THERE'S no denying the overwhelming success of Mitsubishi's Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
In fact, since its launch back in 2014 it has gone on to be the UK's best-selling PHEV with 26,600 sales notched up by the end of last year.
Now Mitsubishi has really upped the ante with its revised model which boasts an EV priority mode, reduced emissions, improved charging times and increased battery range.
The chassis has also been modified with new dampers and improved suspension which makes the vehicle more refined and quieter than its predecessor.
Other improvements include better headlights, an electronic parking brake, improved regenerative braking and plenty more besides.
The Outlander is a great-looking vehicle with a perfect mix of sporty features combined with muscular off-road characteristics.
Styling cues include 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, a powered tailgate, tinted windows, a sculpted bonnet and a sunroof.
The interior is well-equipped with all the latest technology and connectivity options including the likes of mood lighting, sat nav, a colour touchscreen, a pitch perfect sound system, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth with music streaming, heated seats, a heated steering wheel and plenty more besides.
Comfort levels within the Outlander PHEV are very high and the car has an upmarket feel with soft-touch materials, fine Nappa leather upholstery and lots of black ash and chrome styling.
There is ample room for five adults to stretch out in comfort with generous head, leg and shoulder space. And storage limitations need never apply either as the boot can cater for 463 litres of luggage, a capacity that increases to 1,602 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.
Charging the car to 80 per cent now takes approximately 25 minutes instead of 30 and the EV range has been increased to 33 miles from 32 - all small tweaks, but in the right direction.
Safety features have also been developed to include forward collision mitigation technology with pedestrian detection and on the range-topping 5hs model (with ‘h' standing for hybrid and ‘s' for safety) there is the addition of a full suite of safety systems including adaptive cruise control, high beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and unintended acceleration mitigation.
There are three drive modes on the latest Outlander PHEV. EV is an all-electric mode in which the front and rear motors drive the car using only electricity from the drive battery. In this mode there are no carbon emissions and no fuel is used.
Next is the Series Hybrid mode whereby the petrol engine operates as generator supplying electricity to the electric motors.
Finally, in Parallel Hybrid mode when the car is travelling at faster speeds, the petrol engine provides most of the power and the electric motors assist when necessary such as climbing a slope or for a short burst of extra acceleration.
In addition, the driver can select the ‘Save' button to protect the charge for when it might be essential such as in a congestion charge area. And if charge levels are running low the ‘charge' button will help boost the battery by using the petrol engine. Extra juice can be gained by engaging the regenerative braking via the paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
The car featured a 2.0-litre petrol engine along with two 60kW motors and it could reach from 0-62mph in 11.0 seconds, maxed out at 106mph.
Official figures show the combined fuel economy to be 166.2mpg with carbon emissions of 41g/km.
The Outlander PHEV has never been a cheap option and this 4WD model was no exception with a price-tag of Â£45,999 (Â£43,499 after the Government's plug-in grant). But for that outlay you do get an astonishing amount of car and kit.
It's exceptionally comfortable and the driver benefits from great all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position.
The road-holding is assured although expect a little body roll if driven enthusiastically into tight bends. And the acceleration is fast enough for an SUV although be warned, switching between all the different modes can be quite addictive.