2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review

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The all-new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is all set to arrive in Oz early in 2016. Let’s have a quick glance over the vehicle to ascertain what to expect from this plug-in hybrid SUV. According to Mitsubishi Australia, supply will be the key. In the extremely aggressive medium SUV segment, the Mitsubishi Outlander is a very strong contender.

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The outer design looks impressive, seats are more comfortable, adequate second-row space, broad luggage area and comparatively compact external dimensions make it one of the most gripping choices in the segment. In PHEV trim, it is also one of the most accessible EVs on the market having decent space for 5 adults and their luggage.

Though not officially confirmed, it may be priced somewhere around $50k plus – at this price, it provides EV sensibility and SUV practicality. Until the local launch, an accurate pricing won’t be declared; however, it’s reasonable to guess Mitsubishi will attempt to price the Outlander PHEV as competitively as is possible. If you long for an SUV that is integrated with EV technology, the Outlander PHEV will be a strong contender.

The styling has been improved and is now a lot more appealing than the earlier version. The entire appearance of the front end gets a facelift as the black detailing, the wrap-around-style bumper design is improved and LED daytime running lights are now housed inside the LED headlight system, which renders a cleaner look. At the rear side, the light system integrates LED brake lights, which develops the complete design. The refreshed new Outlander PHEV also acquires remarkable 18-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone finish.

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It is evident from the car’s refreshed interiors that Mitsubishi has taken into consideration the feedback of its past customers. In addition to the invigorated black leather trim, you can also choose from the brown leather (which is available in Europe), an option that Australians would love to have. The seats get accent stitching and extra bolstering and padding and the door trim inserts obtain the same accent stitching and padded inserts. The aforesaid accent stitching stretches to the dash housing and the centre console design, everything has been rendered a fresh new look. The steering wheel has also been redesigned. The outcome is an interior, which certainly feels more distinguished compared to the outgoing model, hats off to Mitsubishi.

Extra soundproofing material has been incorporated with dynamic sound dampers and anti-vibration material. Mitsubishi claims the result is a much more relaxed cabin, particularly for longer distances.

Technically, the all-new 2016 Outlander PHEV is the same vehicle as the earlier version. The 2.0-litre petrol engine can power the front wheels. Mounted under the floor is the same high-capacity battery system and the electric motors can still power the front and rear wheels autonomous of the petrol engine. It’s never rough or too evident when it shifts from electric power to the petrol engine. On its own, the low-stress petrol engine delivers 89kW of power at 4500rpm and 190Nm of torque at 4500rpm. The front electric motor adds a maximum of 65kW and 137Nm to the system whereas the rear adds 60kW and 195Nm respectively.

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To render better acceleration and throttle response off the mark, Mitsubishi has revised the calibration of the plug-in hybrid system. It claims a fuel economy of 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres when the batteries are fully exhausted, which is definitely spirited in its class. You can safely get to and from work without using any fuel at all if your travel to work is 15-20 kilometres each way. All you have to do is plug in and charge during the night at home and you’re all geared up to go again the next day. If you have the facility to charge it up at work, it is much better. This is where the Outlander stands out. It manages to offer an accurate EV mode for the average commute, but also renders much longer travelling capabilities when you wish to go out of town on long drives. When you’re driving an Outlander PHEV, there is certainly no ‘range anxiety’. Though Outlander PHEV is not a sports car, it manages an energetic drive in the twisty country roads with absolute confidence. From a standstill position, the Outlander PHEV catches up speed rapidly, and can work its way from 80-110 kilometres per hour smoothly, assisting safe overtaking manoeuvres.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is an intelligent blend of SUV sensibility and EV technology. The fact that it is wearing a Mitsubishi badge confirms that it is built to last for a long term.

 

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