Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX5h: Electric Boogaloo

In part 1, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX5h: Silent Night, MotorMartin looked at how this comfortable and well specified SUV, dealt with the daily commute and the environment that you found yourself in whilst crawling through the everyday traffic that seems to blight this green and pleasant land of ours. And for those of you interested in the history of the EV (Electric Vehicle), there are certainly a few surprises to be discovered in Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: Are Friends Electric?

Now regular readers will already know how much MotorMartin enjoyed his time with the PHEV GX4hs back in March whilst down in Bridgend with the excellent Nathaniel Mitsubishi, who can be contacted on 01656 339849, however, although the routes chosen in South Wales were an excellent test of the Mitsubishi’s ability, the offer from Mitsubishi UK to take the Outlander for a longer period of time and further afield was just too good to turn down.

The test route chosen by MotorMartin for the Outlander was designed to include a wide range of the incredibly diverse roads that we are rather privileged to have up here in Yorkshire as it winds its way towards the Flamborough Lighthouse on the North Yorkshire coast.

As previously discussed on MotorMartin, the Outlander is blessed with an excellent, comfortable cabin that can easily accommodate the average family, with the seat heaters and blue LED ambient lighting present in the rear, your passengers are going to be more than impressed. Indeed, the junior members of MotorMartin Towers had plenty of room to spread out with all of their detritus and enjoy the journey ahead. Up front it was simply a case of typing the address into the easy to use Sat Nav on the responsive HD 7″ Touchscreen display, choose the preferred route from the given options and away you go.

For a detailed discussion of the cabin ambience and features click here. Setting off out of Bradford is simplicity itself with the raised driving position and smooth power delivery, Mitsubishi have designed the Outlander from the very beginning to provide the driver with instant torque from the electric motor which translates into an extremely refined feeling as you drive along, the only giveaway that you’re not in something far more conventional being the previously mentioned complete lack of engine noise. This really needs to be experienced to be believed.

Once out of town and onto the A64 dual carriageway heading north towards the Bridlington turn off, this Mitsubishi really begins to get into its stride. Unlike some of the other hybrids on the roads today, the Outlander is designed to remain in pure electric mode whenever possible, at speeds of up to 75mph, allowing you to achieve some incredible ‘real life’ economy figures. The clever hybrid technology also work well when travelling further afield as MotorMartin is today, the three power modes available combining seemlessly to provide the best figures possible.

Mitsubishi provide the following information regarding the different engine modes which provide a fascinating insight into the thinking behind the PHEV technology. Mode 1 then is where twin motors power all four wheels using electricity from the lithium-ion batteries. Mode 2 is when 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) and mode 3 is when the petrol engine provides most of the power, with assistance from the motors when required. This is used only for high-speed motoring. And on a journey such as mine, all three modes will most definitely be used.

Once off the dual carriageway and onto the A166 it’s time to see what the Mitsubishi can do when the traffic clears and the bends begin to flow. With a gross vehicle weight of 1845kg, the Outlander is not going to be changing direction with the speed of a sportscar but by clever placing of the batteries low down beneath the cabin it means that this SUV remains stable and composed when attacking the bends with gusto. Electronic traction and stability control keep the chassis in check, allowing you to place the front end of the Mitsubishi exactly where you want it to be to make progress through the corners with the PHEV remaining remarkably flat as you enjoy yourself.

With clever use of the Battery Save mode, you can tell the Outlander to not use any battery power when on motorway, dual carriageway or A road which allows you to conserve battery power which can then be used once back in town or village where the technology provides you with the best efficiency.

A lighthouse was first built on the Flamborough Headland in 1669 but was never lit and remains within sight of the current lighthouse which was built in 1806. This (new) lighthouse still acts as a waypoint for deep sea vessels and coastal traffic as well as marking the Flamborough Headland for vessels heading for the ports of Scarborough and Bridlington and remains an important piece of architecture on this beautiful piece of coastline.

So where does that leave MotorMartin and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX4h? The whole point of the PHEV, in MotorMartin’s opinion, is to provide the consumer with a practical, stylish and ‘real life’ motoring answer to the problem of dwindling fossil fuels. The Electric Vehicles so far designed are seriously compromised by a lack of range and a truly nationwide charging infrastructure, all of which brings us back to the Outlander.

This really is a game changer, go to work and back Monday to Friday, plug the PHEV in every night and you won’t use a drop of petrol. Plan longer routes carefully to take in a charging point, the Mitsubishi can even direct you to the nearest if you so wish, and you’ll find vastly improved efficiency and economy figures easily achievable. Change your driving style, drive to the Outlander’s strengths and focus a little more on smoothness and planning ahead and you’ll also notice increases in economy. This Mitsubishi is an incredible piece of kit and I can’t wait to see how it evolves over time to become even more efficient.

For MotorMartin, this really could be a glimpse at the future of motoring. Well done Mitsubishi.

Where will you go?

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