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Why this Outlander exceeds many expectations

Your Life

Why this Outlander exceeds many expectations

BRUCE MCMAHON checks out a new hybrid SUV that has plenty of pluses if you’re thinking about transitioning.

Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid Outlander Exceed Tourer is a sensible, expensive and quite cosseting ride for the 2020s.

Outlanders were once cheap and cheerful wagons with some rough road ability – a handy option for knock-around family transport.

Today, there’s a range of these Japanese SUVs – in two- or all-wheel-drive, five- or seven-seat configurations – that takes off from around $50,000 and heads north to about $75,000.

Among the Outlander line-up, Mitsubishi has, for a time, offered PHEV versions: plug-in hybrid electric vehicles with petrol motor, electric motor and batteries which can be charged from  a powerpoint.

Done right (keeping the 20kWh battery charged) and the factory reckons it’ll run at about 1.5 litres per 100km.

In the real world, combining suburban rides and highway cruises, it’s a good bit more than that: more like 6-8 litres per 100km. The benefits are running urban errands where Mitsubishi says there’s 84km of battery range (count on around 60 kilometres at least).

It’s a quiet ride in the all-wheel-drive Exceed Tourer version – one of the most expensive of Outlander PHEVs – whether it’s rolling all electric or petrol electric.

Transition from one power plant to the other is seamless and when the 2.4-litre petrol engine combines with the electric motors on the front and rear axles, for a total of 185kW of power and 450Nm of torque, there’s a fair amount of easy shove to get going.

This particular high-end version of Outlander PHEVs starts from about $71,790 and it’s very much a gentle folk’s car from sparkling paint finish to plush front seats with a back massage function.

There’s good room across the 4.7m-long wagon, although that third row of seats is best left to the grandkids.

Not only is the Exceed Tourer quiet and comfortable, there’s the fuel economy, the premium (for the most part) interior, all the latest in safety, comfort and convenience features and decent  ride comfort.

With all-wheel-drive, the  Mitsubishi is well-mannered out on  the road and, with a selection of drive modes for different types of rough  tracks, quite happy to tackle indifferent road conditions.

A driver sits in a plush, lounge-like chair with instrumentation and controls all relatively straight forward and easily understood. Best of the digital graphics is the bar showing how much new power’s gone back to the battery by regeneration when slowing and braking the wagon. Pity the drivers behind.

Of course, there’s always the chief option of charging with a fast charger or even a 240 outlet at home, though that last move would just about take all night (and with a petrol motor on hand, this PHEV option obviates the need to search high and low for a working, and available, fast charger if out touring  the countryside).

This upmarket PHEV Mitsubishi Exceed Tourer goes about its business quietly, without fuss.  It’s a premium drive at a premium price that suits a well-measured and quieter lifestyle.

I’m just still not sure about the confrontational front-end style.

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