It takes time to adapt to running a plug-in hybrid if you want to get the most out of it.
I have a ritual every time I get in the Outlander. After starting and engaging ‘drive’, I select the maximum energy recuperation setting, B5.
This can be done either using the ‘B’ setting with the gear selector, or using the steering column paddles. The one on the left with the minus symbol can increase the level of recuperation when lifting off the accelerator.
There are five levels, and at the maximum you can certainly feel the car slow when lighting off, as if the brakes have been applied lightly.
The plug-in charge is generally lasting between 20 and 25 miles, and using B5 probably gives me an extra mile or two.
I’ve also taken to switching off air conditioning and if I need ventilation to use the sunroof in the tilt setting and to turn up the car’s fans, to save the drain on the battery from the air-con and prompting more use of the engine.
It hasn’t always been ideal in the warmer weather, but works most of the time.
A 40-mile trip using mostly fast roads will see the trip computer show more than 80mpg at the end of the journey. I’ve also taken advantage of topping up with free electricity at services through the Ecotricity network. I applied for a card and it arrived within a few days.
It means a 20-minute stop for an expensive cup of tea gives me an 80% plug-in charge, enough to give the mpg figure for the trip a useful boost, although I’m not really sure why these rapid charge points don’t restore batteries to 100%.
It doesn’t make much difference to the Outlander, because of the limited electric range, but I’m sure it would to a pure electric vehicle.
Test mpg: 81