In 2013 fewer than 1,000 plug-in hybrids were sold in the UK. Just one year later Mitsubishi had sold more than 10,000 Outlander PHEVs. By November 2015 the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV had amassed 50,000 sales across Europe and by January 2018 it passed the 100,000 milestone. Despite a growing number of competitors it was Europe’s best selling plug-in hybrid vehicle three years in a row and it also remains the best-selling plug-in vehicle in the UK.
And now it’s had an upgrade in the shape of the new 2019 models. The last redesign in 2016 saw Mitsubishi concentrate on an upmarket look and feel to the Outlander. This time the emphasis is on the technical stuff happening underneath the skin.
The bulk of the engineering has gone on the new 2.4-litre petrol engine that cleverly adjusts the fuel flow according to driving conditions to reduce consumption. The larger engine offers an increase in power to 135bhp improving the performance of the new Outlander whilst improving efficiency at the same time.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s electric powertrain has also received some extra attention. Improvements include a 10% increase in the generator output and an increase in the rear electric motor output to 95hp. The drive battery has also had its output increased by 10% and its overall capacity increased to 13.8kWh thanks to new battery cells. From the driver’s perspective that adds up to an increase in the Outlander PHEV’s top speed in Electric Vehicle mode, up from approximately 78mph to 84mph.
Add the two together and you get improved performance - 0-62 is half a second faster than before and overtaking acceleration sees a similar improvement. The pure EV range has increased to 28 miles, more than enough for most daily commutes, and fuel consumption and emissions now sit at a hugely impressive 141mpg and just 46g/km. If running costs are your main consideration then the new Outlander is what is technically known as a “no-brainer”.
There are a host of other changes too: new suspension to improve the ride; a Sport mode for sharper throttle response; more grip via the Super All-Wheel Control system; improved steering response and bigger brakes.
There are even a few interior and cosmetic alterations in the shape of redesigned front seats, an improved instrument cluster, more USB ports, a newly designed front end, LED headlamps, and new alloy wheels.
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