back to article Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: The new common-as-muck hybrid

And so we come full circle. Back in 2009 The Reg’s very first ‘leccy car review took a gander at the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. That was essentially just a technology demonstrator and much of that technology has now cropped up in the Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid which, judging by the number I've seen on the roads and Mitsubishi UK's …

  1. fruitoftheloon
    Stop

    "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

    Err what????

    Surely "if you make lots of short journeys", a smaller car (or something with pedals if you really want to be 'greener') with a smaller frontal area, more efficient (smaller) engine and an absence of multiple power sources would be more efficient in the first place?

    Says he with a biggish (for the UK) Jeep that does 30-35 (UK) mpg, and could run on biodiesel if I could be arsed to make it - which whilst not directly relevant to many use cases in the UK is what I consider to be much more actually environmentally friendly...

    Ymmv.

    J.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

      "with a smaller frontal area"

      Frontal area and drag coefficient make almost no difference below 45mph - which makes the best urban shifter something pretty box-shaped.

      Biodiesel is only environmentally friendly if made from waste oils and bearing in mind that you lose more than 50% of the available energy converting those oils to biodiesel, you're better off converting the car to handle unmolested oil (which essentially boils down to heat exchangers to make it flow more easily and a fuel switching system to run it on diesel when cold (indirect injection systems don't need this if you have the "right kind of pump", but such old pumps generally need a rebuild and that gets more expensive than the vehicle is worth and you have the high maintenance factors associated with old cars - I ran a pug106 on bio for a few years but it was costing more in drivetrain/chassis maintenance than I was saving in fuel)

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

        you lose more than 50% of the available energy converting those oils to biodiesel

        So the calorific value of vegetable oils varies from about 85% to 105% of that of petroleum derived diesel.

        Using palm oil as an example, because that was easy to find information for, about 5% of the calorific value is lost converting it to biodiesel, presumably under ideal conditions. What accounts for the other >45%? Inefficiency in backyard operations running on spent cooking oil? The energy in the methanol that's consumed?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

          I think you'll find using palm oil is a less green option than running a coal-burning traction engine.

          1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

            Still makes sense if you want 1 new car and you need a mile eater for 300 mile trips to the in laws. At least until StreetCar do estates for the weekends.

          2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

            I think you'll find using palm oil is a less green option than running a coal-burning traction engine.

            Sure, but as explained, palm oil was used only as an example. It wasn't the point of the question.

      2. boltar Silver badge

        Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

        "you're better off converting the car to handle unmolested oil (which essentially boils down to heat exchangers to make it flow more easily and a fuel switching system to run it on diesel when cold"

        "Unmolested" oil could be full of any old crap unless its had at least some processing. I doubt many people would appreciate left over fish batter gumming up their fuel pumps or water that accidentaly got spilled into the oil ending up busting a conrod. Also if animal fat has got in there it could freeze solid in the fuel lines in cold weather.

      3. fruitoftheloon
        Thumb Up

        @Alan Brown: Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

        Alan,

        we will be making the biodiesel from waste cooking oil - all sourced from ~5 miles from home, and [potentially] some nice soaps from the relevant leftovers, once we have refined them suitably (bit of a long story).

        We will be using predominantly refined diesel when the weather gets chilly.

        Thanks for your other points.

        Cheers,

        J

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: "If you make lots of short journeys then it makes sense..."

      Surely "if you make lots of short journeys", a smaller car

      Bingo. I will definitely consider a smaller car with this exact roadtrain design (provided it is not a BMW).

      I was recently discussing with the SWMBO the candidates for a second small family vehicle if and when the Daihatsu Sirion MK3 she uses today will need to be converted into a spare parts bucket for the nearly identical Sirion 4x4 we have abroad. I suggested the electric Soul (she likes the conventional one). Well, her first question was - can it get you to Heathrow? At which point I juggled the 90 odd miles versus its spec-ed range in my head and parked the idea.

      If, however, there was something in the Micra/Corsa/Yaris/i20 class which uses electricity as god intended (without a transmission) and has a decent petrol generator backup it would have been a candidate for "cash and carry".

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A lot I could live with...

    I could put up with the crummy electric range, the apparently complicated regenerative braking (Oi! Mitsubishi! Automate it, it's 2015), the sluggish performance, the so-so off road performance....

    ..but I'm sorry, there's no excuse for those unforgiveable pipe & slippers styling. Was the entire design budget spent underneath the car, leaving a handful of yen to pay for the appearance? Or did they misunderstand the idea of recycling, and recycled the design from a hearse designed for fat people?

    It's a shame, only Tesla seem to understand the need for EVs to be striking and aspirational. Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan etc seem to think that you can put a rechargeable battery under a turd, and that's the job done.

    1. The Axe
      Mushroom

      Re: A lot I could live with...

      Do EVs need to be striking? Maybe whilst being a Greenie is an in-thing and a way of getting one up on the Jones'. But as the whole Greenie campaign gets cluttered with make it rich entrepreneurs taking advantage of stupid people with more money than sense and as the climate disaster meme breaks down when it doesn't happen for decades (remember when we were told that we wouldn't see snow every again?) businesses will start to switch to more subtle forms of Greenie branding. Plus sometimes some people just want a form of getting from A to B without design being shoved in their face.

      1. hugo tyson

        Re: A lot I could live with...

        I must say I think it's good that we are getting both kinds: those which flaunt design and are uniquely identifiable as EVs, for those who want that, and also the way to the mass market, making EVs *not* remarkable but commonplace, by making it just one variant of an ordinary car.

    2. boltar Silver badge

      Re: A lot I could live with...

      "..but I'm sorry, there's no excuse for those unforgiveable pipe & slippers styling."

      Have you seen the designs of most SUVs? Its patently obvious that the people who buy them either don't give a stuff about style or don't have a clue what it is. Look at the fugly monstrosity from Porsche for starters and the BMW X's are little better. Even the Range Rover looked like a wardrobe thats had a makeover. As for latest offerings from Fiat^h^hJeep - probably best viewed with a bag over them.

      If car makers can sell these mugs an expensive unwieldy inefficient box on wheels just so they can pose at the school gates or company car park then let them part these fools from their money.

      1. fruitoftheloon
        Stop

        @Boltar...Re: A lot I could live with...

        Boltar,

        Some of the 'mugs' who own a SUV do actually live in the countryside, at the end of narrow tracks, which can be a little tricky when covered in snow ya know...

        Plus wifey had a horrific car accident a while ago and now prefers to have a higher seating position.

        Ymdv...

        Regards,

        J.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

          "Some of the 'mugs' who own a SUV do actually live in the countryside, at the end of narrow tracks, which can be a little tricky when covered in snow ya know..."

          Then buy a Defender. You don't need a bling mobile with 22 inch rims, road tyres and all the trimmings. Besides which a Subaru outlander estate is a favourite with farmers who really do need proper offroad vehicles.

          "Plus wifey had a horrific car accident a while ago and now prefers to have a higher seating position."

          How will a higher seating position make her safer especially given the tendency of SUVs to roll over in a high speed crash?

          1. fruitoftheloon
            WTF?

            @Boltar... Re: @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

            Boltar,

            please calm down a bit.

            As to buying a Defender, yeah right, not very comfy for wifeys 50 mile daily commute, they rust like hell (the 4 of them on our road do anyway), very thirsty, shite ride quality on road (not too surprising as that is not their primary purpose methinks).

            Plus they don't have any airbags or useful safety features etc (which saved her life ~10 years ago)...

            Also they were (and still are) way out of our price range.

            On a regular basis we do a 1,000 mile round trip to both sets of in-laws, how gruesome would a Defender be for that?

            As to your "22 inch" wheels comment, where the f'ing ell did that come from?

            Here (mid Devon) I have never seen a farmer driving a Subaru Outback (which I REALLY like btw!)

            As to wifeys preference for a higher seating position, I DID NOT in any way state or imply that it is safer in a crash (btw I was a Risk Consultant so I know that they aren't), but she FEELS safer, and as she is a grown-up and paid for it, clearly that is her choice eh??

            My first choice was for a Subaru Forester, but she couldn't stomach the styling...

            Regards,

            J

            1. boltar Silver badge

              Re: @Boltar... @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

              "please calm down a bit."

              Seems to me you're the one getting worked up a bit.

              "but she FEELS safer, and as she is a grown-up and paid for it, clearly that is her choice eh??"

              So in other words its nothing to do with having to get down a narrow track in the snow. Right, glad we cleared that up. And sure, its her choice, but its also my choice not to have much respect for people who buy these sorts of vehicles outside of a working country enviroment.

              1. fruitoftheloon
                WTF?

                Boltar: Re: @Boltar... @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

                Boltar,

                we couldn't give a monkeys derriere about your respect for people that buy these sort of vehicles...

                The Jeep ticks lots of boxes, it is really that simple. We don't have enough £ to have multiple vehicles for she, me and we, hence we choose one which is the least worst compromise.

                Ooi what do you think of anyone that buys a sports car but is never going to do a track day?

                Plus it will be used for towing shortly, does that make you feel any happier?

                Have a nice day!!

                J

                1. boltar Silver badge

                  Re: Boltar: @Boltar... @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

                  "we couldn't give a monkeys derriere about your respect for people that buy these sort of vehicles..."

                  Then why did you bother replying in the first place?

                  "Plus it will be used for towing shortly, does that make you feel any happier?"

                  My car has a 2 ton towing limit and its not an SUV or even a 4x4.

                  1. fruitoftheloon

                    Re: Boltar: @Boltar... @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

                    Boltar,

                    Apols for my rant quotient being a little higher than is the norm earlier..

                    What vehicle would you suggest we should have got instead. (and I am not being sarcy..)

                    Regards,

                    Jay.

                    1. boltar Silver badge

                      Re: Boltar: @Boltar... @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

                      "What vehicle would you suggest we should have got instead. (and I am not being sarcy..)"

                      If you want a serious answer then what I already mentioned - Subaru Outback 4x4. Does everything an SUV does except for the high seating position.

          2. Joel 1
            Headmaster

            Re: @Boltar...A lot I could live with...

            "Besides which a Subaru outlander estate is a favourite with farmers who really do need proper offroad vehicles."

            If you check out the title of the article we are commenting on, you will see that the Outlander is by Mitsubishi.

            The Subaru Outback (of which I have one at c.156k miles) has been a joy, one of the major pluses being that it looks and behaves like an estate rather than an SUV, but has better AWD than most SUVs.

  3. hugo tyson
    Go

    "Charge it" button

    Surely the button to force it to eat petrol to charge the battery is for when you are a few miles from entering a ZEV zone or some such, ie. London, and you forgot to use the "keep it full" button for the first part of the journey. Or when all the charging points at the services you planned to use are full, also on the edge of a ZEV zone?

    1. Al Taylor

      Re: "Charge it" button

      You're probably right, though I have trouble convincing myself that that anyone who actually bought a PHEV would forget to hold enough charge if they planned on heading into a ZEV zone.

  4. jphn37

    Curious about break lights

    "These are not to change the gears – . . . – but to enhance the aggression of the regenerative braking though five levels. One is normal, five really throws the anchors out when you take your foot of the throttle."

    Like the subject says, do break lights come on if you're in regenerative one? That would probably be overkill. But it sounds like they sure ought to if you're in regenerative five, which presumably is a significant step above normal engine breaking.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Curious about break lights

      I think they come on when the system has broken.

      1. jphn37

        Re: Curious about break lights

        haha, oops. Hadn't finished that first cupa at the time. :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Curious about break lights

          I think you mean a BMW.

          1. dogged

            Re: Curious about break lights

            > I think you mean a BMW.

            Actually no. The only thing worse than a BMW driver is an aspiring BMW driver who is training via an Audi.

    2. Bagpi

      Re: Curious about break lights

      The brake lights do not come on with regenerative braking. But the author's comment about number 5 'throwing the anchors' is, in my opinion, not entirely correct, it is maybe slightly stronger than typical engine braking.

      1. Al Taylor

        Re: Curious about break lights

        I may have over egged the pudding with the "anchors" comment. Even with the recuperation set to maximum there'd be little chance of getting rear-ended unless the following car was much, much too close. No matter what the setting the brake lights don't come on you you take your foot off the gas.

        1. dogged

          Re: Curious about break lights

          Even with the recuperation set to maximum there'd be little chance of getting rear-ended unless the following car was much, much too close an Audi.

          Fixed.

  5. joed

    SUV obsession

    How has this ridiculous trend come to be so popular in Europe (US can't be helped, we can't even drive proper transmission)? Expensive fuel (and electricity), narrow streets and (most places, actually same like here) no need for 4WD. Once, visiting historical downtown of some small German city I saw a big hulking Land Rover. No idea how it was delivered there - air drop or some masochistic driving pleasure (plus inevitable liberal use of insurance over time). Sucks to drive, next to nil utility and expensive. Am I missing something?

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: SUV obsession

      Firstly Euro SUV's are generally smaller than their US counterparts, particularly in Width which is the most important.

      Secondly most of Britian and Europe have roads that are wide enough tiny historic towns are quite few and far between.

      Thirdly SUV's have a huge Psychological draw that appeals to families - they look fashionable (mostly), they look safer (bigger = safer), they look like they can swallow a family and luggage, and the high driving position inspires confidence.

    2. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: SUV obsession

      If you visit the UK and experience the lamentable state of the roads there, an SUV becomes an obvious choice.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: SUV obsession

      My "SUV" has a similar footprint to a saloon car, not that wide, not that long, but quite high.

      And it is a proper off roader from Solihul not some imported toy.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got one of these...

    ...and it's a very middle-of-the-road thing. Not good at anything, not bad at anything.

    I do have a lengthy commute, for which the PHEV would seem to make no sense at all until you remember the outstanding 5% Benefit in Kind.

    It's one of the cheapest vehicles out there to run as a company car and quite comfortable. Tiny fuel tank, though, so if you buy it purely for the BIK and don't charge up every day, expect to visit the pumps a few times a week.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: I've got one of these...

      I wouldn't describe 45 litres as 'tiny', should be enough to get you 400 miles of motorway cruising. But if you're pulling a 100+ mile commute, a diesel is probably a much more sensible option.

  7. Plugger

    Missing the Point...

    I think everyone is missing the point. As with all developing technologies, in a time of rapid change, the early adopters pay the price for not-quite-perfect solutions - including design and technology issues -. And, precisely because it is new, new methods of working have to be adopted to maximise the benefits. Whingeing about vehicle size is only relevant if you don't need to lug big loads, or carry five people. Likewise economy. Charge the PHEV overnight for a quid and, does it matter whether you get 25 or 32 miles to a (presently) free charge point, to top up the range in under half an hour against a fiver or more for the equivalent amount of petrol? On my test drive in the hills, I got over 100mpg with one of these. The regenerative braking (no I didn't break it) added to the EV range and several percentage points to the battery level, and if you use low gears to brake, going down hill, in many years of motoring, I've never been rear ended. Don't know if you have... I need a 4WD, not for driving around town, but because my conventional German beast wouldn't get me up the local hill to get to the main road on a snowy morning. And unlike a Leaf, with a PHEV, I'm not likely to run out of energy on a longer run. So come on, guys. Get real. It's giant leap forward and you've just got to learn how to use it... Unlike a Tesla, it's the most practical solution so far. Give it a couple of years and, such is the pace of change, that something better will come along

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing the Point...

      Have you tried winter tyres? I'm not saying 4WD is never needed but in general I find they can pull me up snowy hills without much drama.

  8. Shady

    It has the same problem as every other hybrid / pure electric vehicle

    It looks absolutely shit.

    1. Piro

      Re: It has the same problem as every other hybrid / pure electric vehicle

      Same as the normal one, so that's nothing to do with the electric gubbins.

      Also, are you really saying the Tesla Model S is ugly? I don'think so.

  9. Robert E A Harvey

    Buying one for the wrong reason.

    i may be ordering one of these because the company car tax is one quarter that of a proper car. I will never plug it in, because $MEGACORPs fuel card scheme can't cope with charging, so if I plugged it in I would be subsidising company mileage. $MEGACORP have forbidden plugging them in at work. So I will be buying diseasel to burn to lug all the extra weight around.

    So it will /never/ be used as a plug-in but will save me £1500 a year on my tax .

    Absolute nonsense. Courtesy of HMRC

    1. Simon Rockman

      Re: Buying one for the wrong reason.

      Ah, you want an i8

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Re: you want an I8

        Actually, Yes. Yes I do. But there are three problems there:

        1. $MEGACORP is daft, but not quite that daft.

        2. I do need to carry luggage

        3. I am 1.91 metres tall, in me stocking feet. I need to be able to get in it.

    2. Neil Spellings

      Re: Buying one for the wrong reason.

      You'd probably want to consider Petrol if you don't want to bugger up the PHEV engine ;)

  10. EvanPyle

    Good looking car, it's not all glowing green or blue and the interior isn't in your face.

    The piston engine for charging makes a lot of sense if you were outside the city or had to go on a long drive once in while. Honestly it would probably suite me very well, but I just bought a new car :(

    1. mathew42

      During the week our SUV used mostly for travelling 10km to school, but about once a month we do 300-500kms in a weekend. I much prefer the hydrocarbon engine to charge the battery as the engine can be tuned for maximum efficiency.

  11. therebel

    Seems odd to have a car review written by someone that "rarely does more than 20 miles a day".

    1. Al Taylor

      Mileage

      That's my daily commute and then some. I only go looking for extra miles when I'm road testing for El Reg. Obvs.

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Retro appeal?

    Are 90s body styles back in fashion?

  13. adrianww
    Stop

    How much?

    The problem I have with this thing is the price. For twenty-eight grand I could have something with a conventional engine/drivetrain but much better and more usable out in the sticks where I live. A diesel Subaru Forester (for example) if I wanted something with a bit of ground clearance and the ability to cope with the local farm tracks, minor roads and bits of off-roading that are sometimes required. Or even just the standard diesel Outlander if push came to shove.

    Actually, having said that, I don't think I'm likely to spend that much on a car again anyway. I prefer to buy something a couple of years old after some other poor sap has eaten all the depreciation. Which begs another question for me - which is more environmentally friendly? Buying a new "eco-car" every two or three years (with the associated costs/environmental impact of its manufacture) or buying something older that is less tree-friendly (so to speak) and then running that for several years (assuming it's properly maintained, etc.) Because the current road-tax system seems to be increasingly geared towards hitting the owners of older cars (that were manufactured for looser emissions regs) in their pockets but making no allowances for the environmental impact of manufacturing the shiny new ones (or, indeed, disposing of the old ones that no-one then wants).

    Of course, the manufacturers do have to pay their environmental charges and taxes so that obviously will come into it, but it just seems like we're increasingly moving towards a world where everyone is being persuaded, poked, prodded and cajoled into buying the newest this, that and the other even when we're talking about things like cars (which, for many folks, will probably be the second most expensive thing they will buy in their life, or even the most expensive if you leave houses/property out of the picture). Which is all very nice for the revenues and profitability of the companies that make all the doo-dads (and their political chums) but is it really all that good for the people? I'm not certain...

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: How much?

      "which is more environmentally friendly? Buying a new "eco-car" every two or three years (with the associated costs/environmental impact of its manufacture) or buying something older that is less tree-friendly"

      The problem is that you can't have one without the other. Buying second-hand is certainly much more environmentally friendly, but you can't do that if no-one buys new cars in the first place. As long as a car does get re-sold and doesn't end up on the scrap heap too early, it doesn't really matter what the motivation for buying it new was.

      1. adrianww

        Re: How much?

        Absolutely, I know you have to have some new ones out there otherwise there won't eventually be old ones. However, the point that slightly bothers me is that as emissions regs are tightened further and further and car taxation is tied more and more closely to them, it becomes more punitive to keep running the older cars and people are pushed in the direction of new ones. Which is all well and good from the day-to-day emissions point of view but takes little (or no) account of the overall environmental impact of the manufacturing/disposal process. Or, at least, it pushes those costs/taxes back up into the manufacturing chain (whence they are probably ultimately passed on to the consumer anyway, but with additional profit margin applied) or it pushes them into the waste disposal chain (where, again, they are probably passed on to the consumer in some shape or form). So, ultimately, we all end up paying even more (directly or indirectly) and the only people really to benefit from it are the manufacturers, their bankers and their political pals. Funny how it often seems to end up working like that...

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: How much?

          "However, the point that slightly bothers me is that as emissions regs are tightened further and further and car taxation is tied more and more closely to them, it becomes more punitive to keep running the older cars and people are pushed in the direction of new ones."

          Not really. you have to look at the actual size of that push. This Outlander costs over £28k, while something similar can be had second hand for £8k or so - I got a diesel Forester for that a few months ago. If I keep that for 10 years, then including tax I'll still have paid less than £10k for it. Even if tax was an order of magnitude more so I was paying nearly £1500 per year, it would still be significantly more expensive to get the new car. Plus bear in mind that taxes generally apply differently to old and new vehicles - there are different schemes for cars registered before 2010, and again for those registered before 2001 (and an extra break in 2006 for particularly dirty cars).

          So while taxes based on emissions might be intended as an incentive to encourage people to buy cleaner cars, it's a tiny effect compared to the actual cost of buying a car and is only going to push people who don't bother to actually run the numbers. The only way to really get people to buy new cars is to raise taxes to the point that it actually makes economic sense for them to do so, and at that point most people simply won't be able to afford a car at all.

  14. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Obvious question ... however 'green' it may be, how long does the battery pack last before it needs replacement and how much does a replacement cost?

    "Short time" and "lots" would be economic suicide, buy a gas guzzler instead.

  15. kmac499

    Makes sense to me..

    Assuming a car in this price range is driven by a rail commuter working in the big city

    Monday - Friday short commute to the station and or drop the kids on the school run

    Weekends hook up the HorseBox and off to Pony Club.

    1. Martin Kirk

      Re: Makes sense to me..

      Might be the right car if I really do end up moving to Orkney. Mostly short trips into the great metropolis of Kirkwall, but has the legs to handle the inherently long trips when you have to go to the mainland.

  16. Neil Spellings

    Had one of these for several months and very happy with it.

    As a consultant and LTD company owner, made perfect sense to buy one through the company to receive both 100% depreciation in year one (thus saving a ton of corporate tax), and the attractive 5% BIK running it as a private car.

    Mostly used pottering around town and doing the school run, so can run for several days on a single overnight charge. The occasional longer journey is covered by the petrol engine and topping up the (currently free) ecoTricity motorway chargers.

    As other have noted the interior isn't anything to write home about, but the seats are comfy, the ride high is good, tons of headroom and the rear seat legroom is insane. Boot space is great for cases, kids clutter etc.

  17. xj650t
    Stop

    I don't understand

    How such a big car can have such a small battery

  18. Peter Galbavy

    nice timing

    Coincidentally I should be picking up my (lower end) GX3h in the next 48 hours. Moving from a 2004 Mondeo Estate that's very much on it's last legs to my first ever "new" car I did take some time reading around and to be honest, given my back-of-a-fag-packet budget and my interest being suitably piqued, I look forward to it. Being of an age when I've paid of the smaller mortgage I have gone for a 3 year lease which I would never have done a few years ago. It drove nicely in the test drive and the EV part fits the majority of my own driving profile.

    One the other hand the seemingly abysmal state of the public charging infrastructure and the bureaucracy involved in getting a home charging point (the actual problem is the off street parking and Barnet councils glacial approach) ... I look forward to the fun ahead.

  19. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Don't use 4WD on the A-Road!

    "If you want to second-guess the Outlander, you can stick it into permanent four-wheel-drive mode – handy on a slippery A-road or for a spot of light off-roading"

    Actually, 4WD is very VERY BAD on a slippery road. AWD? Potentially useful. 4WD? Locking the 4 wheels together means as soon as you have the kind of problem you'd THINK the 4WD would help with, in actuality the locked together wheels tend to force the vehicle out of line and into the ditch. 4WD is for keeping a vehicle from getting stuck, not for helping keep the vehicle going where you're steering it on slippery roads. (It looks like the Mitsubishi system, 4WD Lock doesn't really lock anything though, just suggests to some computer to apply more power to the "other" wheels than it normally would, but still varies the power depending on driving conditions, so in actuality it's still a true AWD system. True 4WD rigidly locks the wheels and is really only for off-road, while AWD uses various differentials and (usually) computer control to make it usable under all conditions.)

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