Bowen's Report Card
2021 Mitsubishi Outlander GSR PHEV full review
- Great fuel economy
- Composed ride
- Good tech
- New one about to launch
- PHEV is not for everyone
THE BOWEN SCORE
The Mitsubishi Outlander is so old I’m surprised barnacles haven’t found a home on it yet. But here’s the rub, the platform can be traced back to 2014 but even in 2021 it still manages to feel suitably adequate. It scored a facelift in 2017 and the same in 2021. The Plug-in (PHEV) variant has always been pretty handy at avoiding petrol stations. However, I do some have some other noteworthy news when it comes to the GSR variant, so read on.
Explaining hybrid or plug-in hybrid power outputs to someone requires an attention span much longer than mine, so try and stay with me.
The petrol engine is a 2.4L four-cylinder that generates 94kW at 4,500rmp and 199Nm at 4,500rpm. There’s a front electric motor with a maximum of 60kW and a rear electric motor capable of up to 70kW. If you blend all that data together the Outlander PHEV GSR produces 157kW and 332Nm.
The battery has a capacity of 13.8kWh, allowing in theory 54kms of electric only driving. To get that back requires a seven-hour charge via a domestic socket, three hours via a Type 2 charging box and 25mins via a fast DC charger.
It has just one single gear and AWD, it’s really a rather unique car. Thankfully all of the mumbo jumbo above actually translates to a very composed and even swift at times drive.
The GSR on show here scores fancy suspension supplied by Bilstein. Any car with an electric drivetrain handles differently than an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle. That’s because batteries are heavy and often create a lower centre of gravity due to their underfloor location.
The premium suspension setup really does give the Outlander a new lease on life. Body roll is minimal, plus ride comfort on all but the poorest roads is excellent. This also translates to a more serene driving experience for all in the cabin, especially from behind the wheel. When my wife takes a turn and walks in offering spades of praise, I know Mitsubishi have nailed it.
There are three drive modes. EV only mode will only use the electric front and rear motors until the battery is drained.
Series Hybrid Mode acts like most other hybrids using a combination of the petrol motor to run a generator to recharge the battery on the move. It is essentially acting as a range extender; its preference is to use the battery but steep hills or hard acceration will revert back to the petrol engine.
Finally, there is Parallel Hybrid Mode, now this is a tad complex. The petrol engine is given the role of powering the front wheels while the rear electric motor propels the rear wheels.
This is also an AWD SUV thanks to Mitsubishi’s Super All Wheel Control (S-AWC). Heck you can even lock the centre diff!
Value for money
The Mitsubishi Outlander kicks off at $52,990 or $56,490 drive-away. That’s still a hefty price tag, especially when the next generation Outlander has just been announced. The GSR scores over the base ES:
Black painted front and rear bumper skid plates, door mirrors, roof rails, and roof
- Black chrome plated radiator grille, front bumper air ducts, tailgate garnish
- 18” black/machined two-tone alloy wheels
- LED headlamps with auto levelling and front fog lamps
- Styling includes black accents such as shift knob, roof lining and A-pillar trim, silver stitched armrest, door trim, and steering wheel.
- Driver comfort is assured with a 4-way driver power seat with microsuede facings and synthetic leather bolsters
- Mitsubishi 8-speaker premium audio
- Power tailgate
Safety and Technology
The Outlander PHEV is fitted with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking that will intervene if you don’t. There are rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. The GSR adds more gear such as Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Front Parking Sensors.
The Outlander PHEV also has currently dormant but emerging technology. The Nissan Leaf EV also has what is known as Vehicle to Home (V2H) and Vehicle to Grid (V2G) capability. What this means is that your vehicle is a potential portable battery. Power can be sucked out of it to run the house in the morning or send unused power back to the grid.
This is yet another reason not to pay thousands for a Solar / Battery setup. Install as many panels as you can, we did recently and trust me it’s the only way to go given the ever changing battery scene.
To do all this you will need a Bi-directional charger, the Australian market is already seeing some arrive this year. It’s a very interesting development and a true glimpse into the future.
The infotainment screen is rather small at 8.0-inches but does have wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What I love
The colour. “Red Diamond” with a “Black Mica” roof.
Bowen’s report card
The range of PHEVs has steadily been going up, I feel 54km is pretty much on point for many. It wasn’t for us, given our distance from the CBD. However, we still managed a tidy 3.8L/100km. I just can’t see why you’d buy an Outlander right now, considering a brand new one is coming. At the end of the day though, Mitsubishi has done well over many years now, refining and updating the Outlander PHEV. It’s a 78 out of 100 from me.