I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

TMW - The Uk's most popular PHEV SUV, the Outlander gets the Motoring World treatment, and we come away impressed.

To produce a good car these days is very easy, its the sales that make a good car great, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has gone past good, driven past great and has moved into a segment reserved for outstanding, when you consider how many PHEV's, Hybrids and Electric cars that are currently available in the UK, to take 50% of the market with ONE model is truly outstanding.

The car even sells better here than it does in its home market of Japan, so for a specific model to do that is amazing, the current range might be missing a family car now the Lancer (Evo) is no more, and thats a shame, but Mitsubishi, as a company, specialises in SUV's and Pick-Ups, we recently completed a road test on the L200, we now have the Big SUV in PHEV mode to test, and it did not fail to impress.
The brand has been seen as an also ran for a long time, then the PHEV came to the fore and the brand is now one of the brands thats now seen as a first choice brand, and the Outlander and ASX are the models that have changed the perception of Mitsubishi, and with the recent purchase of a majority share by Nissan, the future is looking even brighter.
One of the secrets of its success is the Government grant, offered to buyers of cars that are seens as green, and environmentally friendly, the combination of the fuel consumption and CO2 figures means it attracts a BIK tax rate of just 5%, significantly lower than anything else in the class.

The car can run on battery mode for up to 32 miles, more if the regenerative braking fills the batteries, there are many methods of drive on the car, engine only, battery only, engine charges battery, then the regenerative aspect, it's not quick to refill the battery by regenerative mode, but combined with engine mode, it can refill the battery packs quite quickly, but you really do need to keep an eye on the fuel tank and battery, as they can run out faster than you would think, as the fuel tank is very small for a car this size.
This version of the Outlander is a big facelift on the first gen PHEV, and this one looks far superior, the look sis called "Dynamic Shield", and will carry over to other SUV's as they are launched, along with the new look front and mild treatment to the rear, it has given 40mm to the length of the car, giving this car a lower and sleeker look.

The interior of the car is really very classy and put together, there are no squeaks or rattles, the steering wheel, leather bound, is well weighted and of a decent size, likewise the power steering, it is very well weighted and you can feel the road beneath you, but it is not intrusive, far from it, all the buttons, switches and dials are in easy reach, and feel quality, like the rest of the interior, the leather upholstery on the seats gives you a well supported and ultra comfortable journey, these are some of the best seats i have, as yet, come across.
The range of Outlander models starts at £23,000 and heads up to £43,000, there are twelve versions, eight of which are PHEV's and a couple of commercial vehicles thrown in for good measure, giving a fair range of usability.

Our model we tested had a decent range of kit including but not limited to
  • 360° all around camera,
  • Parking sensors rear with camera,
  • Satellite Navigation,
  • Cruise Control, 
  • Keyless entry and Start,
  • DAB radio, 
  • Leather seats, 
  • Heated steering wheel,
  • Heated front Seats,
  • Eco Mode,
  • Full display on engine use
  • 7" Touchscreen,
  • Bluetooth,
  • USB Ports, 
  • Electric Tailgate.

Just a few of the items that the car came with, driving the PHEV was a real pleasure, it was very quiet, even with the 2.0 litre engine running, and dead silent with battery, it was very easy on the roads with the car never failing to do what you ask of it, whether it be around a sharp corner, on single lanes, slight off roading or motorway, when you turned the steering wheel the car went exactly where you pointed it at, we never felt any under or over steer, and surprisingly, none on heavy pull aways either.
The CVT gearbox is very quiet, with no gears, the car just "lifted up its skirts" and shot off, CVT is not that common these days, but in this car it works a treat, and the car picks and chooses what wheel useage it feels it needs, it will run front wheel drive normally, but when the ground gets a little tricky, the 4WD will automatically cut in, and out as required.
Along with the 32 miles of battery use, the fuel consumption on the petrol engine is not brilliant as there is less than a 10 gallon tank, so filling up will be a regular event, battery power will allow you to achieve over 150mpg, although on our route we only ever managed to get just shy of 70mpg, which is quite good but combined with fuel, this dropped to mid 30's, so getting the 156mpg is a bit of wishful thinking.


I loved the car, very much, it is really comfortable, quiet, and does everything you ask of it, and more, the cabin design is as near to perfection as can be gotten, and after a short time behind the wheel, you instinctively know where the buttons are, steering is precise and accurate, and braking is really good, it really is easy to see why this car is the best seller with a 50% market share.

Would i have one ? too right, I have tested a number of cars over the months and only a few of them i can say that i would be prepared to put my money where my mouth is, this is one of them, as long as i could live with the constant visits to the Garage, we did a similar trip to Scotland in an Audi A6 Avant, and didnt fill up until we got home, we had to fill the Outlander three times, and on one of those occasions we were panicing as the battery went to zero, and the fuel suddenly dropped from 60 mile range to 15 in just 3 miles.
The suspension has been given a comprehensive rethink, with strengthening added to the front and rear subframes, while the spring and damper rates have been recalibrated all round. The result is a flatter, slightly tauter and generally more European ride than before, although the Outlander is still rather noisy over sharp bumps in a way that its best rivals aren’t. However, the steering is excellent - well weighted and communicative - and the chassis grips well in corners, with little body roll