The all-new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV – is set to go on sale from March 31, priced from $47,490 plus on-road costs.
A two-tier range comprising the entry-level PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) and $52,490 PHEV Aspire are offered exclusively with four-wheel-drive and Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC), originally developed for the Lancer Evolution.
Key features across both model variants include 18-inch alloy wheels, auto HID headlights, reverse-view camera and rear parking sensors, 7.0-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, auto entry and push button start, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and seven airbags.
The top-spec PHEV Aspire gains leather trim, remote power tailgate, electric sunroof, heated front seats, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat and a Wi-Fi-based EV remote system. This feature allows owners to switch on the air conditioning or even check the car’s charging status remotely using their tablet or smartphone.
It also boasts additional active safety equipment including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning, while both variants boast the same ANCAP five-star safety rating as the standard Outlander.
While the interior and dash is mostly the same as that in the standard Outlander, the PHEV swaps the rev-counter with a power metre along with some unique graphics relating to the power flow and energy consumption.
There’s also a joystick-style selector that replaces the conventional gear shifter.
Unlike the latest Outlander range that offers a seven-seat architecture, the PHEV versions are only available in five-seat guise, due to its reworked platform to accommodate the battery pack and crash safety requirements.
Based on the company’s regular Outlander, the PHEV combines a pair of electric motors that drive the front and rear axles independently with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that can also drive the front wheels.
The PHEV boasts an official all-electric range of around 52 kilometres on a fully charged battery, and can be driven at speeds of up to 120km/h without using any fuel.
A full charge takes around five hours using a dedicated 15amp power outlet, which Mitsubishi claim would cost approximately $3.60 based on an average electricity supply rate of 30 cents per kilowatt-hour. The PHEV comes standard with a plug-in connector that is stored under the boot floor.
While Mitsubishi has not provided performance data for the PHEV, combined power and torque for the two electric motors is 120kW/332Nm respectively, and 87kW/186Nm for the petrol engine.
The PHEV also claims the title of the most fuel-efficient SUV in Australia with a combined fuel consumption of 1.9 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of just 44gm/km – the lowest official ADR fuel consumption figure of any SUV sold in Australia.
The PHEV offers three different modes of operation: EV Drive Mode, Series and Parallel modes. EV Mode refers to the PHEVs all-electric propulsion, where the wheels are driven by the front and rear electric motors. In the PHEV’s two hybrid modes – Series and Parallel – the 2.0 petrol engine is engaged to increase power to the battery or directly to the wheels, depending on the driving conditions.
The Outlander PHEV’s electric range can also be extended by use of the vehicle’s regenerative braking technology. There are six regenerative braking settings on offer (B0-B5), which the driver can select using the steering wheel mounted paddleshifters.
When the drive battery is depleted the PHEV can be switched to Battery Charge Mode, which uses the petrol engine as a generator. Alternatively there’s a Battery Save Mode that maintains the battery charge while driving.
Mitsubishi doesn’t provide any service for the battery – it claims it should be service free for the life of the vehicle.
The PHEV also benefits from Mitsubishi’s five-year/100,000km new car warranty, as well as capped-price servicing and roadside assistance.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Key Features:
Five seats with black cloth trim and leather look inserts
Hill Start Control (HSC)
Smart Key with One Touch Start operation
Audio system with Sat Nav, turn-by-turn function and 3D mapping
Bluetooth® hands free operation with voice control
18-inch machine-faced alloy wheels
Silver painted roof rails
Fog lamps with chrome fog lamp bezels
LED rear tail lamps
Tilt and telescopic steering adjustment
MMCS audio with 7-inch colour touch screen
Auto rain sensing wipers
Dual-zone climate control air-conditioning
Rear parking sensors
Dusk sensing HID headlamps with auto levelling
Chrome inner door handles
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Aspire standard features over PHEV:
Power tailgate with remote operation
Electric sliding sunroof
Leather seat trim
Heated front seats
6-way electric adjustable driver’s seat
Forward Collision Mitigation
Adaptive Cruise Control
Wi-Fi based EV remote system
Mitsubishi Outlander 2014 range pricing (plus on-road costs):
ES 2.0-litre petrol 2WD manual $27,740
ES 2.0-litre petrol 2WD CVT – $29,990
ES 2.4-litre petrol CVT 4WD – $32,990
LS 2.0-litre petrol 2WD CVT – $33,490
LS 2.4-litre petrol 4WD CVT – $36,490
LS 2.2-litre diesel 4WD auto – $39,490
Aspire 2.4-litre petrol 4WD CVT – $43,890
Aspire 2.2-litre diesel 4WD auto – $46,890
Outlander PHEV – $47,490
Outlander PHEV Aspire – $52,490