What is it?
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is, by the manufacturer’s own admission, the most important car it makes. Launched in 2014, the niche plug-in hybrid SUV became a sales sensation as the UK’s best selling plug-in hybrid and threw Mitsubishi to the forefront of the green revolution in big cars.
Since then, however, the company and the car have faced some setbacks. News of electric motorway charging stations becoming a paid-for service means that an 80% charge of the car’s 33-mile range battery costs around £6, and the government's plug-in grant has been halved. Meanwhile tax changes due in April mean that instead of being free from VED, it will cost £10 for the first year then £130 every year after that on vehicles that cost £40,000 and below, the bracket into which most Outlander PHEVs fall. Above £40,000, you can expect to pay around £440 a year.
But while the Mitsubishi's prospects as a private buy look to have been severely hampered, low CO2 emissions mean it's still a cheap company car option that undercuts any like-for-like conventional diesel rivals.
The car received a comprehensive update in 2016, but it’s been lightly refreshed again this year because it’s such an important model for its maker. The electric-only range has increased by one mile (yes, just the one) to 33 miles, while CO2 emissions have dropped by a single gramme per kilometre to 41g/km, along with an improved claimed combined economy figure of 166mpg. Elsewhere the suspension has been altered again with new dampers and rear bushes.