If your daily round-trip commute is less than 30 miles you could, in theory, never have to put a drop of petrol in the mighty Mitsubishi Outlander.

The PHEV is the UK’s biggest selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicle – selling 1,000 a month when it first went on sale – and has had a series of tweaks for 2017 to make it even more attractive.

The pure electric driving range has gone up a tad to 33 miles, emissions have come down and the big five-seater now has a switch that allows you to operate in pure electric mode without the 2.0-litre petrol engine starting. An electronic parking brake is also fitted.

The Outlander PHEV with its 1,500kg towing capacity – ideal for a medium-weight caravan –

was always a superbly comfortable, quiet, long-distance cruiser and a series of unseen changes, including new dampers and rear suspension bushes, make it even more quiet and refined. And despite its considerable size, it’s exempt from the London congestion charge.

Rapid charging has also been improved, reducing its charging time to 80% from 30 minutes to about 25 minutes.

EV drive mode is an all-electric function in which the front and rear motors drive the vehicle using only electricity from the drive battery, with zero on-road petrol consumption and zero CO2 emissions.

In series hybrid mode, the petrol engine operates as a generator supplying electricity to the electric motors. The system switches to this mode when the remaining charge in the battery falls below a predetermined level and when more power is required, such as accelerating to pass a vehicle or climbing a steep gradient.

The system switches to parallel hybrid mode when the vehicle reaches high speeds. In this mode, the high-efficiency petrol engine provides most of the motive power, which is then assisted by the electric motors as required.

Safety features have also been further improved. ‘Forward Collision Mitigation’ technology, standard on higher specification versions, now has pedestrian detection for added safety, while blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert have both been introduced on the 4h variant to help when reversing out of a space. For example, if traffic is coming from the right, the icon located on the right-hand mirror will light up, accompanied by an audio alert.

Priced from about £35,000, all models come with impressive alloy wheels, LED daylight running lights and a long list of standard equipment including a touchscreen system with DAB and Bluetooth and rear view camera. Steering wheel paddles, for adjusting the level of regenerative braking, are also standard, as is dual-zone climate control; automatic lights and wipers; cruise control and speed limiter; rear view mirror with auto dimming and electrically-folding door mirrors.


Auto facts

Model: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 5hs

Price: £46,064

Insurance group: 24E (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 166.2mpg

Top speed: 106mph

Length: 469.5cm/185in

Width: 180cm/71in

Luggage capacity: 16.3 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 9.9 gallons/45 litres

CO2 emissions: 41g/km

Warranty: Five years/62,500 miles