Familiarity breeds reassurance: It is said that English writer Geoffrey Chaucer first used the expression familiarity breeds contempt. Essentially suggesting long association with something makes you more aware of foibles and faults, so you lose interest and appreciation.
There’s a counter argument that familiarity is reassuring, proven and reliable. All epithets I would happily apply to Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV.
Launched back in 2014 it quickly made its mark, and still appears in the top ranks of the plug-in SUV sales charts. Not bad for a vehicle that has only been revised twice since its launch, and testament to its original design. Utilising an electric motor on each axle it retains full off-road credentials and marked a turning point towards greener SUVs.
It looks very modern without the fussiness of design adopted by some competitors. Behind the wheel of my Exceed specification test model is a nice place to be, with comfortable diamond quilted leather, heated seats and steering wheel, keyless entry and start among the standard equipment.
Prices start from €39,731 (£35,815) and peak at €49,060 (£44,225), my Exceed model sitting near the top of the tree at €46,264 (£41,705). All PHEV models come with a 2.4 litre petrol engine driving through an automatic gearbox and three driving modes. All electric, hybrid (a mix of electric and petrol power) or a parallel hybrid mode using both electric and petrol power .
There is a quoted range of 28 miles on pure electric according to the new, stricter real world WLTP test. I actually managed 36 miles, it very much depends on style of driving, road types and conditions. I
t’s an impressive range when you consider many much newer plug-in hybrids still hover at this kind of range. For such a large vehicle its overall economy using hybrid mode was impressive, a mainly urban driving week averaging 5l/100km (mid 50s mpg).
With masses of interior space for five (you lose the 7-seat capacity of non-PHEV models due to the battery) it can double as family car and workhorse.
The interior is perhaps a little old-fashioned in some respects with smaller than average touchscreen display and plastics that are perhaps not up to some competitors. I suspect they would be more durable! It does have proper buttons, simple to use controls and all modern comforts, even in the lead-in versions. It is a very nice, refined and comfortable machine that demonstrates the virtues of familiarity.
Facts at a Glance
Model: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed
Engine: 2.4-litre, 4-cylinder, gasoline/petrol-electric plug-in hybrid
Price: €46,264 (£41,705)
Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 10.5 seconds/Maximum Speed 170 kmh (106 mph)
Economy: 2.0l/100km (139.7 mpg) Combined driving WLTP 45.06 km (28 miles) electric range
Emissions: 46 g/km WLTP
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.