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Review: Customer Experience with 3 Days of Test Driving the Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

24 May 2021

The Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been on New Zealand roads for a few months now, and the impact this model is having on the medium-sized SUV market is quite remarkable. For many, this is their first foray into PHEV technology, and we can't think of a more incredible introduction to the technology than the Next Gen Outlander PHEV.

But we are a Mitsubishi dealership, so that is exactly what you would expect to hear right? And the sceptical few out there are going to take our word with a grain of salt.  So we decided to have a chat with one of our customers, Mils, about his experience driving the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Mils is not a car reviewer. He doesn't work in the industry. He's an average Kiwi who spent 3 days on the road in the latest Outlander PHEV. Let's find his unbiased opinion, including what he liked and disliked, about the Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.


First Impressions

The latest iteration of Outlander features a bold new design that is a slight departure from previous models. The biggest Outlander to date, Mils noted that he thought the SUV " looked very slick" remarking that it reminded him a little bit of a Land Rover - which is a compliment in his books.

This premium impression was further iterated when Mils sat inside the vehicle, instantly recognising the reworked interior and inclusion of luxurious touch points that seamlessly blend into the Outlander's array of technical features.

"Sitting in the car for the first time, I was very impressed with the leather and big screens - It felt more like a new piece of technology than just a car. The interior is plush, with comfy seats - I especially liked the seat heaters! The interior definitely has a premium feel to it."

One of the reasons SUVs are so popular in New Zealand is their versatility - the ability to throw the fishing rods in the back, round up the whanau and head out on an adventure. Part of this appeal is having the room required to easily transform your car from a daily runner to a comfortable vehicle to embark on a road trip in. Mils weighed in on this, noting that "the car feels extremely spacious. The back seats have a ton of room and the fold-out seats at the back are fantastic for bigger families. If you don’t use the additional seats, there is a tonne of room in the boot for longer travels" however he did caveat this by adding "I'm not sure that the rear 6th and 7th seat would be able to comfortably sit anyone older than maybe 8 years old for longer journeys".

Driving the Next Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

One of the unique features of Mitsubishi vehicles is their different drive modes. With the PHEV variations, this is particularly interesting as you now are in control of the  electric motor technology. The Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV features 3 different drive modes -  EV mode,  Parallel Hybrid Mode and Series Hybrid Mode. These modes can be manually selected, but can also seamlessly transition from one mode to another to get the most out of the electric motors and combustion engine. This allows the Outlander PHEV  to achieve maximum fuel efficiency and performance.

"The first thing I wanted to do was play around with the different drive modes. I started with full EV to get a sense of how the full electric mode drives. It felt strange that there was no noise when accelerating but it was awesome to know that I was driving with absolutely no fuel used".

In EV mode, the Outlander PHEV is capable of travelling up to 84km on battery alone, providing the driver with fuel-free freedom for the vast majority of their commutes. However, when the Outlander PHEV requires a bit more power, needs to recharge the battery, or travel a greater distance, Parallel Hybrid and Series Hybrid Mode recruit the Outlander's combustion engine.

"As I got on the motorway, I put the car into performance mode to see how it drives with full power. I was extremely impressed with how quick it is off the mark. It was effortless when it came to overtaking. It provided "torque-y" smooth power delivery - it's very responsive with the EV motor kicking in the second you hit the accelerator before the petrol comes in for additional power. The handling feels flat and direct, super impressive for a large car".

Mitsubishi has taken care in pairing the power and performance of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV with state-of-the-art driver assist technology and safety features.

"One of the first things that got me excited about the driver assist features, and probably the thing I will use the most, is the reversing camera features. It gives such good visibility for a large car. As I reversed out of the car park, I found the reverse camera and the top-down 360 views incredibly intuitive to use. It makes reversing and parallel parking a breeze… While driving, I found the cruise control so easy to use - especially with its speed limiter function and radar following distance with multiple distances to choose from".

While Mils loved the rest of the features of the car, claiming that the "Safety features were not obtrusive during the driving"  he did however remark that the "Infotainment can’t be controlled with your arm resting on the centre console - meaning it’s difficult to change radio etc while driving. With that said however, all the controls are on the steering wheel so you can comfortably change the stations with both hands on the wheel!"


One of the fears people have about adopting a PHEV is how it will fit into their existing lifestyle. We are so reliant on petrol that the prospect of having to charge a car at home can seem like a strange change.

"The ability to plug the car into a standard NZ wall outlet is super convenient for anybody using it as a daily commuter."

This allows owners to just plug the car in overnight, ensuring that when they wake up the next day their battery is fully charged and ready to go. There's no need to install a fast charge station in your home. One downside Mils did note however was that you "can't fold the rear seats down and store the charging plugs at the same time".

"Owning a vehicle with such a large battery does offer some neat opportunities. As an avid outdoorsman, I like the fact there is a standard 3 prong outlet in the boot - to power things during camping, for instance".

Mils ended his thought on the Next Gen Outlander PHEV somewhat poetically:

"While I was driving, I looked up and noticed that the roof was openable. I pushed the button to open the roof and was stunned at the fact that it opened to the back seat. I can only imagine how cool that would be at night looking up at the stars while sitting on the warm seats! Not only can you look through the roof window, but you can open the window itself giving a feel of a convertible!"

I think it's fair to say, Mils is a fan of the Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Simon Lucas is Auckland's Mitsubishi PHEV Experts

Don't believe Mils's experience with the Next Gen Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? Why not try it out for yourself? Get in contact with Simon Lucas today, or swing into our North Shore showroom to book a test drive today. We know you're going to love it!



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