Most electric (or part-electric) cars allow their drivers only a very specific power usage schedule. Not so the Outlander – which is one of the reasons why it gets such a high score in this section.
Flexibility is its key, rather than the overall statistics relating to its performance. Those are good enough: 0-60mph in 10.0sec and, if you’ve no battery oomph to call on and you’re away from a socket, 38.0mpg via petrol power generation only (or 32mpg on a motorway).
But it’s the fact that the Outlander puts you in control that’s really crucial. Once charged, its batteries are good for a range of 25.5 miles (in our hands), and for most commutes that’ll do just fine.
But say you don’t want to do those electric-only miles straight after charging, because you’re travelling 100 miles, with journey’s end inside an ultra-low emissions zone? That’s fine. You can hold the charge in the battery, at any time, and run on petrol generation only.
Or, uniquely in our experience, you can even actively charge the batteries via the petrol engine, while you’re in extended mode or even while you’re parked.
Left to its own devices, the PHEV system is pretty impressive. In most driving you’ll not notice any intervention from the petrol engine while the batteries have a good amount of charge in them, even on the motorway.