B1 Intermediate US 12 Folder Collection
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The SUV behind me may look like almost any other on the market, but it has no less than
three motors, and has recently become the most popular alternative fuel car in the UK,
racking up more than 10,000 sales. This is the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid,
which utilises a petrol engine, two electric motors and a large battery pack, which you
can charge up at home. Because of this, it has an official fuel consumption figure of
148mpg and offers company car drivers' great savings on their tax bill thanks to 44g/km
CO2 emissions. Press this start button, and a series of gauges
come to life, with a green 'Ready' indicator letting the driver know the Outlander is ready
to go. Squeeze the throttle and you can make smooth and near silent progress, which gives
the PHEV a rather premium feel. Depending which driving mode you're in, the electric
motor can power the front wheels right up to the national speed limit, for a maximum
of around 30 miles. Charging takes around 5 hours from a standard 13amp socket, 3.5
hours from a 16amp home charger or 30 minutes for an 80% fast charge at a services.
If you want to save the battery power for later in your journey, this button maintains
the battery charge until you need it. But, in normal driving, both the 2.0-litre petrol
and electric motors juggle power to optimum effect. The Outlander will accelerate from
0-62mph in 11.7 seconds, which is around a second slower than the equivalent diesel,
but a smooth automatic gearbox and reassuring surge of power, means it feels quick enough.
In terms of driving fun, the PHEV is definitely a cruiser, with a reasonably comfortable ride
and very quiet cabin. But, the steering has a springy feel off centre, and the Outlander
feels its weight in sharp corners, so it's not a car to relish driving enthusiastically.
Instead, it's more satisfying to try and beat your best economy run or use the six
levels of regenerative braking to slow the car and put charge in the battery, without
touching the brakes. Like most SUVs, the Outlander has good visibility
thanks to its high driving position and large windows. The front seats are comfortable,
but don't offer too much lateral support in corners. There's a mixture of materials
in here, from the plush leather steering wheel in the GX3, to the leather seats in the GX4
trim and extended leather trim in the range-topping GX5h, but the quality of the plastics and
controls around the cabin does fall short of the best rivals.
But, the infotainment system, while still a bit aftermarket looking, is the best we've
experienced in a Mitsubishi and provides reams of information about how the hybrid systems
are working and plenty of connectivity options. There's also plenty of space, with lots
of head room and keen room for front and rear passengers. The 463-litre boot is only slightly
smaller than the standard Outlander, but the rear electric motor does mean it's not available
with the optional third row of kids seats. And, if you're wondering where the charging
cable is, it lives tucked away in here. Mitsubishi has deservedly had great success
with the PHEV, because for the same price as a diesel, you can have a quiet, well-equipped
and potentially very cheap to run SUV. We also think the relaxed power delivery of a
plug-in hybrid works particularly well in this type of vehicle, which isn't trying
to be an eco warrior and sporty hatchback all at once.
Charged each night, the Outlander could see an average commuter's fuel bills slashed.
But, as Mitsubishi says, drive more than 106 miles each day, and the gains over a diesel
are lost. So, the Outlander PHEV suits those with a reasonable daily commute and access
to a socket, and business drivers looking for a large vehicle with a small tax bill.
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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2015 review - Car Keys

12 Folder Collection
Takaaki Inoue published on July 2, 2020
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