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First Drive: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Mitsubishi thinks its new plug-in hybrid Outlander is the perfect company car, with decent electric range, low emissions and tax, and strong pricing.

Thing is, with electric cars, we’ve heard all of this before. Every single one seems to be launched with the claim it is a ‘game changer’. The problem is it’s a game not many customers are playing. This time though, it might actually be different.

A full charge takes eight hours and costs a pound, although a three-quarters charge can be done in half an hour, and if you are especially light footed, you can drive about 30 miles before a petrol engine kicks in, although mid 20s is more likely. This will suffice for most commutes, and Mitsubishi reckons for drivers doing more than about 90 miles a day most days, a diesel is a better bet.

Perhaps the biggest fillip for this car is that the entry-level GX3h Outlander PHEV is on sale for £28,249 after the Government grant. This is the same price as the Outlander diesel GX3 auto, and rewrites at a stroke the expectation for what a significantly electric-powered car (and by that I mean not a hybrid with a three mile range) should cost.

Currently attracting a benefit in kind rate of 5%, Mitsubishi claims a 40% tax payer will pay just £665 in a tax year at this level, which over three years could equate to a saving of many thousands of pounds over competitors cars. Certainly it’s a calculation every company car driver in the market for a £30,000 car should be doing for themselves.


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