosed SUV. Mid-length journeys worked out at around 35mpg, while longer ones could see that fuel economy plummet; a colleague took it all the way from Twickenham to Yorkshire on petrol only and averaged just 27mpg.

But if the Outlander PHEV does fit in with your lifestyle, then what you will have is a spacious and practical car that will cost you very little to run – and that, like its around-town silence, is deeply impressive. It's a little old-fashioned in the way it drives, the infotainment system is a little clunky in use – bordering on the frustrating, actually – and the ride’s a bit unsettled, but these things might not be enough to stop you from buying one. After all, in our post-Dieselgate times, it’s certainly an eco-friendly choice. And I certainly wouldn’t be put off buying a used one.


Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – test data

Dealer price now Β£27,532 Private price now Β£24,473 Trade-in price now Β£23,264 Test economy 38.6mpg Official average 166.1mpg Contract hire Β£685.44 Cost per mile 14p Total running cost Β£332 Insurance group 24 Typical insurance quote Β£685

Next: More from our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV >

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