Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: Don’t Stop Me Now.

I think it’s fair to say that MotorMartin enjoys technology in a car, with the gradual integration of Bluetooth, music streaming and built in Sat Nav, not to mention stalwarts such as cruise control, the interior fixtures and fittings of today’s car are becoming the new battleground between manufacturers. Now would appear to be a technological golden age for the motorist.

It wasn’t that long ago that all of the interesting bits and pieces that you or I aspired to have, would only be present on the very high end motor cars such as the Mercedes S Class or 7 Series BMW. You certainly wouldn’t expect something as workmanlike as a 4 X 4 to be filled with anything other than hard wearing vinyls and plastic, perhaps stretching to a heater at best however, even the briefest of glances over the interior of the Mitsubishi fills you with anticipation for the journey ahead. For the science fiction fans out there, of which MotorMartin is one, it’s clear that this SUV has benefitted from the mid life refresh as it wears its technology on its sleeve. I love it.

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Yet, in Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV part 1 http://motormartin.com/2016/04/24/mitsubishi-outlander-phev-are-friends-electric/, MotorMartin only briefly touched upon what makes the PHEV so spectacular focusing instead on how the Mitsubishi looks. And so part 2 is to focus on the technology present and driving experience offered by the Outlander to every consumer that enters the dealership. After all, this is not a one off concept car, designed to showcase Mitsubishi’s grasp of this new technology but something that you or I can go out and buy, later today or tomorrow if need be.

So then, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the snappily titled 4 X 4 SUV. Ultimately, you’re looking at buying this incredible vehicle for two reasons.

1. The possibility of vast MPG
2. No Road Tax or congestion charge
3. 4 X 4 go anywhere ability

Three reasons then. So how does the Outlander PHEV achieve the claimed MPG figure of 156? Mitsubishi have shared with MotorMartin that “If your regular journeys are a mix of town and/or country roads interspersed with stretches of faster carriageway, and less than 32 miles between charging opportunities, you could actually achieve considerably more miles to the gallon. On longer, high speed journeys the PHEV will mainly use the petrol engine so petrol consumption will obviously be higher. Indeed, in practice some drivers have achieved many hundreds of miles on just one gallon of fuel since the Outlander PHEV is designed to remain in pure electric mode whenever possible, at speeds of up to 75mph.”

The PHEV is a masterful display of thinking outside the box. Mitsubishi designed the Outlander from the outset with incredible mileage their goal but you’ll gain most of the benefits through regular recharging and town use. That said, keep your journeys at around 30 miles or so before plugging in and you shouldn’t need to fill up for many, many, many miles. Incredible.

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To achieve such phenomenal figures the Mitsubishi essentially has three motors, a 2.0L petrol that acts as a generator for the twin electric motors. Cleverly, the PHEV has three different driving modes designed to make the powertrain decide upon the mist efficient use of the horses available at any time. Mode 1 or EV drive mode is where the twin motors power all four wheels using electricity from the lithium-ion battery. Mode 2 is the series hybrid mode where the petrol engine operates as a generator, supplying electricity to the battery which in turn powers the motors. This is a highly efficient use of fuel and occurs when the battery charge falls below a pre-determined level or when more powerful performance is required (when overtaking, for example, or climbing a hill) whilst Mode 3 is the parallel hybrid mode whereby the petrol engine provides most of the power, with assistance from the motors when required. This is used only for high-speed motoring.

There are different modes that you can use to maximise the efficiency of the Outlander when driving as you can choose how and when the battery is used. The Outlander PHEV sports a host of simple to use features that, Mitsubishi tell us, give you complete control as you can activate power saving, eco mode and regenerative braking at the touch of a button. Whilst driving, everything you need to know, from efficiency to the electric and petrol range is displayed in front of you on the comprehensive dashboard display.

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Many more words will be written about the cleverness of the PHEVs drivetrain in print, digitally and elswhere but for now, I want to focus on MotorMartin’s driving experience on the roads of South Wales around Bridgend. Further questions regarding the Outlander’s technology can be answered by the friendly team at Nathaniel Cars on 01656 339849 or check their website at http://www.nathanielcars.co.uk/new-cars/mitsubishi/ whilst prices range from £31,749 TO £42,999 including the £2,500 Government Plug-in Car Grant.

Mitsubishi’s own YouTube Channel provides a number of short films highlighting some of the unique features of the Outlander PHEV and are well worth a look for additional information on the Mitsubishi. Even starting and stopping is an event in MotorMartin’s eyes:

The moment you press the start button and are met by the blinking lights of the dashboard as it wakes up is when you notice the main difference between this and the similarly priced diesel Outlander. Silence. Putting the automatic box into drive and pulling away under a slight throttle and you find yourself checking the dials for signs of life as the experience is so strange to someone not used to EV power. I suppose the biggest compliment that MotorMartin can pay the PHEV is that, once underway, the Outlander feels just like the high end SUV you expect it to be, aside from the unnerving lack of engine noise. The driving experience is one where the mode of propulsion is not something that makes itself known apart from the ever so slight rise in engine noise when the petrol motor kicks seamlessly in.

The gearbox works as expected with well placed ratios allowing the incredible torque to be used in full whilst a 0-62mph time of 11.0s is not overly fast, it’s surely more than enough for ‘real life’ motoring. The biggest aspect of the PHEV to get your head around are the different driving modes previously mentioned or, for those who just want to get in and drive, MotorMartin recommends leaving the Mitsubishi in Eco mode and just enjoying the drive. After all, whilst enjoying a journey that mixed motorway driving, fast A roads as well as twisting back lanes the Outlander was registering a mightily impressive 76.8mpg. And that was with no real thought being put into MotorMartin’s driving style. I’m sure that with more attention paid to the miniature of driving, I could have stretched that figure into one much closer to that which Mitsubishi’s claim.

The ride quality is extremely good in the Outlander as it soaks up the lumps and bumps of the road with almost Jaguar esq. levels of comfort, seemingly uninterrupted by any imperfections. Space is superb for front and rear passengers whilst a heated seat and steering wheel is surely the stuff of dreams.

Although primarily used on tarmac the Outlander is also an extremely capable 4 X 4 as can be seen on this film supplied again by Mitsubishi from their YouTube channel:

Further films have been made available, again on Mitsubishi’s YouTube channel that run through different aspects of the PHEV and are well worth a view. Thanks for that Mitsubishi, perhaps other manufacturers can take note?

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To sum up then, what more do you want from a vehicle? The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is chock full of technology, features an extremely well made interior, space, comfort, an amazing engine/s, fabulous economy and emissions and all in a good looking, well proportioned SUV. MotorMartin loves it.

Where will you go?

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