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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - final report

Date: 07 April 2015   |   Author: Tristan Young

Why we're running it: To find out if there are any compromises to running the first PHEV off-roader
Equipment: 8 airbags, ESP, lane departure warning, satnav, trip computer, cruise control, heated seats, powered folding mirrors, DAB stereo, Bluetooth, LED running lights, auto lights/wipers, remote control app
Options: Metallic paint (£500), Protection pack (£280)

For a car to be a success in fleet there are two basic ingredients that need to be right. Firstly, the figures need to look good on paper. And secondly, a car has to have driver appeal.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has the first quality in bucket loads, primarily because as a plug-in hybrid its CO2 figure is just 44g/km, which equates to a 5% benefit-in-kind tax rating. In practice, this means a 40% taxpayer will save very nearly £3000 each year over the diesel version, and that's before you take into account any savings for the London congestion charge.

The on-paper fuel consumption looks mighty impressive too, but as we all know, official figures are rarely accurate. And so it was with the Outlander PHEV. But while we didn't get anywhere near the claimed 148mpg figure, we did break the 50mpg barrier, which, even after you factor in the very low cost of electricity, meant our fuel costs were certainly no worse than the diesel version. To reach that figure we made sure we had a home charging point fitted, so that every time we parked at home we could simply plug in the car, and from empty it would then be full and offering a range of 25 miles in about three hours.

Interestingly, about 95% of our charging was done at home and not at public charging points - not something we expected.

While a lot of the journeys were local and less than 25 miles, we also covered a host of longer trips, which meant frequent stops (every 250 miles) for petrol due to a small, weight-saving fuel tank. This was one of the very few downsides to running the Outlander PHEV, but it wasn't hard to put up with.

So, did the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV appeal to the driver in the broader sense? It certainly did to this driver.

The reason Mitsubishi has sold more than 10,000 PHEVs inside a year is that the paper stats draw people in, but it's the fact that it's a proper sized car with five seats, a huge boot and four-wheel drive that makes punters sign-up.

The big boot was a particular boon, making going anywhere with kids and dogs and luggage easy, which, when you've got kids, dogs and luggage is just what you want.

Unlike the kids and dogs, the car (in pure EV mode) was wonderfully silent too, meaning the Outlander felt incredibly refined - although we did have to watch out for unwary pedestrians that didn't hear us coming. Supermarket car parks are a particular danger area.

Four-wheel drive was reassuring to have too, particularly over the winter, but we discovered that the Outlander isn't a proper off-roader by dislodging a protective under-panel from the engine on a gravel track. This was also something other BusinessCar readers reported happening to their Outlanders too.

Perhaps one of the biggest unexpected bonuses was that the remote control app that allowed you to check the car's charge, security and lights also allowed you to heat or cool the car remotely. 

All of which added up to a car that we can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone considering a vehicle in the lower medium, upper medium or SUV segments because both on-paper and in the real-world it is a winner.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX4hs

Mileage 9743
Official consumption 148mpg
Our average consumption 50.1mpg
Forecast/actual CPM 72.3p/78.1p
P11D price £39,999
Model price range £33,304-£39,999
Residual value 27.6%
Depreciation cost £28,794
Fuel £2022
Service, maintenance and repair £2435
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance group 24
CO2 (BIK band) 44g/km (5%)
BIK 20/40% per month £33/£66
 

Verdict


  • The app that allows remote heating and cooling
  • Engine cover protector not up to the job of a 4x4

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