What we like about this Outlander is that Mitsubishi has realised that, while a plug-in hybrid is at its best when used as an EV, we don’t live in the perfect world that might always give access to a power socket. So it makes life easy for when you haven’t got one.

It has a decent range, it doesn’t have reduced power and it doesn’t necessitate going out of your way or waiting hours to charge if you know you’ll want electric power in a few miles’ time.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
It's a true no-brainer for company 4x4 drivers; otherwise the Mitsubishi is ordinary

Apart from two rearmost seats and a bit of towing capacity, the PHEV retains all of the regular Outlander’s practicality. It’s more than respectable off road, too. All of which means it is just as usable as the standard Outlander, just as cheap to buy and potentially a great deal cheaper to own – for which we rather like it.

But while low running costs are ultimately the car’s most persuasive asset, but they’re not quite persuasive enough to unseat the most appealing mid-sized 4x4 in our estimations.

For many the Ford Kuga will still prove the more attractive choice, thanks to its value, running costs, decent practicality and stand-out handling capabilities.

Top 5 Crossover hatchbacks

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The Mitsubishi's plus points and hybrid powertrain does, however, turn something of an also-ran into a real contender.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week