Daily Mail Australia trialled Mitsubishi’s new Outlander Plug-In EV. The new car gives you an electric driving experience, with the reassurance of a hybrid petrol engine, plus the power of both when needed. Owners can also power a range of domestic, office, industrial and leisure appliances via its power outlet, which uses its drive battery as a power source.
I was recently lucky enough to try out Mitsubishi’s new hybrid Outlander for a planned family road trip down Sydney’s east coast.
And having spent 12 hours in this car with two kids, I can confidently say we would embark on more long trips if this was our ‘forever’ vehicle.
From the moment I saw the new Outlander model I was impressed with its two-toned, sophisticated paneling. Even my notoriously picky four-year-old yelled out ‘now that’s a cool car’ when he spotted it.
His tween sister was pleased with how ‘comfy’ it was, thrilled by the heated massage chairs and took charge of the sunroof and music controls immediately.
Now, to be completely transparent, it is important for you to know I rock around in a 2011 Corolla day-to-day.
I took the new Mitsubishi Plug-in Outlander Hybrid EV out for a weekend
The car felt stylish for a seven-seater and was super comfortable to drive
I have always loved it for its fuel efficiency and because it is easy to park in Sydney’s chaotic eastern suburbs.
Anything slightly fresher with a few more mod-cons is likely to impress me – but having driven and tested many different cars, this is the smoothest yet.
I have also embarked on road trips all over Australia, including in my beloved sedan, and know that the right car makes all the difference.
The ‘plug-in’ hybrid Outlander is priced from $61,000, the model I tested was top of the range and worth $76,600. These prices are subject to change and reflect the recommended cost of display models.
It took a little while to get used to being so high, but the sensors made all the difference and I felt safe and in control from the moment I jumped behind the wheel.
The boot is so big I decided I didn’t need to play Tetris to pack it in and the back seat had plenty of room for passengers and their things to fit comfortably
I have also embarked on road trips all over Australia, including in my beloved sedan, and know that the right car makes all the difference
I drove 630km in this car and didn’t even use half of the tank. The car figures out which energy source to use – and lets you know what it is drawing from in a simple dial on the dash.
We went down to Ulladulla on the south coast and took the scenic, very windy route through Cambewarra and the Southern Highlands on the way home.
The battery charges when breaking which is a great feature. I was going to try to charge it up with the house cables or at the service station but it seemed redundant as it still had power and petrol when I delivered it back to base.
Power and handling
The hybrid Outlander picked up when I wanted it to, and was the perfect car for long stretches of highway driving.
I switched on the cruise control and let the car do the work but it didn’t disappoint on the curly bits either.
The south coast has some pretty narrow roads, some of them with gaping pot holes, wildlife and steep drops.
The dual colour paneling looks very cool
The speed limiter was a great option here because I could control the lower speeds without having to worry about cracking the limit.
When you do, the acceleration is limited and the car beeps to let you know you’ve surpassed the limit.
The car stuck to the road and when I had to move quickly to avoid a wombat I did so with ease; it felt like a zippy city car in so many ways.
When it started raining the car held true, all that changed was the need for wipers.
For a big car, this was far too easy.
The display shows you a bird’s eye view of your car and the spot, which was pretty unusual, but once I got used to it I loved it.
The usual assisted parking sensors helped too and my fears about finding a spot to park in the city were quickly alleviated.
I think it could still be a struggle to fit in some areas of the eastern suburbs in summer but the bells and whistles help.
Style and capacity
I was impressed with how roomy this car felt on the inside. I struggled to reach back to get dropped toys and I feel like I can touch the entire back floor of my Corolla.
No problem with that though as it meant everyone had their own space and breathing room on the long journey. Anyone with kids knows the ‘THEY ARE IN MY SPACE’ complaint.
The heated massage chairs were also a big hit and a nice treat for a long drive
The power plugs in the back of the car would be handy for camping tips – we planned on blowing up some inflatables with out big pump but the rain put a dampener on the idea
There’s also the option to pop up another row for more people or so everyone can have an empty seat beside them.
There was so much room in the back I didn’t even try to pack our luggage neatly as there was no need – for once, a game of boot Tetris wasn’t needed.
I just threw it in – scooters and all.
The dual-colour leather interior inside looks just as luxe as the outside and the built in window shades in the back along with the skylights were the perfect finishing touches.
It felt like every detail was taken care of and the entire experience was exactly what I’d hope for in a car of this standard.
Now for the cons
I only had two complaints.
The wireless charger
I have been in a few cars where the centre console acts as a wireless charger. It is a nifty accessory and handy when your cable is out of reach or in use by another passenger.
But in this car it just didn’t function as well as I’d have liked.
The phone needed to be placed in the perfect position to charge, if it moved at all in transit it would stop and only begin again if it happened to shift back into place.
I haven’t encountered this problem in cars with similar features and if I hadn’t have noticed early on I would have been pretty disappointed if my phone died on me half way through the trip.
If I owned this car I would have to make sure I had a cord plugged in at all times, because I can’t afford to have my battery run flat.
The car has car play the wireless charging is in the cosnole under the sound system controls
About the Hybrid Outlander’s bi-directional charging
• Bi-directional charging is the next evolution in the interaction between electric vehicles and energy infrastructure, allowing two-way transfer into and out of the EV or PHEV vehicle’s on-board battery storage system. This enables the user to deploy the stored energy in several ways; for mobility; to supply their home (V2H) or business (V2B); or to supply energy back to the grid (V2G).
• A bi-directional charger works similarly to a conventional DC charger, converting AC electricity from the grid to the DC electricity required by EV batteries, but it is also capable of converting this electricity back from DC to AC. As a result, the stored energy can be drawn from the vehicle’s battery and supplied externally.
• The new Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV and Eclipse Cross Plug-in Hybrid EV models are bi-directional capable as standard, via their CHAdeMO DC charging ports.
• Vehicle to Grid, or V2G, is when a bi-directional charger is connected to an EV Battery allowing electricity from the battery to be supplied to the grid, or to supply a home or building connected to the grid.
• V2G has the potential to assist with grid stability during supply and demand fluctuations and with congestion management (store during low demand and supply during high demand). It can also be used for price arbitrage (buy low/sell high).
• All of these use cases have the potential to unlock new value streams for the user, while offering wider benefits to all grid users, such as increased grid reliability, increased renewable energy mix, and cheaper energy prices.
• Vehicle to Grid technology has the potential to transform the way we utilise vehicles, transport and energy in our day-to-day lives. What is Vehicle to Load?
• Similar to the All-new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the 23MY Eclipse Cross PHEV now features Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) capability.
• Accessed via a three-pin 240-volt power outlet (same as you find at home) and with a total 1500W output, owners can power a range of domestic, office, industrial and leisure appliances via this power outlet, which uses vehicle’s drive battery as a power source.
• The outlet is accessibly placed in the rear luggage compartment on Eclipse Cross PHEVs, while Outlander PHEVs receive a secondary outlet on the rear of the centre console.
• V2L capability is fitted as standard to 23MY Eclipse Cross ASPIRE and EXCEED variants.
The car has two power plugs for electricity on one side of the car and a normal petrol tank on the other
Fingerprints and dust
Whether or not it was due to detailing methods I can’t be sure but I did notice this car became unclean quicker than expected.
Finger marks seemed to show up on the leather interior more than I’ve noticed before and were quite difficult to wipe away.
The dirt from the road and rain also seemed to stick and dull the car’s shine. Again, this could have been due to chemicals used in detailing.
But all in all the Outlander felt like the perfect family road trip car.
My four-year-old couldn’t believe the ‘ugly, old white car’ was back after our getaway and demanded what had happened to the ‘lovely big, fast’ car.
I give it a confident 4.5 stars overall and would be delighted to get back behind the wheel any day.
Below are the specifications for the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid EV:
• Vehicle-To-Load (V2L) – The V2L capacity allows drivers to power a range of domestic, office and leisure appliances via the power outlet, using the vehicle’s drive battery as a power source.
• Smartphone link Display Audio with 8′ touchscreen – Allowing you to connect your phone to the vehicles display so that you can access your apps, make calls, send texts and listen to music while staying focused on the road.
• All-Wheel Drive (AWD) – A system in which a car’s engine sends power to move all four wheels, allowing drivers to tackle even slippery or ice-covered roads.
• Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC) – A 4WD system which dramatically improvees the handling and stability of the vehicle.
• Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel controls and voice control
• Rear view camera
• Rear parking sensors
• 20KWh Lithium-ion Battery Pack – Quickly recharge your Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV to 80% capacity in as little as 38 minutes using a public rapid recharging station, or plug into any standard power point to charge your Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV in approximately 9.5 hours, or in 6.5 hours using a home or public charging device (EVSE).
• 2.4L Petrol Engine
• Two Electric Drive Motors (Twin Motors) – delivering incredible amounts of torque for lightning fast acceleration and an exhilarating driving experience.
• Variable Mode Regenerative Braking System – Allowing the vehicle to harvest electrical energy from the braking mechanism.
• Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) – A system which detects obstructions ahead and issues a visual and audio alert where there is a danger of collision, automatically applying the brakes to avoid collision or reduce impact.
• Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – issues an audible alert and shows a warning on the multifunction display if your vehicle drifts from its lane while the turn signals are not operating.
• Class leading electric range of 84km
• Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB)
• 7 Drive Modes
• Mode 2 & 3 Charge Cable – For charging the vehicle