By Bill McCarthy
The Outlander story just keeps giving. First launched in the UK in 2014 to stunning sales success, it remains the best-selling plug-in vehicle – hybrid or electric – in the UK.
The 2019 model is priced from £36,755 OTR and is available in five trims levels – Juro, the 4, driven here, the 4hs, 5h and 5hs.
It has been updated in many ways, looking sleeker than ever, for a 4×4, with new grille, spoiler, bumpers, LED headlights and front and rear bumper.
It also features a new 2.4 litre petrol engine, upgraded battery and generator and more powerful electric motor for the rear wheels when in four wheel drive mode.
This delivers a claimed EV range of 28-35 miles. This proved to be pretty much the case on a daily commute of 32-33 miles achieved comfortably. Just plug it in overnight and off you go again the next day.
The combination delivers some sky high economy figures and ultra low emissions.
Regeneration from braking is also a key factor when in EV mode, while the paddles behind the steering wheel do not shift gears up or down, but control five levels of regenerative power when slowing down or descending hills.
The exterior looks sleek and stylish and this is reflected on the inside with good quality fixtures and fittings, with new accent trim, classy soft touch finish, and black headlining, new electrically operated seats and revised switchgear .
The central touchscreen is like the control panel of a space shuttle, with revised dials, meters and displays showing how the power from battery, motor engine and regenerative braking is being distributed.
It also controls functions like infotainment and connectivity, but not sat nav. Instead it allows user to plug in smartphone to display Google maps on the screen.
The interior is light and spacious with plenty of space for five and a large boot area of 463 litres, complemented by an under floor cargo box of 35 litres.
There are plenty of other pockets, cubbyholes and throughout.
Standard kit on this model includes a 360 degree camera, leather seats with eight-way electric adjusted front driver’s seat, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, powered tailgate and heated steering wheel.
On the road it is lively enough, hitting the 60mph mark in 10.5 seconds.
It is quick enough too in electric mode and can reach up to 84mph without the engine kicking in and cruises effortlessly on the motorway.
A new sport mode sharpens throttle and steering response and delivers more grip via the Super All-Wheel Control system and there’s also a new snow mode to improve low-grip launching and cornering abilities on slippery surfaces,
As well as pure electric EV, there is also hybrid mode, where the car still powered by the front and rear motors and the engine engaged to run the generator to charge the battery while driving and deliver extra power when needed.
The third mode is parallel hybrid mode where the engine powers front wheels, the front electric motor assists engine and the rear motor drives rear wheels when higher speeds are required. The system automatically switches to series hybrid/EV Priority mode as much as possible.
On the road, the ride and handling are more than acceptable for the size of car, will little evidence of wallowing on corners, particularly in sport mode.
As you would expect it is packed with safety kit including larger front brake discs, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, reversing camera, seven airbags, including driver’s side knee airbag, traction and stability control to earn a five-star NCAP safety rating.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4h 2.4 Auto
Mechanical: 135ps, 2,360cc, four cylinder petrol engine and electric motors driving all wheels via auto gearbox
Max Speed: 106mph
0-62mph: 10.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 159.5
Insurance Group: 31
C02 emissions: 40 g/km
Warranty: 5yrs/62,000 miles