THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

Lancashire Life - - ARTS & EVENTS - WORDS: Chris Pick­er­ing

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

The Mit­subishi Out­lander PHEV has con­sis­tently topped the list of the UK’S best­selling plug-in hy­brid ve­hi­cles ever since the orig­i­nal ver­sion was launched in 2014. It com­bines two elec­tric mo­tors with a con­ven­tional petrol en­gine to pro­vide im­pres­sive re­al­world fuel econ­omy, per­ma­nent four-wheel drive and the op­tion of trav­el­ling up to 28 miles on elec­tric­ity alone.

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 run­ning on elec­tric­ity alone 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, so some peo­ple could fea­si­bly carry out all of their day-to­day driv­ing with­out us­ing a sin­gle drop of fuel. Switch to hy­brid mode and the fuel econ­omy will de­pend heav­ily on how of­ten you need to use the petrol en­gine, but keep the bat­tery topped up and over 100mpg is at­tain­able on short trips. Even with the bat­tery de­pleted we av­er­aged 43mpg, which is im­pres­sive for a car of this size.

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

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