10.000 km in the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid
Rising gasoline prices, limited oil reserves, less CO2 emissions or the wish expressed with a lot of pathos to simply think about the next generation. The thought that led to the purchase of a plug-in hybrid could have been something similar. autohub.de was up to something completely different. We wanted to know how useful such a thing is Plug-in hybrid actually in everyday life? When do you miss the beefy power and long-distance usability of a modern diesel engine? When does the compulsory plugging annoy and how economical is such a plug-in hybrid actually, especially as an SUV?
So it was time to rethink. Whereby, as soon as it comes down to “driving”, i.e. getting from A to B very simply, then this “major rethinking” is not necessary. The Outlander plug-in hybrid makes the transition to a new age easy. Get in, press the brake, shift lever to D and off you go.
Mitsubishi has created a milestone in plug-in hybrid technology with the latest generation of Outlanders. No more and no less than the big chime to Times of mobility, In the current model policy, Mitsubishi places great emphasis on sustainable mobility and designed the new Outlander from the start so that the plug-in hybrid version fits into the entire vehicle concept. Diesel, petrol or plug-in hybrid? All of this fits modularly under the pleasing SUV shape of the great Japanese.
Outwardly, nothing of the unusual but ingenious technology behind the SUV facade can be seen. With the Outlander plug-in hybrid, Mitsubishi was the first manufacturer to offer a full-fledged SUV where the customer does not have to compromise on hybridization. Mitsubishi was even the first manufacturer to offer a plug-in hybrid SUV. You have to know that.
The Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has all-wheel drive, can pull trailers and is able to accelerate completely electrically up to a speed of 120 km / h. Those who prefer the pure, noiseless EV mode can travel up to 52 kilometers without burning a drop of gasoline. The two electric motors now take over the drive. One on the front axle and one on the rear axle. The special thing about the Outlander PHEV is not its convincing electrical performance, not the power with which it convinces, or the calmness that it radiates, but rather the ingenious combination of the entire technology package under its cover.
Power of the three hearts
The drive train of the Outlander has an 82 HP electric motor per axle. In addition, a power generator and a gasoline engine under the hood. This package works cleverly together. Really clever. The hybrid drive of the Outlander can work both in series and in parallel. The petrol engine is used purely as an energy generator at speeds below 65 km / h. It charges the batteries, which in turn drive the electric motors. From 65 km / h, however, its petrol engine also works directly as a drive for the front axle. Thanks to a single-stage gearbox, the two-liter petrol engine with its 121 hp is also coupled and drives the front axle of the Outlander directly. The serial hybrid becomes a parallel one. If you are in a particularly hurry, you can go up to 170 km / h and experience the ingenious interplay of the various engines. A mix from the future.
Mitsubishi speaks of a “twin engine 4WD” when it comes to the Outlander's all-wheel drive. Because even if there is no mechanical connection between the front and rear axles, the two electric motors ensure intelligent all-wheel drive. This division of the drive tasks allows the all-wheel drive to be used to increase driving pleasure. Mitsubishi has also packed the control logic of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution into the Outlander and thus ensures that driving dynamics are atypical for SUVs with an active force distribution (Active Yaw).
You hardly notice anything of the 1.9 tonnes curb weight while driving. The almost 400 Nm of the electric motors bring a lot of dynamism to the SUV from the first turn. How the power combo of gasoline engine, power unit and the two electric motors behaves can be set at the push of a button. For example, by pressing the “CHRG” button, you can control the charging function of the system. Of course, charging with a “petrol engine” doesn't really make sense. Charging with a plug is more useful. And also more economical. Around three liters of petrol are required to charge the batteries with a petrol engine.
With full batteries, a good 50 kilometers of purely electrical range are available. If you start with empty batteries, but want to arrive with charged batteries in a travel destination where you want to drive electrically later, press the Charge button and recharge the batteries. Otherwise, the plug-in hybrid remains a classic hybrid while driving. He sails, he uses the energy that he always recovers from braking to glide silently even after the 52 km electrical range by electric drive. It works extremely well. Even at higher speeds.
As is usual for hybrids, the current flow and the power distribution can be observed via graphics on a display. It is only through this graphic processing that you become aware of the complex interplay of petrol, electric motors, generator and battery.
There are shift paddles behind the steering wheel, which looks familiar, but take on completely new tasks in the PHEV Outlander. A little unusual at the beginning, but after a few kilometers it was quite logical and above all practical. Because these shift paddles control the recuperation performance of the Outlander.
Shift paddles for recuperation
Electric and hybrid vehicles recuperate so that the energy generated when braking can be used. Here, the electric motors work like dynamos on bicycles and convert the kinetic energy into electricity. The power of this function when braking can be set manually in many hybrid vehicles. The Outlander divides the effect of the recuperation performance into 6 levels. From 0 (no recuperation) to high to 5. Let this game of “roll out” and conscious energy recovery to a standstill be learned quickly. In level 5, for example, the brake pedal is rarely used in everyday life. When you step on the gas in stage 5, you can feel very clearly how the vehicle is braked by the electric motors that now work like dynamos. A lot of kinetic energy is returned to the batteries. This recuperation level does valuable work, especially when driving downhill or in a trailer.
Short distances purely electric, long distances thanks to 121 HP petrol engine just as quickly and without the fear of missing the next socket. The Outlander has made a flawless record over the first 10.000 km of the endurance test. However, it is not just the perfect interaction of the drive forms that is convincing.
Place in the hut
In terms of space, the Outlander can also convince. Space problems? Also does not know the PHEV variant. Due to the basic construction of the fourth generation as a “plug-in hybrid SUV”, the PHEV only loses the possible third row of seats as an option. And 19 millimeters in the height of the load compartment and 45 millimeters in the height of the usable footwell for the passengers in row two. The trunk still fits 463 to 1.472 liters. These changes are manageable if you consider the conceptual advantages as a family SUV in everyday life.
Mitsubishi has awarded the plug-in variant with a competitive price. Two electric motors, a petrol engine, 52 kilometers of electrical range and a top speed of 120 km / h for a total of 5 passengers cost the Outlander PHEV from € 39.900. Compared to a conventional SUV, this is still a fair offer.
And what have you experienced in the first 10.000 km? What did you learn during the first 6 months in the endurance test?
On the one hand there is the perfect reliability of the Outlander. Typical for a Japanese: He knows workshop visits only from the manual or to have winter tires fitted. Now one might say: Yes, at 10.000 km and 6 months, that should go without saying. Yes - in theory. In practice, however, there are always test vehicles that come up with unexpected problems shortly after the break-in period. Be it problems in the field of electronics, like the last one with a Peugeot 208, creaking pedals, like the last one with another test car, or simple defects that are noticed in the processing.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has not been exposed. It still looks as fresh as on the first day. And getting used to plugging in the “task” is easy to get used to. The PHEV shows who is good at using battery power and how efficient an SUV can be.
So far, we have experienced a total consumption of less than 10.000 liters per 3.2 km over the 100 km traveled. The PHEV also consumes around 100 kW / h of electricity over 21.5 km
Sure - yes, he has also his criticisms. In an earlier post we have already summarized the known points criticized by many Outlander drivers. However, these "criticisms" are not shortcomings in terms of the long-term test. In this respect, the Mitsubishi Outlander is clearly in the second half of the endurance test with a more than positive intermediate report!
[= ””] You will also find a weekly update on the long-term test on autohub.de for the next 6 months.