THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

The re­cently-re­vamped Mitsubishi Out­lander PHEV com­bines the ben­e­fits of an elec­tric car with the con­ve­nience of a petrol en­gine

EDP Norfolk - - MOTORING - WORDS: Chris Pick­er­ing

The Mitsubishi Out­lander PHEV has con­sis­tently topped the list of the UK’s best-sell­ing plug-in hy­brid ve­hi­cles since the 2014 launch of the orig­i­nal ver­sion.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

The lat­est model fea­tures a raft of im­prove­ments, in­clud­ing a new 2.4-litre petrol en­gine, an up­rated elec­tric mo­tor on the rear and a slightly larger (13.8kWh) bat­tery. Charg­ing takes ap­prox­i­mately five hours on a stan­dard three-pin do­mes­tic plug and equates to around a third of the cost you’d spend on fuel for an equiv­a­lent petrol-only model. What’s more, there’s a grow­ing network of public charg­ing points that will do it in as lit­tle as 25 min­utes.

We man­aged a real-world elec­tric range of 23.3 miles. That might not sound like much, but it’s more than twice the length of the av­er­age UK com­mute. Switch to hy­brid mode and the fuel econ­omy will de­pend on how of­ten you need to use the petrol en­gine, but keep the bat­tery topped up and over 100mpg is at­tain­able on short trips.

HOW IT DRIVES

The Out­lander PHEV’s elec­tric driv­e­train is smooth and vir­tu­ally si­lent at low speeds. Things do get a lit­tle louder when the petrol en­gine wakes up, and there is a touch of wind and road noise, but it re­mains an im­pres­sively refined pack­age over­all. The elec­tric mo­tors pro­vide plenty of torque, which means that the ini­tial pull­away feels live­lier than the 10.5 sec­ond 0-to-62 mph time might im­ply. And, while it never sets out to be sporty, the Out­lander PHEV han­dles sur­pris­ingly well for a big car, with crisp steer­ing and a nicely bal­anced chas­sis.

SPACE AND COM­FORT

The plug-in hy­brid ver­sion of the Out­lander comes with five seats (unlike its petrol and diesel equiv­a­lents that of­fer seven). Un­less you re­ally need the third row, how­ever, there’s lit­tle to choose be­tween them. There’s still plenty of head and legroom, plus lots of stor­age space.

AT THE WHEEL

There are five (me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal) trim specs, rang­ing from £36,755 to £46,060. All bar­ring the en­try level Juro fea­ture leather seats, while a seven-inch touch­screen dis­play is stan­dard on all mod­els.

FI­NAL SAY

The gov­ern­ment may have scaled back the fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for plug-in hy­brids, but there is still the po­ten­tial to save sig­nif­i­cantly on run­ning costs. Gen­er­ous equip­ment lev­els en­sure that the Out­lander PHEV’s ap­peal ex­tends be­yond its eco credential­s.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: Mitsubishi Out­lander PHEV 4HS £42,020 (range from £36,755)

En­gine: 2,360 cc, 224PS, in-line four cylin­der petrol hy­brid with sin­gle-speed trans­mis­sion

Per­for­mance: 0 to 62mph in 10.5 sec­onds; top speed 106mph

Fuel econ­omy: 139.7mpg (WLTP com­bined)

Elec­tric range: 28 miles (WLTP)

Elec­tric­ity use: 169Wh/km (WLTP weighted av­er­age) CO2 emis­sions: 46g/km N

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