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A PHEV Of Fresh Air From Mitsubishi

A PHEV Of Fresh Air From Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi have recently launched the vehicle that they describe as ‘game-changing’ - the all new Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) in their biggest advertising campaign to date. The campaign for this new car comes after the news that Mitsubishi were the fastest growing mainstream brand in the UK during 2013.

PHEV1 A PHEV Of Fresh Air From MitsubishiAmazingly, it is five years since the company last advertised on TV and not just content with promoting the new SUV in this way, they are also sponsoring TV documentaries. They are launching the Outlander as not just another car but rather as a paradigm shift for motoring and an important moment in history.

The campaign shows the vehicle coming to life and driving along a futuristic timeline. It passes major inventions and discoveries in history such as the wheel, electricity and environmentalism before taking its rightful place at the head of the timeline. This is rather a vaunting claim and it remains to be seen as to whether the Outlander is truly that ‘game-changing’.

Effectively, Mitsubishi has laid down a gauntlet to the entire car industry with the Outlander PHEV by pricing it at the same level as the diesel. The result is huge tax savings for company car drives and realistic running costs for fleets. Motor Blogger had the chance to drive it recently as you’ll find out below.

It is powered by both a 2.0L petrol engine and two electric motors, the second of which powers the rear wheels thus giving four-wheel drive capability. You can plug the PHEV in, charge it and use electric power only for short trips, and then rely on the petrol engine to take you on longer trips. The official figure says the PHEV is capable of 148mpg, but even Mitsubishi reckon this is unrealistic. Real-world mpg is still pretty impressive, however.PHEV2 A PHEV Of Fresh Air From Mitsubishi

The PHEV will be ideal for anyone who does mainly shorter trips, with the occasional longer journey thrown in. Anyone who regularly travels loner distances will, we suspect, be better off with the standard diesel Outlander. Out on the road this big motor turns out to be supremely comfortable. With the batteries low down in the body, the corner roll that afflicts these high vehicles is controlled.

The best way to drive the PHEV is to simply stick it in Drive, and let the car sort out the electric/petrol ratio. Either way, it is very quiet. There is a gauge to monitor how the hybrid is using it’s juice.

Drivers can also press a button that forces the PHEV to hold its charge for a more appropriate time – useful, say, when you need to do a motorway jaunt before going to the city. It is possible to use the petrol engine to top the battery up to 70%. You can even determine the level of brake regeneration, which boosts battery power.

We enjoyed our short spin but it has to be said that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is never going to get your pulses racing but the market for big economical five seat SUV’s is strong so it should do well.

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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