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Mitsubishi Raises the Game with Updated Outlander PHEV

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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Outlander PHEV has been an enormous sales success for Mitsubishi, so much so it accounts for 50 percent of sales in the U.K. PHEV sector — quite the accomplishment when you remember it isn’t a cheap car.

Even more notable is the fact Brits love the Outlander PHEV so much they’re buying them faster than the Japanese are.

But times move on, and cars become outdated — especially those running a hybrid powertrain, because batteries are advancing quickly, and manufacturers are pushing them to the limit to squeeze out more range. It means a PHEV you buy five years from now will be vastly superior to the one you buy now.

The Outlander PHEV has remained so popular precisely because Mitsubishi invested considerably in the best possible technology at the time of launch, in 2014. Models from that year are still great cars. But an update has rendered the Outlander PHEV even better, and it’s coming to a dealership near you soon.

The big update is the engine and battery pack. The engine has been upgraded from a 2.0-liter petrol to 2.4-liter petrol, resulting in a 10 per cent power and torque increase and a wider power band. It uses MIVEC technology to cut the capacity to 1.7-liters whilst cruising to save fuel.

The battery pack has been improved too. There’s 15 percent more battery capacity, resulting in better range and more power. Power is up 10kw on the old battery. The result is 133bhp and 156 lb-ft. Doesn’t sound much, but it’s enough, and that extra power has done wonders for the economy. On the new, strict WLTP testing cycle, the Outlander PHEV returned 139.7mpg combined with 46 g/km CO2 emissions. Impressive.

There’s a 28-mile all-electric range so around town, you’ll actually be using no petrol at all. The battery charges from 1 to 80 percent in 25 minutes at a public charger. If you want to have a fast charger at home, the OLEV Electric Vehicle Home charge Scheme Grant provides £500 towards one which isn’t to be sniffed at.

For those of you wondering how the Outlander PHEV drives, the petrol engine kicks in when you need it to deliver a burst of power. Driving modes include EV Power Mode, Series Hybrid Mode, and Parallel Hybrid mode to suit the road ahead. There’s also Snow, Eco and Lock modes to ensure you can keep going whatever the weather.

The transmission is geared for the economy but there’s a new Sport Button. Pressing this quickens the gear changes and throttle response. Pressing it also improves manoeuvrability with more power distribution to the rear axle.

And underneath all that, this is still the Outlander PHEV everyone loves, which means a towing capacity of 1,500kg, a 463-liter boot, five big seats and loads of kit including full LED headlamps, front and rear parking sensors, Nappa leather upholstery, smartphone linkage, a powered tailgate, 360 parking camera and much more.

This is a collaborative article.