Sue Cooke takes the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for a test drive
Facts at a Glance:
Model: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4hs | Price: £41,600 otr | Engine: 2.4 litre Auto | Performance: 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 106 mph | CO2 emissions: 46 g/km (WLTP) : Combined fuel consumption: 139mpg (WLTP)
January for me means a New Year, new resolutions and new decisions. And one of those decisions is to make the most of the March number plate changes and buy a new car. With the increasing wintry weather, SUV sales are rising, but I am really spoilt for choice.
I’m tempted to follow in my son’s footsteps and look at the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, one of the UK’s best-selling plug in hybrids. Benefits like low VED and low Benefit in Kind rates, make it a popular company car but the spacious Outlander PHEV which is so economical to run and has all wheel drive to help with slippery road conditions is great for families too. And for long distance driving this month, to see relatives who live further away, the seats are very comfortable.
The 2019 Outlander PHEV is the most technically advanced SUV ever produced by MMC and was first launched in the UK in 2014. For 2019, changes to the exterior include a new front grille, bumper and fog lamp bezels and a new LED headlamp system. I’m so glad designers kept the quirky ‘transformer like’ projections which emerge from the bumper and squirt water up at the headlamps. I could have watched them for ages. There is a new rear bumper and spoiler and a new 18” alloy wheel design.
In the interior, there is a stylish new front seat design and a reduction in cabin noise and there is an enhanced level of equipment. My son was interested to check out the new “Sport” button, which he doesn’t have on his older PHEV. Press the button and there is a sharper throttle responsiveness, sportier power steering and more grip via the Super All-Wheel Control system. There is also a new SNOW mode to improve low-grip and cornering abilities on slippery surfaces. The traction control system has been revised to improve hill-climbing performance.
There is a long list of safety equipment such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure warning and forward collision mitigation. There is also a 360-degree camera which displays a bird’s eye view of the perimeter of the vehicle, which is now one of my ‘must haves’.
A new 2.4 litre petrol engine which I road tested produces more power and more torque. Owners will notice the difference on inclines and when attempting rapid acceleration which is some 0.5 seconds faster than before. Top speed in EV mode moves up from 78mph to 84mph, where legally permitted. The new powertrain is also more efficient, burning less fuel particularly under light load conditions such as when motorway cruising. Extreme quiet on start-up and in EV mode is one of the features I like the most about the Outlander PHEV. It is so calming and encourages smooth, jerk free driving.
I like the automatic tailgate which opens to an absolutely huge boot that will carry 463 litres and there is an under-floor cargo box which copes with 35 litres. There are useful deep pockets either side of the boot space which are ideal for holding the odd carrier bag when you don’t want the contents to spill onto the floor. The battery is housed under the boot area but certainly doesn’t detract from capacity.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a great family car even without the attraction of the Plug in Car Grant, which the Government has decided to stop and which is totally at odds with its Road to Zero Strategy! New Year, New Decision?