PHEV for Australian camping, light offroad

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forum

Help Support Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


New member
Jun 26, 2023
Hi all,
First post here! Not an immediate purchase, but prob in the next 12 months or so I'm looking to replace my current people-carrier/MPV/minivan which we currently use for car camping with something that's more sustainable in terms of the wellbeing of Earth, and that will also let us do some more adventerous camping/touring locations in QLD and far north NSW. We aren't interested in hard-core 4WD drive stuff - just being able to handle some dirt roads, tracks and corriugations etc.

I used to have an i-miev and absolutely loved it, so in terms of electric elemtns of the drivetrain, I'm really happy, as this will be our only vehicle so my commute and grocery runs etc will be covered entirely almost entirely within the electric range, with the ICE there for longer trips.

I do find the different generations and localisations of the Outlander confusing though, and am a bit unsure about it's capabilities, so hopefully someone on the forums with local experience of the vehicle in Aus can help out? The sort of thing we're looking to do is fit a roof tent, awning, some decent tyres, and use the inverter from the traction battery to handle our (pretty basic) electrical needs, have a water bladder in the rear footwells, and a fridge in the back.

Firstly, which Outlander PHEVs in the Australian market come with the 240v power outlet? Was this with the Outlander from the beginning, or is it a newer thing? How's it held up when used for camping? We'd like to run a modest fridge (30-40L), a laptop charger and some USB fairy lights, charge GPS / Satphone etc.

Secondly, is it possible to fit some more dirt friendly tyres to the stock vehicle, without messing about with suspension? Again not for hardcore off roading, but dirt roads, some gentle water crossings etc, as well as daily driving.

Thirdly, sort of related to the above but are the standard shocks/springs etc capable of handling rougher tracks (esp corrugations), and if not - is there anything for the PHEV on the Aus. market that would be up for the job without doing any wild mods or costing a fortune?

Lastly, is the underbody protected in any meaningful way? I'm not worried about it bottoming out so much, as we aren't going to go crazy, but more worried about damage from loose stones on the road, or any stupidly low hanging intakes down there that will flood or get clogged up at the first sign of dust or water. Are there any after-market protection kits available, should it be needed?
My instinct is that the Outlander PHEV is not for you.

It's a city style soft-roader.

It has terrible ground clearance and has a host of electronics that are probably very sensitive to water incursion.
If the electronics are injured, you end up with a car that cannot be driven.

Every gram of stuff you put onto the car, including heavier tyres, will reduce the electric range of the car in the city.

If you do take one off the bitumen, you'll need to find a way to carry a spare.
(Mitsubishi don't provide a spare wheel, because of the amount that reduces electric range.)

For specifics, you'll need to talk to people about specific models.

Mine doesn't have any under-body protection, nor does it have an inverter or outlet.

One forum member has posted that the PHEV does do very well in sand.
On a four wheel drive course, the instructors were unable to bog the PHEV.
(Possibly a combination of the extra 800kg weight, and the high torque at 0 RPM.)
That would be the last vehicle to take on a trip outside civilization, honestly.

It can do DRY light offroad, but the fuel tank is so small...

You can go camping at a nearby mountain or a park if the roads allow, but you should probably get another vehicle for regular light offroading, especially if there's water and mud.

The Toyota LandCruiser Prado is a pretty good choice.
I may have painted too bleak a picture, because of the question about buying under body protection.

I routinely take mine for short distances on unsealed roads (i.e. less than 5km), and use the car for things like hauling my kayak around.

My concern was about extended periods of unsealed roads and the risk of cracking the battery compartment, and the risk of being stranded by water incursion.

Similarly, if the original author was thinking about fitting a roo bar, a winch, under armour, carrying spare wheels etc. the result would be greatly reduced city range, and pretty much negating the value of having a plug-in hybrid.

Mine has been on dirt roads, wet grassy fields, beaches, and car parks near boat ramps.

Probably what I should have said, is: "If you're only using roads where you'd confidently take a regular two wheel drive sedan, the PHEV will excel in those environments."

But if you're thinking of anything that you'd be using an off-road vehicle for, then probably not the PHEV.