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Drive

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

“Knock! Knock!” “Who’s there?” A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle…the ‘solution’ you’ve been waiting for!


Arguably one of the most technology significant SUVs of the decade

The term ‘solution’ is commonly used by manufacturers when developing new cars. The new model (being ‘the solution’) must meet a tick list of customer requirements depending on the vehicle category, usually fed by survey results.

In the SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) segment, the tick list  can be quite simple at one level; comfortable seating space for a young family of four or five, versatility, easy-loading luggage space , all-purpose usability, a high level of safety and so on. Most SUV’s on the market tick all boxes, and then it just boils down to a matter of personal choice.


 

Or does it? In truth market considerations for car manufacturers are far more complicated than that; often dictated by global issues, and finely tuned to international and national markets. Post-recession ‘global models’ i.e.one for all, is now commonplace amongst the big car makers.

Upping the game

So let’s up the game somewhat; how about taking advantage of government incentives to get us all driving electric cars, whilst conquering the current battery range anxiety issue? Even better if you could cash in on a few company car financial benefits along the way!

The drawbacks with many hybrids these days are higher purchase prices, and performance somewhat lacking over their petrol and diesel counterparts, so maybe a manufacturer could try tackling that one too .  If there’s a manufacture out there who could devise an SUV that could tackle all of these challenges without any of the drawbacks, we’d have a proper ‘solution’ in the making….

The perfect solution

Knock! Knock!” “Who’s there?” “Mitsubishi”, “Mitsubishi Who?” “The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV...“Well, can I help you?” “No” says Mitsubishi, but the new Outlander PHEV can help YOU!” “Oh, says I, “...and just exactly how might you do that?” “Simple”, says Mitsubishi, the new Outlander PHEV is the ‘solution’ to every single point you’ve just raised”.

And actually it is, making the new Outlander PHEV arguably one of the most technology significant  SUVs of the decade...It is certainly the most comprehensive ‘solution’ so far to embracing the alternative fuel challenges and the economic incentives that go with them. It hit the market discretely, yet it is deserving of accolades. Here’s why….

Honours

First of all, the Outlander is  cost-effective; qualifying for the Government’s £5,000 Plug-in Car Grant. What’s more there’s no price premium to pay for going hybrid. With emissions as low as 44g of CO2 per kilometre you don’t have to worry about paying car tax either. Nor the London Congestion Charge. What’s more, with just 5% Benefit in Kind (BIK) in the first 12 months, it leaves more money in the company car driver’s pocket by the end of the year.(and every little bit counts), companies benefiting  from 100% write-down allowance in the first year.

From a safety point of view the Outlander scores again with a top marks five-star Euro-NCAP safety rating, and it can be driven for 32.5 miles in pure EV mode which, according to its maker, is the distance of the average daily commute. The EV range is flexible too, allowing you to travel at the 70 mph national speed limit on electric power alone.The hybrid formula allowsall-electric operation for everyday use and mainly motor-powered hybrid operations for longer journeys.  When on the move the Outlander has a Battery Charge mode that allows the battery to be charged by the engine either when stationary or on the move.

It has a 2.0-litre petrol engine – and now petrol is significantly cheaper than diesel, that’s a real advantage. Currently, British Gas will supply and fit a domestic charging point at no cost, subject to eligibility. All we did was plug it into the domestic socket overnight via a special connector and, just like the mobile phone, it was ready for the morning – hassle free.

Five seats and four-wheel-drive takes care of the family and reassuring grip, and with an app that lets you heat it in the morning, and charge it while you sleep, convenience is the word. Facing the daily busy commute its fun going to work in silence. No road tax, no congestion charge, no noise….I’m loving it, the perfect ‘solution’ to a busy day.

- Kevin Haggarthy

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Inline 4-Cylinder DOHC MIVEC

0-62 mph: 11 seconds. Top speed mph (kph): 106 (170). CO2: 44g/km. Fuel system: Electronically-controlled direct injection. Fuel type: Unleaded. Battery (12V) type: 46B24L(S). Displacement cc: 1998. Charging time (approx) 13amp supply: 5 hours. Charging time (approx) 16amp supply: 3.5 hours. Charging time (approx) rapid charge to 80%: 30 minutes.