The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was probably the most eagerly awaited car of this year’s tests. With its combination of electric and petrol power, and the ability to complete journeys of 30 miles or so on electric power alone, everyone wanted to get their hands on the keys.

As a tow car, though, the Outlander has its limitations. The 1500kg towing weight is less than the 85% match figure, so the Mitsubishi can’t tow as much as you’d expect for a car of this size and weight. On the flat it had no trouble pulling a car weighted to the legal maximum, accelerating from 30-60mph in a brisk 12.7 seconds. Mind you, there’s a lot of noise from the petrol engine.

In a straight line, stability is good but without the solid, unshakeable feel of the very best tow cars. In the lane-change test the Outlander only started to struggle on the third and fastest run.

It’s the hill-start test that prevented the PHEV from finishing closer to the Jaguar XF and BMW 3 Series. The handbrake held with a firm pull, but the car only crept up the slope with the driver’s foot to the floor.

We shortlisted the PHEV for this year’s Green Award, so in addition to the usual tests the Outlander also tackled a route of A-roads and motorways while What Car?’s True MPG kit assessed the its economy. With a full battery the car achieved 40.6mpg. When repeating the route with the battery drained the car still achieved a reasonable 24.7mpg.

The PHEV makes most sense if you have a short commute and can run on electric power alone, in particular if you’re offered one as a tax-efficient company car. For regular towing, though, we prefer the diesel we tested last year.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.