Mitsubishi Outlander

PHEV 4h 2.4

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, front action
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, side static
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, rear static 2
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, rear static
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, dashboard
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, boot 1
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, boot 2
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, dash detail
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, charging

SOME drivers smile when their pocket rocket takes a favourite corner at breakneck speed.

For others, a satisfying life on wheels comes more calmly, when they check their salary at the end of the month. Outlander PHEV users are numbered among these people.

Mitsubishi's chunky SUV is the best selling plug-in hybrid in the UK and has recently appeared in mildly modified form with a new, bigger but easier going petrol engine and larger capacity battery to power newly uprated electric motors.

The result is a spacious five-seater with all-wheel drive and the ability to travel (officially) up to 28 miles on battery power alone and post an extraordinary (official) 139mpg average in new and tougher worldwide economy tests.

Add in an official 46g/km of CO2 emissions, for a lowly 13 per cent BIK rate and the Outlander PHEV is a great big savings machine for a business user on the higher rate of income tax, as most will be.

Compared to a rival like a BMW X3 the Outlander driver will save a not insignificant £12,000-plus over three years' use. That's a large lump off the mortgage or several cracking family hols, for free.

If you've spotted the use of the word 'official' several times already, there's a good reason. In the real world the Outlander won't perform in the way the official stats say; you may not be surprised to hear.

Setting off fully charged on a cold day with heating and lights on you'll be lucky to see 22 miles before the petrol engine chimes in. Without any battery support you'll be happy to see 40mpg on the dash readout.

Not unreasonable for a car as big and heavy as the Outlander and, perhaps crucially these days, from a car powered by petrol not newly noxious diesel.

Neither figure will much bother a typical user, though, who'll keep remembering all those thousands not going to the Chancellor but instead hastening outright ownership of The Old Rectory.

Your typical user will also have noted the government's recent dropping of its £2,500 grant to encourage us to buy electrically assisted cars. Mitsubishi has responded by posting a £2,500 deposit contribution if you take your Outlander on a PCP deal - and many will.

The latest Outlanders have mildly changed looks (you won't notice) while suspension is modified to improve the ride and a gentle tickle here and there has cut noise in the cabin.

The result is a car that rides better roads with quiet aplomb but still fidgets on rougher stuff. Best ignore the sport button that simply makes this non-sporting machine a bit more responsive to throttle and steering.

You'll search in vain for a sat nav; dropped in the upgrades on the assumption most of us will use our mobiles anyway (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are catered for) and new switches and instrument cluster can't hide the hard plastics that do little for interior ambience.

FAST FACTS

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4h 2.4

Price: £39,500

Mechanical: 175bhp, 2,360cc, 4cyl petrol engine and electric motors driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 10.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 139

Insurance Group: 31

C02 emissions: 46g/km

Bik rating: 13%

Warranty: 5yrs/62,500 miles

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