With almost 5000km on the clock it’s time for a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Long term update!
Ok I’m just going to spit out my thoughts in point form for this one but you’ll get the picture. Oh and I’m also going to include imperial measurements for our international friends. ;)
EV Range: The real world driving around town range of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is officially 40km (24miles) We achieve this figure daily in normal day to day driving. Could you do better by driving in economy run mode? Possibly, but this is the figure for normal day to day driving.
Fuel Range: We’re averaging 1400km (869 miles) to a $45 tank of petrol, this includes an average of one 400km (248mile) highway trip on petrol each tank of fuel. If we didn’t do any long highway trips we could potentially drive all year on that one tank of fuel. A $45 fill up here equates to about 30 litres or 8 US gallons.
Fuel Economy: From tank to tank we’re averaging 1400km (869 miles) or (2.14 L/100km (132MPG), very much in line with Mitsubishi’s quoted 1.9L/100km figures. On the highway sections we average 5.8L/100km (40.56MPG) for longer distance trips. For example, on a typical trip to Melbourne and back (approx 300km or 186miles) I charge the PHEV to full capacity and then hit the ‘SAVE’ button to keep my electric power for any hills I encounter. By the time I hit melbourne I’m down to a very low level, which is good as it takes much less energy to charge the battery in this state then if it was near full. If I don’t have enough battery in reserve I hit the ‘CHARGE’ button and charge the PHEV back up to half full as I’m approaching the city. This gives me enough to do all my running around in the city. I like to start the return journey with at least a half full charge to keep for any bigger hills so I hit charge on any free flowing freeway sections in Melbourne where the petrol engine is doing very little work at 100kph (60MPH).
Highway Driving: So basically, on a long trip I use the petrol engine for the flat bits, the Electric motor for hills and I hit the ‘CHARGE’ button for extended downhill sections. This allows me to consistently achieve 5.8L/100km (40.56MPG) on a long highway trip. Not bad at all for a vehicle of this size.
Comfort: Seats we both find very comfortable, especially on the highway and over long distances. Heating and air conditioning both work well and efficiently and suspension and handling is both reasonably taught whilst still being compliant. Sound highway and round town performer.
Performance: The LEAF gets away quicker from the lights but the PHEV is not far behind. The petrol engine has a competent amount of power for highway travelling and climbing steeper hills. Electric motors pull up steeper hills at highway speeds with ease.
Wishlist: The base model needs the app that comes standard with the Aspire, primarily for the ability to charge the vehicle to 80% capacity only.
Cost to Run: Noticed an increase of electricity consumption compared to LEAF - suspect that the inability to only charge to 80% capacity may be the culprit. That last 20% requires more energy than the previous 80% to bring the battery up to full capacity and charging to 100% everytime is sure to use more energy.
We went from zero electric bills with the LEAF to having to pay some, not liking that. Going to try charging the PHEV during the middle of the day when we are generating the most electricity from our solar panels rather than charging off peak overnight. Also going to manually stop the charge cycle short so as not to allow the vehicle to charge to 100%. A capacity of around 80% easily covers our daily driving needs and will definitely extend the life of the batteries and should reduce electricity consumption.
Observation: Outlander PHEV uses more petrol in winter around town - due to petrol engine starting up to warm vehicle once temperature drops below 10 degrees C.
Observation: Don’t hit the CHARGE button on highway trips unless the battery is under half full. One trip I thought I’d keep the battery as full as I could for use in the next city but I noticed I used a lot more fuel when hitting the ‘CHARGE’ button on the downhill sections. I then remembered that lithium batteries need a lot more energy to recharge that last 20% of capacity. Going from 0 - 80% is pretty easy but that last 20% of capacity needs to be forced in and requires more energy, it’s just the nature of lithium batteries. I now let the batteries drain to under half full before hitting the CHARGE button on the downhill sections. I use a lot less fuel on the highway this way which allows me to achieve 5.8L/100km (40.56MPG).
Overall: We’re very happy with build quality and reliability of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - absolutely no issues to report other than I bent the bracket holding the EV charge flap. It sticks out a rather long way when open and caught on my jacket as I was walking past the vehicle. I tried to re-adjust the bracket holding the flap but the gap is a little off when closed now. Watch this when charging your PHEV, I don’t leave the flap all the way open now. I could see this being an issue when charging at public car parks, something we are yet to do.
PHEV versus LEAF? Ok so which is better, all EV driving or Petrol Hybrid driving? I have to say, as good as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is, we both still prefer the LEAF. There’s just something about the smooth, quiet, powerful experience of all EV motoring. If Nissan or Mitsubishi release a LEAF type vehicle with a 300 - 400km range we would definitely make that our next vehicle, we do both still absolutely prefer all EV driving.
Until next time!