MITSUBISHI believes it’s a game-changing SUV, but does the part electric Outlander spark our interest?
On the road
THIS particular Outlander may look like any other 4×4 from the outside, but it’s much more than that on the inside.
And while the name might not exactly trip off the tongue, the technology under the skin comes across loud and clear.
The PHEV is a plug-in hybrid with all the capabilities of a serious off-roader.
With a two-litre petrol engine allied to an electric motor it offers the best of both worlds and what’s more it seamlessly shifts between the two.
The additional weight that comes with carrying two forms of propulsion feels like a benefit rather than a hindrance, in terms of body control, as the Outlander isn’t as ungainly as some cars of its ilk.
On the inside
THE interior of the Outlander strikes a balance between function and form.
I found it easy to get comfortable and all the things you need on a regular basis come easily to hand.
As you might expect, views from all angles are very good and while you are sat higher than much of the rest of the traffic, it is not so tall as to cause vertigo in the nervous driver. A negative comes in the form of the touchscreen satellite navigation, audio and information system, which isn’t the most intuitive and often requires you to negotiate a number of screens to get to where you want to be.
What do you get
ALONG with the usual adornments, our PHEV came with a rear view camera, powered boot, keyless ignition, dual zone climate control, DAB radio, leather seats, electric sunroof, electric folding and heating mirrors, 18ins alloys and Bluetooth. There was also privacy glass, steering wheel audio controls, cruise control and a – highly sensitive – lane departure warning function.
How practical is it
THERE are a couple of areas of practicality to consider when evaluating the PHEV. Obviously, space is one, given that this is a fully functioning SUV. There’s more than enough room for five and when you need to transport more passengers, there’s the addition of two seats stowed away in the boot floor. Perhaps better suited to the younger or more agile among us, they were nevertheless a welcome option.
The boot isn’t the biggest at 463 litres, but it’s more than capable of carrying an average sized payload for the sector. On the technological front, on a full charge – which takes the best part of a day unless you have the benefit of a quick charger – you can get around 30 miles of fully electric running. That’s enough for those faced with an average daily commute and means you may never have to visit the petrol station. Not only that but it can also charge while underway or idling.
If you need to cover more miles, on a weekend say or in an emergency then there’s the reassurance of that tank of petrol.
The Outlander PHEV is competitively priced, is eligible for the Government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant and the entry level model costs the same as its diesel counterpart, which makes for a refreshing change.
As mentioned before, theoretically, you may never need to refuel again but when or if you do, you should be pleasantly surprised by the return you get. Mitsubishi states a theoretical high of 148mpg, but even an average of 50mpg in a real world driving scenario is a figure you wouldn’t baulk at from a diesel, never mind a petrol powered vehicle. CO2 emissions are incredibly low, from just 44g/km meaning no car tax.
Verdict: A BIG car that promises big savings.
Source: Northern Echo