The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is only a five-seater and its boot is a little smaller than in other Outlanders, but there’s plenty of room for all the passengers and a decent luggage capacity
One of the things that SUV owners like most about their cars is the high driving position, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers just that. You get a very good view out to the front and sides, with the relatively low dashboard being a real help.
For most people, the driving position will be perfectly comfortable, with a decent range of adjustment on the seat and wheel. However, it’s not perfect: if you’re over six feet tall, you may find that the seat is set a little too high and there’s not quite enough adjustment in the steering wheel to get completely comfortable.
It’s also disappointing that you can’t get any model with adjustable lumbar support, so you may find that you develop backache on long journeys as a result. On the other hand, every model does come with the luxury of heated seats, and only the most basic Juro models have to do without electric adjustment on the front seats.
Climb into the back, and there’s plenty of room there, too. And, if you have just a couple of passengers, they’ll both be very comfortable. Even if you have to get three across the back seat, it’s not a problem. There’s enough shoulder room for everyone, despite the fact that the centre seat is set a little higher and narrower than the outer two. Also, unlike in some SUVs, the floor is nice and flat, which means there’s space three sets of feet.
Where the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV differs from some other cars is that the buckle for the centre seat belt is quite large and can stick into the central passenger’s upper thigh, which is uncomfortable. But, as an extra little piece of luxury, you can adjust the angle of the rear seat.
If you want to get in some younger passengers, it’s less easy, however. The rear doors don’t open very wide, so it can be a bit of a squeeze to get a child seat inside – although the high roof does help a bit. And, then, once the seat is inside, it’s awkward to find the ISOFIX mounts, which are hidden away under the seat cushions.
Overall, perhaps the biggest drawback of the PHEV compared to other Outlanders is that it’s only a five-seater. The petrol-engined models are available with a third row of seats in the boot, but in the PHEV, that space has to be given over to the electric motors and batteries.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV good practicality extends to a decent amount of storage around the cabin. Not only is the glovebox reasonably big, there’s also a deep cubby under the central armrest that will swallow lots of odds and ends.
In addition to that, there are two cupholders in front of the gear selector, as well as a USB port and a 12V power socket. The bins in the front doors are very big, too, and include a built-in holder that will easily take a one-litre bottle of water.
Mitsubishi hasn’t forgotten the back-seat passengers, either. The bins in the rear doors are almost as big as the ones in the front, and there are two cupholders in the fold-down armrest.
The PHEV proves that you can have a plug-in hybrid that still does a very decent job as a five-seat family car
As well as preventing the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV from being a seven-seater, the batteries and electric motors also restrict the boot space. Petrol-engined Outlanders have a larger boot capacity in five-seat mode than the PHEV, and the hybrid’s 463-litre capacity is also smaller than the 547 litres you’ll find in a Toyota RAV4.
The biggest issue is that the batteries are under the floor, which is higher as a result. So, you once you’ve put a couple of suitcases inside, you can’t really put anything on top of them – which you would normally expect to be able to do in a car of this size.
That said, the shape is nice and square, while there’s no lip to left your luggage over. All of which means that it’s easy to load the boot, which is comfortably big enough to carry a baby stroller and a couple of large soft bags.
A handy compartment under the floor is perfect for taking the charge cable, so that won’t be flying around while you’re driving. Plus, there are two handy storage cubbies on either side of the boot, which will take smaller items and stop them rolling around.
The 12V socket may also come in handy, but it’s a little strange that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV still has a pair of cupholders in the boot, despite the fact that there will never be anyone sitting there.
When you do need more room for luggage, you can fold down the rear seats, which are split 60/40 in every model. It’s a little awkward that you have to flip up the rear seat bases before you can fold down the seat back, but once you’ve dropped the seats, they leave a flat floor, which makes it really easy to load things and slide them all the way to the back of the boot.
You have a total of 1,602 litres at your disposal. And, although this is slightly less than the 1,735 litres you get in a Toyota RAV4, it’s still enough to allow the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to carry a bike without removing one of its wheels.
Last, but not least, the back of the front passenger seat on every model can be folded forward, which allows you to carry very long items inside the car.