Mitsubishi is undergoing a resurgence in the UK at the moment, and part of it can be put down to the success of the world’s ford plug-in hybrid SUV.
The Outlander was launched with modest sales aspirations of around 1,500 a year, but as the best-selling plug-in car in the UK, it is currently on course to reach 10,000 a year.
Total Mitsubishi Outlander registrations in the UK were up 40% to the end of August, and that was on the back of growth in 2013, the year that the current model was introduced.
But while the PHEV has a very sophisticated powertrain, the Outlander itself could soon be in need of an update to ensure it keeps up with rivals.
Our GX4hs model has all the equipment its possible to have on the Outlander, including comprehensive safety features. There is a lane departure alert and a collision warning with autonomous braking, plus adaptive cruise control, which can maintain a set safe distance with the vehicle in front and adjust the Outlander’s speed accordingly.
But there is no blind-spot warning available, and while the car will warn of drifting out of the lane, some rivals actually have technology that will read lane markings and subtly ensure the car doesn’t inadvertently drift out.
In terms of its EV technology, the Outlander uses the paddles that would normally be used to change gear manually in an automatic car, to vary the amount of energy regeneration when lifting off the accelerator.
The fourth and fifth level of energy recuperation actually slow the car as much as braking lightly would, and while Volkswagen EVs have a similar feature, they illuminate the brake lights to warn traffic behind that the car is slowing rather than coasting.
It might be worthwhile Mitsubishi considering some of these features when it comes to the mid-lifecycle facelift of the Outlander to ensure it maintains its technology advantage.