Silver Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV parked in an upmarket city street

Mitsubishi Outlander review (2012-2021)

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a practical and well-equipped SUV that's one of the most cost-effective plug-in hybrid SUVs you can buy.

Pros

  • Roomy body with the option of seven seats
  • All versions are extremely practical
  • Plug-in hybrid has the potential for excellent fuel economy.

Cons

  • The driving experience isn’t exciting
  • You’ll pay more for a used plug-in hybrid
  • Interior looks rather plain

Summary

"Roomy, comfortable and a cost-effective way to get a plug-in hybrid."

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a large SUV that’s easy to drive and practical enough for a growing family. Some versions have seven seats. There’s a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, although the PHEV only seats five. It was sold new in the UK between 2012 and 2021, with numerous minor design, specification and technical changes over that time.

If you don’t want to go for the PHEV, engine options are a little limited. The Outlander has always been well equipped, with the earlier GX3, GX4 and GX5 trim levels all including dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth and alloy wheels. Even the more recent entry-level trims come with a reversing camera and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.

What's the interior like?

“It offers plenty of room which is great for the family.”

The interior design of the Outlander is rather plain compared with many of its newer rivals but it feels solid and everything is easy to use.

Every Outlander has lots of space for five adults to sit in comfort and getting in and out is easy thanks to the large back doors. The petrol and diesel cars have a third row of seats that can fold flat into the boot and when they're not needed. These rear seats can accommodate adults but space is tight so it won’t be the most comfortable on long journeys.

With the third-row seats in place the boot of seven-seat versions is small, but when they're folded away the load space is large. The boot has a large, wide opening that makes loading up the car easy.

What's it like to drive?

“It offers a decent ride, while the PHEV is quiet when using pure-electric power.”

The Outlander is a fairly large, heavy SUV and it feels like one on the road. It's not as responsive or sporty as some other SUVs but the ride is generally relaxing and comfortable.

The Outlander PHEV is quiet when driving on electric-only power, while diesel and the petrol-only engines give adequate performance but aren't especially smooth or quiet.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“The PHEV makes by far the most sense from a financial perspective.”

The Outlander PHEV can be very cost-effective if you have regular access to a charge point. A home-charger or one at your place of work really makes the difference.

Pre-2017 cars get the added benefit of free road tax, as well as exemption from the London congestion charge. PHEVs sold later than April 2017 attract higher annual road tax, and watch out for higher-spec cars that cost more than £40,000 because you’ll have a luxury car surcharge to pay until the car is six years old.


The petrol is fine if you don’t do many miles but the diesel’s fuel consumption is much better. As it has so many plus points, the PHEV tends to have prices that are a little higher.

An easier way to find or sell a car

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Which one is best for you?

The Mitsubishi Outlander with the most obvious appeal is definitely the PHEV. But if you do regular long journeys, fuel consumption can be pretty high and a diesel version may make more sense. If you want seven seats, you’re restricted to non-hybrid models.


As for recommended trim levels, they all provide a reasonable level of kit at their respective price points. The later models with extra safety are worth a look, just be mindful of the possible luxury road-tax surcharge.