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Thursday 16 August 2018

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers the goods

As a tree-hugging greenie, I tend to be prejudiced against SUVs, but after a week with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, I couldn’t really find anything not to like.

This medium-size crossover drives great, it’s comfortable, and it has all the high-tech goodies we’ve come to expect. The electric range of 22 miles is enough to take trips around town without using any gas.

An SUV should excel at cargo carrying, and the Outlander delivers the goods. The cargo floor is low, there’s no liftover to speak of, and the rear seats fold perfectly flat, thanks to a clever spring-loaded device: pulling on a strap sproings the seat bottoms out of the way and allows the seat backs to fold down flat.

That said, on a square footage basis this SUV has less space than my Prius (I know, you’re all tired of hearing about Saint Prius). The two vehicles’ cargo decks are the same width, but that of the Prius is actually about four inches longer (because of the way the seats fold down). In terms of height, the Outlander beats the Prius by about five inches, and its rear compartment is more box-like (that is, the rear wall is close to vertical, whereas that of the Prius slopes down towards the back). So you could certainly fit more cargo in the Outlander, but it might require stacking objects on top of one another or standing them on end. Of course, the SUV does have slightly larger seats and more passenger headroom.


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