After spending one week with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, here is how we spent our time with the car.
Day 1 – Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, First Impressions
I have always enjoyed the hybrid revolution of cars, where technology and mechanics really come together, so I was keen to get my hands on the Outlander and test out its capabilities. For me, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV represents one of the first affordable and practical PHEV cars that refuses to compromise, to the benefit of the customer.
Once the car had been delivered, I jumped in and took it for a spin. The fun thing about starting hybrid cars is that when you press the on button… nothing happens. No engine turns on, no noise, just a light on the dashboard. That’s it. Put it into gear and it moves off silently – it takes a bit of getting used to. Once on the road, it’s just like any other car, there are no additional complications from the hybrid technology, as it’s all maintained automatically by the car. All you have to do is simply focus on where you need to go. Easy.
Day 2 – Storm Testing
A crazy storm had hit Birmingham bringing 70mph winds to the city… But we had a photo and video shoot booked in for the evening, and being as committed as we are, we continued and soldiered on – Plus you never know what you might create in extreme weather conditions!
The stormy conditions handed us some pretty dramatic scenes; racing clouds, whipping branches, and leaves and rubbish rushing like a tornado all over the place.
Video Production: Daniel Barnett
From my perspective it was actually pretty cool to be warm and well insulated in the car whilst there is complete madness going on outside. The car makes next to no noise whilst driving in pure electric mode, which in a storm environment made the driving experience super surreal. The heated seats and steering wheel made the evening a lot more comfortable whilst traveling between locations, at least for the front seat passengers anyway.
Day 3 – Driving Through the City in Rush Hour
On Wednesday I took the car through the city centre at rush hour – this is where the Outlander is really at its best. In traffic, when the car has sufficient battery, the engine doesn’t run at all, which left me in a strange frame of mind. I didn’t mind sitting in traffic as much when I knew it wasn’t costing me fuel. In the PHEV the car is only ever really in standby mode and so isn’t draining much battery, and each time the traffic moved forward a little, and I put gentle pressure on the accelerator, I noticed a cool motor noise and a smooth transition forward – making my journey through busy traffic a pleasure for a change.
Now a couple of days in I was really starting to like this car, with it’s size, practicality, and hugely economical engine what wasn’t to love?
Day 4 – Charging the Car on the Go
In the morning we took the car to a couple of locations to do a video shoot. On the way we had around 10 miles of dual carriageway to cover, so I tested out the option to charge the car from the petrol engine. This fires up the engine to charge the batteries whilst on the move, very useful if you know you are going to be doing some town driving further down the line. The charge process worked very well and gave my battery power a good boost by the time we got to our location.
Out in the evening I met with a fellow car enthusiast who was interested to hear more about the car. I found it interesting to see their first reaction to the hybrid. They commented on how smooth and refined the ride quality was when running in pure EV mode. They were also quite shocked at how quiet the car was at low speeds, with only minor wind and tyre noise to be heard.
Day 5 – Lessons Learned About the PHEV in Cold Weather
Temperatures dropped down to 3 degrees and I was going out in the bitterly cold for the first time in the car. However, I soon learned that the car won’t automatically move off until the car has warmed up a bit. I assume this is because some additional power is needed in order to heat the car. Although, you only have to drive the car for 3-4 minutes before it settles back down and will work in EV mode. This is an example of something that you only really start to notice when you get to spend some proper time with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Day 6 – Early Morning Photoshoot
We took an early start on Saturday morning to try and capture some exciting video and pictures of the Mitsubishi Outlander under some great lighting. We drove the car to a remote location just before the sun started to rise, setting it up and waiting for the sun to make an appearance. After a few minutes the sun came up, and I think you’ll agree, the car was looking crisp and fresh.
We spent a few hours with the car that morning. Here are some of the pictures we took:
Later that evening I got a call to assist a friend with a car that had broken down on the motorway. Luckily for me, and my friend, I had the car on full charge and it was ready to go. I whizzed off down the motorway and towed the car a short distance using the Outlander PHEV. As the car was not drivable, we had to wait 2 hours for the car to be recovered. This is when I learnt a new thing about the PHEV; it was around 2 degrees outside and being a PHEV we were able to keep the car on without running the engine, meaning that the heating and heated seats would still work because the car was already up to temperature. So our wait in the car was no problem at all and was actually pretty cosy.
Day 7 – Home Charging
I put the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on charge overnight, or at least I thought I did, but when I came out to the car in the morning the battery was still very low. I assume it was my error and I had not fully plugged the car in, but that didn’t matter. The major benefit of being a PHEV is that it is still as capable as a petrol car, so you can take it to the pumps and fill up in minutes. Mitsubishi also offer a smartphone app to monitor the charge status of the car, which would avoid the problem that occurred with me here.
After spending a week with the car I can really see why it works. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, as a base car, is brilliant, but having all the benefits of the PHEV at an affordable price really puts the car in a league of its own.