My First Drive in a 4X4 Electric Vehicle

I picked up a Mitsubishi 4X4 PHEV (Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle) yesterday. Brand new and the first retail one on the road in my area, so I am told. Certainly up until now the only ones I have seen in the UK are in showrooms.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 08.08.48I drove it to the airport this morning (yes – the irony of driving an Electric Vehicle to an airport is not lost on me). It’s a journey of 45 miles by motorway and as the battery will only hold out for 32 miles according to the manual, I was bound to use fuel. That said, I chose to save about a third of the battery, just to make sure that leaving it in a car park for a week didn’t kill it if i foolishly left a light on or something similar. The number of buttons and gadgets on this model (it’s the top spec) is crazy and will take me a few journeys to work out.

So what was my Miles Per Gallon?

That’s the while point in buying this car, of course. You get a 4X4 without the guilt. But even Mitsubishi don’t claim 148 MPG on long distances. In fact I managed just over 82 MPG (Imperial Gallon) = 68 MPG (US Gallon) on this first proper trip. My usual journey is a but longer – Luton to Birmingham – and I think my objective will be to break 80 MPG on that run as well… although I assumed when I chose the car that I would max out at around 70MPG. That’s still way better than my 61 plate SAAB 93 Convertible which is doing about 45 MPG on that journey.

 Can you drive better?

Probably. In fact certainly – because I only achieved “four out of five leaves”… it marks your driving style! Awesome! I could have got a better mileage if I had not tried to save the battery; If I had not stopped to get a coffee from the service station; Driven slower (I used the Advanced Cruise Control on this top spec model to lock onto the car in front at around 67 miles per hour).

What else is “Cool” with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

  • I like being able to talk to it to phone home (it hooks up to my iPhone)
  • If the salesman doesn’t tell you, finding the DVD slot will be a fun experience!
  • I like that it can plug into a standard UK 13 amp socket (although they recommend a 15 amp circuit, which British Gas can install)
  • I QUITE like the iPhone app – but have not found a genuine use for it yet.
  • No road tax. Nada. Cool.
  • No congestion charge.
  • It’s a 4X4!
  • If you get this through a company, the tax benefit is even more incredible.

What’s not so Cool with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

It’s not what you would call refined inside. It’ not BAD… electric seats which war you up, great Aircon if you want it, Sun roof it you don’t… but somehow not quite as cool as the SAAB’s.

The acceleration is quite compromised if you want to get decent mileage out of it. It’s the first time I have ever had an automatic (actually… it’s but of a Joystick than a gear stick) and my guess is that people used to automatics would not notice the difference. But us petrol head manual gearbox fans will. The SAAP 93 TTID does 0-60 in 6.9 seconds and the Outlander PHEV takes 11 seconds. That’s not going to win off the lights!

What did I turn down to get one?

I turned down a Tesla S! On the basis that a hybrid gave me a much greater range and the idea of running out of juice in a Tesla filled me with dread. Also – getting one of those in the UK at this point sounds rather complicated.

I also turned down a Lexus SUV Hybrid… on the basis that a non-chargeable hybrid seemed pretty absurd to me. It’s not really a hybrid, just a more efficient breaking system.

Is it Worth getting the Top Spec?

I like the Advanced Cruise Control – which I think is in the second top spec – but if I ever need it, there’s a Crash Mitigation thing on the top, which should stop me in a head on collision. If I ever need that, it will save my life. If in the meantime, it brings down the insurance group. So – as long as all this high tech wizardry works, I am really pleased I went for the top of the range.

 

 

 

 

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