Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV By David - Perth, WA
Why did you choose this particular model?
We liked the room, the flexibility, features and the price. Even the base model is great! (We bought second hand, but very low kms so saved a bundle compared to new and yet lots of warranty left. Its first registration was Jan 2016 so it's under warranty til Jan 2021.
How long have you owned the vehicle?
Five weeks. We have actually done over two thousand kilometres in that time which is more than usual for us, includes four longer highway trips including to a wedding and visiting family so a fair amount of highway driving as well as a lot of city driving.
It's absolutely fine on the highway, very reasonable fuel mileage, though a fairly small fuel tank, but of course where it really shines is city and stop/start driving. Both my wife and I just LOVE driving this car in the city, and down to the local shops etc. It's silent, efficient, effortless, and best of all, we both find red traffic lights less frustrating as you know the energy is going back into the battery rather than just heating the brakes. It's very easy to drive virtually without touching the brake pedal except for the last few kph, especially using the "flappy paddles" to increase regenerative braking. I suspect we will never wear the brake pads out as they get very little use!
Which other models did you consider at the time of purchase?
Obviously, we would have loved a Tesla, (who wouldn't), yes, I could actually afford one, but just too expensive to justify. We test drove a Prius and a Corolla Hybrid, and was not at all impressed, especially with the "no plugin" option. We do a lot of short runs, yet couldn't even get down to our local Woolies, about a kilometre and a half away, without starting the engine- which is then stone cold and therefore seriously polluting as the catalytic converter doesn't get up to temperature.
The Mitsubishi PHEV, on the other hand, has an electric-only range of around 50kms which means that 99% of our around town driving is now electric only.
Do you own any other vehicles? Do you have them for long trips or practical reasons?
We have a 2014 Grand Cherokee diesel which we use for towing a 3.0T caravan or most longer highway runs, and which we also love, (absolutely awesome tow vehicle!), but I try to avoid short runs in that as it has a diesel particulate filter, which clogs quickly on short runs. DPF's are great for cleaning the exhaust but don't work well for constant short runs. The Grand Cherokee diesel is definitely nicer to drive on the highway, but the PHEV is much nicer to drive around town.
What do you enjoy the most about the car?
Silent, clean, efficient, environmentally friendly and very comfortable city driving. Yes, we save money on fuel (over 60% saving) but that is really secondary, and not the reason we bought the PHEV.
What niggles you about it?
Very little. A bit more range would be nice for longer trips but not essential as there is always the petrol engine if needed. I wish it had an "80%" charge mode as that is better for the battery's longevity, and also gives you instant regenerative braking. (If the battery is full, that doesn't happen- full is full!), so for the first few kms, you're using the brakes. Most days we would be lucky to do 15-30kms, so 80% charge option would be very handy. I can "guesstimate" 80% using the time switch on the charger but it's not very accurate.
Has your style of driving changed since owning an EV?
Yes definitely, it is enjoyable to drive a little bit more conservatively and try to avoid the brakes altogether. It's amazing how the "petrol heads" rush off and we then catch them at the next traffic light. (Yet I'm not a slow driver or road hog, definitely drive at the speed limit when conditions are suitable and used to be a bit of a petrol head myself!)
What's the longest and shortest range you've experienced?
The shortest range on battery alone is highway driving at high speed, (110kph) due to wind resistance, probably around 40-45kms. The best range I have achieved is about 55kms which is conservative suburban driving in light traffic, with a few traffic lights thrown in. The regenerative braking is obviously efficient as traffic and stops don't make the range much worse.
I reckon I could do even better at a steady 50 kph, but of course, you'd likely never do that.
We’ve done a fairly long drive around the North side of Brisbane, totalling about 45 kms in all, with the aircon occasionally cutting in (not very hot conditions) and managed it all on battery with a kilometre or so range to spare, pretty happy with that!The feel of the accelerator is certainly nicer with the addition of the PHEV box, so yes, I am very happy!
Where do you mostly charge?
I charge at home in the garage, have my original charger "hard-wired" to a cheaper controlled tariff and through a time clock, so I can charge whenever possible at environmentally friendly times, (eg: after midnight) and usually not ever when the grid is working hard. (When controlled tariff switches on for us, at typically about 9:30 pm, there is a big sudden load on the grid from hot water systems, pool filters and other devices which are on that tariff. Thus I use the time clock to delay switching it on till around midnight as that's a more "grid-friendly" way of doing it. Having worked in power stations many years ago, and as an ex- electrical engineer, I am very aware of such things.) In years to come when I lose my good solar feed tariff I will charge more in the middle of the day in good solar conditions.
And do you make much use of public charging stations?
Yes, usually ChargePoint affiliated stations .
How much longer do you intend to keep it for?
A long time!
Would you buy another one, if not what's your next car going to be?
Yes, I'd buy another in a heartbeat, but we need the Grand Cherokee for towing a heavy van. The PHEV though means we have the absolute best of both worlds.
How have the dealers been with regards to support?
No experience just yet.
Do you unashamedly consider yourself an EVangelist?
YES, Both my wife and I LOVE driving the PHEV. She doesn't understand much about it, but that doesn't matter at all- you can just let it look after itself and drive it like an automatic.
Anything else to add that might help prospective buyers?
Hybrids, especially plug-in hybrids, absolutely shine for city use but are still quite good on the highway. Using a bit of smarts makes it even better- eg try to arrive at the top of a big hill or mountain range with the battery less than full so you will make the most of regenerative braking on the way down, and conversely try to arrive at the bottom of a big hill with plenty in the battery. (There are "save" and "charge" mode selections to help with that.) We also need to make sure to use some fuel occasionally to avoid the fuel getting stale!