Getting out of town with the PHEV

Road testing the PHEV Outlander 1

A while ago I got the opportunity to try out driving an electric car, the Nissan Leaf, for a bit. While it looked kind of like a giant orange bubble, the tech geek in me loved every second. Actually, the practical and ‘girl who likes extra money to buy shoes’ in me also loved it.

However, while it’s great to buzz about the city in, it’s not such a great car for long drives as it’s range is only about 150kms.

So when the chance to put the brand new, world first Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for those of you who aren’t down with the lingo) through it’s paces on a road trip courtesy of my job at Origin, I couldn’t pass it up.

It seems like forever ago now, but over the Easter school holiday break we took the opportunity to load it up and get out of town. Quite a long way out of town, in fact. More than ten hours in the car in each direction, in fact.

When I was planning the trip, along with all the usual things like iPad chargers and wondering how the hell I was going to keep Poss happy on such a long trip, I was also conscious that I needed to consider how to power the car. Not a thought I’d really had to worry about before and a sobering one when facing such a long drive to essentially the middle of nowhere.

Once I got into it though and understood a bit more about the car, I realised that unlike the Leaf, the PHEV has a duel engine. The lovely quiet and stupidly economical electric engine takes care of the city, stop start, driving, but as soon as you hit the highway, the petrol one will kick in. And as a bonus, it will charge the electric one as you go.

It also has a cord that just plugs in like a hair straightener. Which seemed a bit silly, given the size of the appliance at the other end, but compared to the Leaf (where this cord isn’t standard and you need to buy it as an extra) it was very comforting to know I could just plug it in my garage and charge it overnight.

I’m not sure what I expected, but driving this car was a delight.

Road testing the Outlander PHEV 2

We managed to get it off road, well not really, but it certainly took us off the beaten track in search of wind farms with ease. Because why not?

It’s big, but not too big. There’s lots of room to load it up for a weekend away and it handles well; if you didn’t know it was this environmental angel, you wouldn’t know. If you know what I mean.

It’s got all the geeky, tech things that I love about the Leaf; dials, monitors, smart little details that you feel like you’re kind of taking off in a space ship, yet it’s simple to use and easy to understand.

It’s not really fair to compare the Leaf and the Outlander; they are very different cars and are designed for different purposes.

But if you’re looking for something that’s going to give you the best of both worlds, an economical and environmental leg up, while still having the range to take you away for the weekend, then a PHEV is possibly the way to go.

Now… how to convince Husband that it’s time for us to make the switch?


Note: This is not a sponsored post. I was given the chance to drive the PHEV as part of my job at Origin, with no obligation to blog about it. But I like this car, so wanted to share it. 

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  1. I love the idea of a plug in electric vehicle. I am a bit of a car buff and I drive a hybrid at the moment but our expanding family means we have to change cars before new bub arrives. I did get a big old SUV 8 seater Lexus but the fuel economy is making me cry! I wonder if the PHEV OUtlander comes in a 7 seater? I am off to research it now!


  1. […] It’s my first full time role since having Poss. Which is big in itself, but it’s also the first role I’ve held that I got my very own hard hat, my first time visiting a power plant and my first time driving an electric vehicle. […]

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