Mitsubishi are making a bold move with their new Outlander PHEV
So what is a PHEV? Welcome the new ‘Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle’ from Mitsubishi.
I attended the launch of this latest model and was impressed as the future for better, greener vehicles becomes reality. As a new car proposition this car will be worthy of consideration if your commute is short to medium, if you travel on a lot of local trips, school runs, local shopping – anything up to 100 miles. The official Government figures of 148mpg for this car are realistic if your driving needs fit and regular re-charging is possible.
With just 44g/km CO2 emissions this car is congestion charge exempt and no road tax payable. For company car drivers this car will really benefit with just 5% company car tax liability.
The Outlander PHEV is powered by two electric motors, making it a true electric four wheel drive vehicle with an electric motor at the front and rear. Power is also supplied by the 2.0 litre petrol engine.
The PHEV takes up to 6 hours to charge on just a 13 amp supply with a dedicated circuit, however British Gas are installing chargers free of charge at present. With a proper installation this can reduce the charging time to just three hours.
The PHEV has a reasonable maximum range of 32.5 miles on pure electric. It will drive using electric power up to 70 mph, but at higher speeds the battery will run out quicker. When required the engine steps in to recharge the batteries to keep the car running. The benefit to the Outlander PHEV is, there is no range anxiety for the driver. On longer journeys when the electric power is depleted the fuel consumption will be in the 39mpg range, but still pretty acceptable for a vehicle of this size.
Overall the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a very well thought out inside and out. Features worth noting are the steering wheel paddles to reduce or increase brake regeneration. by using these regenerative power can be sent back to the batteries. You can reduce your speed with these paddles by increasing the regenerative braking and slowing the car instead of initially using the brakes. There is also button available to save the electric power to enable you to drive it just on the engine and then in town run around on EV mode. Also the engine can be selected and run at tickover to recharge the batteries. I am not sure of the real benefit of this from an economy point of view.
Another comforting feature that the team at Mitusbishi were keen to demonstrate was the way the car can be preheated while on charge. On a cold dark morning you can pre-set by timer or by using a smart phone app,the cars heater to turn on, warming the car throughout and clear the windows.
Being an electric plug in for most of the time, the car has a pretty decent ride for an SUV and is refined to drive. Still being a 4×4 there is perhaps some road noise, mainly because running on electric only makes the PVEV very quiet on the road. Comfortable inside and well specced, Once you get to know the car an economy minded green warrior would get into the technology of this vehicle. The driving experience is pretty good, although the information supplied by the displays although informative is a little bland in appearance and initially fiddly to find. An economy minded vehicle like the PHEV is not be built for truly sporty performance, but that isn’t to say it cannot be fun to drive. The real bonus of economy in the realm it offers would not be achievable if you were to drive it too hard.
At the launch there was a chance to take the car on an offroad route. Not serious ‘to the limit’ offroading but the car coped well with the undulating and muddy countryside. It was fun to drive such a quiet electric four wheel drive in the countryside and I wonder which animals you could creep up on. The PHEV has a four wheel drive lock mode for when the going gets sticky. Overall the experience even though part electric is the same as any other SUV off road.
Mitsubishi this year celebrates 40 years in the UK. The company is very excited at the prospects for this advanced SUV. Dealers are being trained to understand which customers will fit well with the Outlander PHEV.
Curious of this new technology, this car is seriously worth a test drive. The Outlander PHEV is clearly a large step in the right direction for a full a decent family sized SUV. The potential of very high economy is available, if your weekly driving pattern fits, it is more than worth a look and considering.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the only 4x4 SUV to qualify for the Plug-in Car Grant.The UK Government have just extended the UK Plug-in Car Grant. The Mitusubishi Outlander PHEV is also the only plug-in hybrid on the market to be priced at the same level as the diesel equivalent model. Once the Plug-in Car Grant has been taken into account. This makes the Outlander PHEV a viable alternative to a conventionally powered vehicle.
Car Reviewed: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Range Pricing – All Prices include the £5000 Government plug-in car grant £28,249 – £34,499
Electric Power Range 32.5 miles
Charging Times 13 amp 5 hours, 16 amp 3.5 hours, Rapid Charge to 80% 30 Minutes
Fuel economy: Combined 148.5 mpg
Emissions: CO2 44g/km
Engine 2.0L 16-valve 4 cylinder DOHC MIVEC, petrol
Front and Rear Motor 25Kw Max Output
Motor Max Torque Front 137Nm, Rear 195Nm
Power 119bhp @ 4500rpm
Torque 142 Nm @ 4000rpm
Electric Motor Power Max Voltage (v) 650 Max Power 80bhp Max torque 207 Nm
Battery Lithium-ion 300v storage capacity of 12.0 kWh
Insurance PHEV GX3h – 26E, PHEV GX4h – 27E, PHEV GX4hs – 24E,
Safety Five Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating
BIK for Company Car Drivers 5%
Residual Values Figures based on the GX4h over 3 years/30k miles have been set at 49%
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