Mit­subishi’s new SUV Out­lander a cool dude

Wales On Sunday - - MOTORS WALES -

THERE are some big com­pa­nies and or­gan­i­sa­tions who get quite hot un­der the col­lar when their name is du­pli­cated – not so Out­lander.

On the one hand you have the hot and steamy tele­vi­sion se­ries of the books by Diana Ga­bal­don and on the other the UK’s best sell­ing plug-in hy­brid from Mit­subishi, a big cool guy with a real world fig­ure of 139mpg and just 46g/km of CO2 emis­sions.

Un­usu­ally in to­day’s liti­gious world, the two ex­ist quite har­mo­niously al­though it does cross your mind that Claire and Jamie could well profit from some of the amaz­ing ca­pa­bil­ity of the Out­lander SUV PHEV as they make their of­ten fraught way across our tele­vi­sion screens.

This new­est and lat­est ver­sion of the Out­lander has the fin­ish­ing school fi­nesse and pol­ish that makes it a fine fit for 2019 and the be­gin­ning of the 21st cen­tury’s next decade.

The ex­te­rior tweaks – the 18-inch al­loys and large in­te­grated rear roof spoiler – give it a sporty feel for an SUV and a strong pres­ence on the road.

“The fu­ture is EV and PHEV and that’s what Mit­subishi is about,” said UK man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rob Lind­ley. “We of­fer a sig­nif­i­cantly grow­ing choice for a broad range of driv­ers with an EV range of 28-35 miles but this is only part of the story. It’s the real world driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that peo­ple will ap­pre­ci­ate.”

Launched in 2014, the Out­lander passed the 100,000 mile­stone in Jan­uary this year – to date in 2018, 4,200 cars have been sold.

Now Mit­subishi is out to sur­pass all that with a ve­hi­cle which matches 2019 ex­pec­ta­tions.

In­side the car is more lux­u­ri­ous and very quiet – well it has to be when the elec­tric mo­tor is en­gaged be­cause then there is no hid­ing place.

Any noise is im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent espe­cially when this car can do up to 84mph in elec­tric ve­hi­cle mode.

The seats are com­fort­able and elec­tri­cally ad­justed and there is plenty of space in the in­te­rior be­cause the 13.8kW bat­tery is neatly packed into the floor.

While the driv­ing po­si­tion re­mains el­e­vated the ex­tra weight from the bat­tery keeps the Out­lander firmly planted on the ground.

The new 2019 model swaps the 2.0-litre petrol en­gine of the pre­vi­ous model with a 2.4-litre ver­sion which mated to the two elec­tric mo­tors – one on each axle – gives the car an over­all power per­for­mance of 135hp, 14hp more than be­fore.

But that’s not all Mit­subishi is anx­ious to em­pha­sise and hav­ing driven this lat­est model I have to agree.

The steer­ing is more re­spon­sive be­cause of the remapped rack, the ride is more com­fort­able be­cause the sus­pen­sion has been re­cal­i­brated and the han­dling is far sharper.

It also comes with Sport mode which al­lows you to open up the car on long straight roads for an ex­hil­a­rat­ing drive.

It re­mains all wheel drive and added to this ca­pa­bil­ity is the new Snow mode for bet­ter trac­tion on slip­pery sur­faces. I can just see Claire and Jamie now swerv­ing off the ac­cepted route and de­vi­at­ing ’cross glen and hill in this car, leav­ing their pur­suers far be­hind, and do­ing it qui­etly in EV mode.

Of course there is also se­ries hy­brid mode when the car will switch in and out of all-elec­tric and petrol en­gine when needed and par­al­lel mode when both power sources are used to­gether for a real boost.

Sur­plus en­gine torque, coast­ing and brak­ing will all re­gen­er­ate the bat­tery while on the move, un­til you can plug it in at home or at an on-street fast charger where it will charge to 80 per cent in 25 min­utes.

There are five Out­lander trims – Juro, 4h, 4hs, 5h and 5hs.

Even in the en­try level Juro you get re­mote smart­phone app com­pat­i­bil­ity which al­lows you to warm up the car re­motely so it is ready for you when you get in, as well as a re­verse cam­era and cruise con­trol.

Move up to 4 and there is blind spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear cross traf­fic alert, a 360 de­gree cam­era and add on the s and there are a whole raft of safety sys­tems in­cluded. The 5 adds a more pre­mium trim within the car.

The Out­lander com­pletes the 0-62 dash in 10-5 sec­onds which may not be as fast as its Out­lander coun­ter­parts on the small screen but in this case you re­ally want safety and sta­bil­ity over raunchy at any time.

It is avail­able from £34,255 for the en­try level trim up to £43,100 for the 5hs with all the bells and whis­tles.

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