Mitsubishi has long promised that the Outlander PHEV, or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, will be a game-changer, telling us back in March 2013 that the pricing will be spectacular. They were right.
Launched today, the Outlander PHEV will attract a huge amount of attention, not just for its smart looks and high specification, but also because the hybrid version won’t cost anything extra over the diesel powered variant.
With a price tag of £28,249 (after the government’s Plug-in Car Grant) in GX3 spec, the PHEV costs exactly the same as the diesel GX3 automatic, while prices rise to £34,999 for the top-spec GX5.
For that you’ll get an SUV powered by an electric motor that will run for up to 32 miles, which is more than enough for the average 25 mile commute to work. Backing that up is a 2.0 litre petrol engine with a cruising range in excess of 500 miles.
Officially the Outlander PHEV will achieve 148mpg, but even Mitsubishi say that is optimistic in everyday use. However, stick to shorter journeys and plug in frequently and you may not see a petrol pump for months.
The PHEV retains the impressive five-star EuroNCAP rating thanks to acronyms such as S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) and RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution). Seven airbags are fitted as standard, while lane departure warning, automatic braking and adaptive cruise control are fitted on GX4 and higher models.
For more testing times, the Outlander PHEV retains its four-wheel drive system thanks to an electric motor on each axle. Two modes are offered, selectable at the flick of a switch: Normal Mode for ordinary conditions and Lock Mode for enhanced all-terrain performance.
For when things do go wrong, the car is covered by a 3-year unlimited mileage warranty, with all EV components covered by a 5-year 100,000 mile warranty. Servicing is every 12,500 miles or 12 months, and buyers can choose a service plan that covers their first three services for just £500.
With emissions down to 44g/km of CO2, there’ll be no road tax to pay, while Benefit in Kind rates for company car drivers are currently set at 5%. That translates in to a tax bill of £665 for a 40% tax payer. A driver of a similar spec Honda CRV 2.2 Diesel auto would be spending nearly £4,000 a year on tax, so the Outlander represents a huge saving, or even a significant pay rise.
Mitsubishi’s UK managing Director Lance Bradley promised a game-changer. We’ve yet to drive the Outlander PHEV, but on paper it appears he might just be right.