Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2.0 4WD 5hs
Is the UK’S best-selling electri ed vehicle easy to live with? We’re running a 2016 model to nd out
Mileage 8455 Price when new £43,555 (including gov’t grant) Value on arrival £28,068 Test economy 48.4mpg
“OH, SHE’S ELECTRIC,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our used Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large ‘PHEV’ badge on the flanks of the car.
That signifies that our car is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) – bang on trend for our changing times, despite this model actually having been on sale since 2014. Underneath the Outlander’s long bonnet is a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to two batterydriven electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, enabling the Outlander to be driven by engine power alone, by the batteries or by a combination of the two. These batteries can be charged a bit while the car’s on the move or plugged into the mains for a proper dosage.
Fully charged, the car should have an electric-only driving range of around 30 miles. Perhaps more impressively, its official fuel consumption is listed at 166.1mpg and its CO2 emissions at 41g/km – extraordinarily good for a large, practical five-seat SUV.
The regular Outlander has sold pretty well, even though it makes do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier. It’s the UK’S bestselling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 sold to date, despite the halving last year of the government grant that applies when buying a new one to £2500. So popular
is the Outlander that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all PHEVS on our roads.
Our new long-termer is a 2016, one-careful-owner car, which I picked up from Mitsubishi dealer Shelly Motors in Epsom, Surrey. On close inspection, our car certainly seems little troubled by its one year of usage. I was interested to hear that if you were to buy one like ours from a main dealer, it would currently set you back around £28,000. New, our top-spec 5hs model will cost you a whopping £43,555, and that’s after subtracting the grant, so straight away there’s a lot to be gained by buying a used example.
You do get a lot of kit for that money, mind you, including a range of safety and convenience features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and a collision mitigation system. The exterior has plenty of elements to please the eye, including colourkeyed bumpers, door mirrors and door handles, while the interior is swathed in nappa leather.
Hop in and first impressions are favourable. There’s certainly no sign of any wear. In fact, it really does look as good as new, and there’s loads of head and leg room, too. Unfortunately, the hybrid Outlander is five-seat only, whereas the diesel model has seven seats, but at least all five occupants have plenty of space to lounge around in. The driving position is tall, upright – commanding, even – and, although the placement of some of the switches seems a bit haphazard and the touchscreen infotainment system is a little clunky to use, the instruments are clear and easily readable. Also, the Outlander is easy to drive. So far, I’ve discovered that the best thing to do is to work out what methods of propulsion the car is using while you’re driving. There’s a handy energy flow display on the screen that shows you just that and, as with all similar cars, the object soon becomes seeing how long you can keep the car going on full electric drive around town before the engine cuts in. It’s early days, but I reckon this ability to cruise around town in near silence on electric power will turn out to be the car’s greatest asset – there aren’t many cars of a similar size that can pull off this trick, even if the Outlander can’t do it for that long. So, we’re going to be running this car for the next few months to see if it can live up to those bold fuel economy claims (unlikely, we admit, due to the inaccuracy of official tests, but it’ll be interesting to see what we can actually get from it in everyday use) and, of course, to see how it stacks up as a used car proposition. Is it too early to say that our Outlander will match our high hopes? Definitely maybe, some might say.
WHY WE’RE RUNNING IT
To nd out if a used hybrid SUV makes nancial sense and to see how close it can get to its astronomical of cial fuel economy gure ‘I reckon the Outlander’s ability to cruise around town on electric power will be its greatest asset’
Shelly Motors’ brand manager presents Mark with his used Outlander
An unsettled ride is one of the Outlander’s weaknesses
Hybrids registered before April 2017 are road tax exempt
18in alloy wheels are standard on all Outlander PHEVS
You can monitor where the car is drawing its power from
5h and 5hs models have ‘Outlander’ on their bonnets