Expert car reviewer Andrew Frankel says the Outlander represents a new genre of vehicle: one that combines the rugged capabilities of a 4x4, with the no-emission qualities of a modern city car .
By first turning it into a plug-in hybrid and then not making the mistake of charging a fortune for it, Mitsubishi has transformed the Outlander from a competent class performer to by far the most interesting car in the category. For many it will be the most effective, too.
The obvious appeal is that it will do over 30 miles before the petrol engine needs to cut in, so most commuters, most of the time will waft around in zero emissions, cheap as chips, electrically powered heaven. But when you do need the 2-litre petrol motor, you’ll find an abundance of smooth, pleasant performance and a respectable range. It has one more trick up its sleeve too: you can plug it into the mains but you can also use the engine to charge the batteries, meaning you can have a full charge whenever you want. When town centres become emissions-free zones, that’s going to be crucially important because you’ll always be able to arrive at the city limits with a full charge. In other areas the Outlander is spacious, comfortable and easy to live with – and great for towing – in other words, all the things a car like this should be.
- Engine: 1998cc, 203bhp
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Top speed: 111mph
- 0-60mph acceleration: 11.0sec
- Claimed economy: 148mpg
- VED: Group A
- Insurance group: 26 (1=low, 50=high)