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First report: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV long-term test

Date: 14 March 2019   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

The latest Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV joins the Business Car fleet and we assess whether it has what it takes to be a good fleet choice.
Standard equipment:
18in alloy wheels, smartphone link display audio, dual zone climate control, LED headlamps with auto levelling, black leather seats, keyless operation system, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, 360-degree parking camera, Bluetooth with music streaming, DAB digital radio, front seat heaters, heated steering wheel, cruise control, front passenger seat ISOFIX child seat mounting, second row ISOFIX child seat mountings (x2), power tailgate. eight-way electric drivers seat, Apple Carplay support, Android Auto support, heated windscreen, engine start/stop button, leather steering wheel, dusk-sensing headlights, LED daytime running lights
Options:
Colour Sterling Silver Metallic (£550)

It is easy to forget that Mitsubishi pioneered an electric car long before it was fashionable and it subsequently added a plug to its family SUV, providing an electric option with its biggest seller. 

And there is a lot to like about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which is why we were more than happy to welcome it onto the Business Car fleet recently, and I was happy to be the one plugging an electric car into my motoring journo lifestyle. 

With the onset of winter and talk of snow on the weather forecast (even down south), I am rather excited to have four-wheel drive, and I am also interested in experiencing the promise of guilt-free short drives and managing charging on longer ones. 

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The Outlander PHEV's big selling point of course is its hybrid powertrain and a lot has changed in this latest version. Where there was once a 2.0-litre petrol engine, now there is a 2.4-litre unit. The rear electric motor, the battery and the generator are all stronger, and the software that integrates all of this has been updated too. These updates mean the car is closer to the expectations of businesses who want to do their bit in helping the environment, not to mention save themselves some pennies due to its exemption from the London Congestion Charge and very low rates of company car tax - how long this will last remains to be seen, however.

"The rear electric motor, the battery and the generator are all stronger."

This Outlander holds enough charge to drive for around 28 miles with zero emissions. So far we have found that the best way to make the most of the battery economy is around town, where you can spend almost the whole time whizzing around without even rousing the petrol engine. On first impressions, and doing a couple of drives back and forth to the airport, it is clear that the electric engine quickly falls flat at high speeds, not to mention cool temperatures. Luckily, when the battery is depleted or you just want to go further, the petrol engine kicks in to save the day. 

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The boot is a decent size, albeit not as big as you would get in the Skoda Kodiaq. The reason for this is that the rear of the car houses the batteries and electric motor, resulting in around 25% less capacity. We will do a few more airport runs over the next few months in order to decide whether this is really a problem worth sacrificing a hybrid engine to solve, though. 

The question I'm really looking to answer in my six-month custodianship of this car is whether the petrol-electric hybrid bit of the equation makes any sense in the real world, and ultimately if we'd recommend putting one of these onto your fleet. Watch this space. 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4h 2.4-litre petrol hybrid auto 4WD 

P11D price £39,445

As tested £39,995

Official consumption 159.5mpg 

Our average consumption n/a

Mileage 1,419



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