MITSUBISHI'S plug-in hybrid Outlander model has been gaining all the accolades in recent years, but the original and more conventional vehicle is still worth checking out.
Sharing the same rugged and athletic looks as the PHEV model, the Outlander looks ready for action from any angle thanks to 18-inch alloys, neat light clusters with daytime running lights, an automatic tailgate, body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, tinted windows, roof rails, skid plates and a beefy grille and bumpers.
One of the highlight features of the Outlander is how comfortable it is and how simple it is to drive - it's one of those cars that you immediately feel at home with the second you get behind the wheel. And there are plenty of techno treats to be explored too.
Creature comforts include a DAB digital radio, full multimedia connectivity, dual zone air conditioning, heated seats, sat nav, cruise control and a clear and precise instrument panel which is driver-focused.
This particular car was powered by a 2.2-litre 147bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It sprints from 0-62mph in 11.6 seconds, maxes out at 118mph, delivers combined fuel efficiency of 48.7mpg with carbon emissions of 154g/km.
There is a switch that enables the driver to move between three driving modes depending on the terrain and conditions. These are Eco which powers just the front wheels, Auto which is perfect for more wintry conditions and Lock which is great for off-roading or challenging surfaces.
And that means when you're driving the Outlander you can go pretty much anywhere whenever you want. There will be no more ‘stuck on the driveway' or ‘fear of getting home in a snow flurry' scenarios because the Outlander is equipped to deal with anything Mother Nature throws at it.
But when it comes to regular day-to-day driving, it's also rather refined. The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility which makes it easy to spot cars or pedestrians darting out from all angles. In busy traffic it ambles along with ease and the manoeuvrability is impressive with light, yet precise steering.
Then out on the faster roads, it is super grippy meaning long sweeping bends can be attacked with confidence. The acceleration is good with a constant supply of power on tap at all times.
I did find the diesel powertrain a little grumbly at times, especially if pushed hard and a certain amount of road surface noise does filter through to the cabin, but that aside, the Outlander was a delight to drive.
Comfort levels are good with space for five adults to travel in comfort. There are also two additional flip-up seats in the back which are suitable for children. The boot has a capacity ranging from 128 litres to 1,608 litres and there are plenty of handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car.