Is The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV The Stepping Stone To Smarter, Future-Proof Motoring? - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Is The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV The Stepping Stone To Smarter, Future-Proof Motoring?

Change can be devilishly hard – even when we know where things are headed.

Everyone has their own unique definition of what leading a “sustainable” life means. 

For some, it’s not putting paper and glass bottles in the normal bin and begrudgingly using a paper straw over a plastic one; for others, it’s strictly eating home-grown food caked in dirt and avoiding meat – which also means they have to flush the toilet only once a week. 

Most guys fall somewhere in between those extremes, which is what Japanese car maker Mitsubishi is banking on with its the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), a mid-size SUV with both a petrol-powered internal-combustion engine and a battery-powered electric motor. 

While some hybrids self-charge only via regenerative braking (a magical-sounding process where kinetic energy is captured as the car slows down), a PHEV can also be plugged into an external power source (the hint’s in the name) to charge its battery. 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is notable for employing both charging methods to power its 20kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and its big selling point is that when that battery is fully charged, it allows approximately  84km of all-electric, totally silent, fully sustainable driving.

Do people really press that button and use that ‘responsible’ option when they own a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV? Hell, yes, according to Mitsubishi, which says its research shows Outlander owners drive in EV mode  84 per cent of the time, which means they’re leaking neither fuel money nor CO2 emissions.

“Ultimately, the Outlander Phev’s appeal will depend on where you sit on the sustainability tree”

If you’re wondering what it’s like to drive the thing, the answer is it can feel like a whole lot. 

That has everything to do with the frankly excessive drive options on offer. 

There are no fewer than four EV modes: ‘Normal’ (mostly all-electric); ‘EV’ (all-electric); ‘Save’ (works to retain the current amount of electric range); and ‘Charge’ (uses the engine to regenerate energy and store it in the battery for later deployment).

Anyone who’s driven an electric car knows there are immediate joys to be had: g-force-baiting instant torque that jolts the car forward at an impressive clip, and a silent motor for peaceful progress (and more intimate enjoyment of your stereo system). 

But wait, there’s more! Because there are a further seven drive modes accessed via a rotary dial, including ‘Tarmac’, ‘Mud’, ‘Snow’, ‘Gravel’ and ‘Power’, with that last one utilising both the twin electric motors (combined outputs: 185kW/450Nm) and the 2.4-litre ICE (98kW) for serious acceleration. 

The Outlander is also as good-looking as mid-size SUVs get (conventionally attractive, then, rather than sports car-sexy). The same goes for the spacious interior, which gets a little plusher the higher the spec level goes up (there’s an entry-level ES, then Aspire, Exceed and Exceed Tourer). 

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Ultimately, the all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s appeal will depend on where you sit on the sustainability tree. Are you an ICE-loving luddite, happy to choke the environment like a cartoon supervillain? An anti-single-use-anything EV devotee? Or do you sit somewhere in the middle, with one foot safely in each camp? 

Mitsubishi is clearly hoping it can appeal to people who like the idea of an EV, but want the security of knowing they’ll never be stranded in the outback by a lack of chargers, since the Outlander can run on its petrol engine alone, whenever necessary. Claimed fuel economy is a very impressive 1.5 litres per 100km.

With prices stretching from $54,490 to $65,990, the Outlander is going up against the EV everyone seems to want – a Tesla Model 3 (with 547km of driving range), which starts at $65,500.

The question is, are you ready to jump into a fully electric vehicle, or would you like to take a comforting, petrol-powered piece of the past with you, just in case? Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV gives you that security blanket.

You may have to ask yourself just how much it’s worth clinging to our petrol-powered past, and at what point you’ll embrace our inevitable all-electric future. 

Find out more here.

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