During the endurance test with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, of course, we also took the family vacation trip with the “first plug-in hybrid SUV”. Anyone who goes on vacation with a small child and dog likes to choose a destination close to home and so for us it was the “vacation in the mountains” that we had planned. It quickly became clear that the Outlander as an SUV offers enough space to bring children, dogs and cones on vacation. But how does the plug-in hybrid drive work in the mountains? Is the gasoline engine enough? How do the batteries behave?
In my article (linked above) I have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of the PHEV system during the vacation trip. But as is often the case: there are questions left open. In this case, a reader has pointed out to me that my explanation:
"However, arriving at the next pass with empty batteries is also very uncomfortable."
a little misleading arrives. The reader's letter raised further questions:
- Is it then difficult to climb (paved) mountain roads?
- Does it mean that the 120-PS gasoline engine without e-support by the high vehicle weight then just a bit cumbersome?
- Or then you have to take a forced break and let the gasoline engine run until the battery is charged again something?
- And how is it when there is just uphill stop-and-go traffic, as occurs, for example, regularly on the return journey from Switzerland to Germany on Sunday evenings? (I have my experiences there). Does the Outlander PHEV still ride smoothly or jiggle and buck when the petrol engine is on its own due to empty batteries?
Important questions before buying a car if, like the reader, you like to go on vacation to the mountains. In a letter to the editor he also announced that he was basically about to buy a car and had actually decided on a BMW X1 Diesel, but the current diesel debate was unsettling him. And excitingly enough, the Outlander PHEV costs about as much as the very compact BMW SUV, despite the extra space and the ultra-modern drive train.
Prepare the vehicle for the mountains using the “Charge button”
121 HP petrol engine and 60 kW battery power. Ideal when both work together. Unfortunately, there are regions in Austria where e-mobility is still neglected and so - if you want to get to the mountain with full batteries - only the “CHARGE button” in the Outlander. But don't I always say: “CHARGING with petrol doesn't make sense”? Yes. But.
But first to the questions from the reader eMail:
It is not difficult to get up the pass. Neither asphalt nor gravel 🙂 and not even in snow and slush. Only the technological property of the PHEV, that the petrol engine can be switched to the front axle from around 64 km / h, ensures an “unusual” engine noise when driving at this speed. Depending on how the load is called up, the gasoline engine revs up and generates the required electricity via a generator. It's uncomfortable because you're used to the quiet in the PHEV SUV.
However, if you charge the batteries using the charge button before going on a pass, you can reduce this comfort penalty to a minimum. Because it is “ONLY” a comfort penalty. It's not a problem in a technical sense.
The Outlander PHEV never looks clumsy, because in principle the electric motors are always responsible. Only the acoustic background from the gasoline engine is more concise. As a fan of “quiet e-mobility”, this can be perceived as unpleasant.
Compulsive breaks are absolutely not necessary. It is often enough to press the charge button during pass-off and use the petrol engine to generate electricity. Otherwise, he would say goodbye to a standstill.
Stop-and-go traffic is THE domain of the Outlander PHEV. Even with empty batteries, the gasoline engine, which then runs quietly, is enough to generate electricity. The electric motors ensure a completely jerk-free ride. Always. You don't even feel the gasoline “switching on” the axle - if you don't fully concentrate on this moment.
Plug-in hybrid or diesel?
Of course, this decision can not be made dependent on the holiday trip alone. However, if you rarely drive more than 100 km a day, who can load at home and, ideally, also at work, then the PHEV is the right drive solution. And who puts emphasis on four-wheel drive and space, which is just right for Outlander PHEV!
[= ””] Do you have any questions about the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid? Write us! firstname.lastname@example.org