Over the next year I will be updating weekly living with the Outlander PHEV as our family transport, the niggles, the positives and the costs.
#288 by Chris
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:42 am
This week saw the arrival of a journey using ICE, or in short petrol. We travelled to Bournemouth for the day and after joining the M3 it was petrol there and back. If I am honest I find that the economy on petrol is a little disappointing. I can easily see why the PHEV would not work as a high mileage motorway commuter. It simply drinks fuel when on the motorway. We ranged between 44mpg and 42mpg, 5 up with luggage. It would be great if they could work out a way of making this figure higher. Yes, I understand that its an SUV, yes its heavy, but the economy under petrol is not great by any means.

What was the journey like to Bournemouth? The ACC was a great revelation. To be honest I have never used cruise control effectively in the UK before. I have had it on numerous cars but always found the switching on / off all the time with traffic a right pain so I tended to never use it. The ACC however is something else. Enter the motorway, set the speed, and steer. Thats it. It slows automatically, it increases speed automatically. In a word its great. When we crawled in traffic for 3 miles it did its own thing from 5mph to 30mph. When I bought the car I did think, would I ever use ACC? Would it be a waste of money? The answer is NO, I can see this being used a lot on the motorway. Be warned however if you do use it and you stop, be prepared to take control back. There is little warning other than a coupe of beeps that the ACC has now turned itself off. Comfort wise no one complained, 5 up with 2 kids + 1 adult in the back worked ok.

The real winner for me is the daily school run and dad's taxi service for trips to our local town and visits to friends. All these journeys are being completed on EV power alone. An update on the economy figures are as follows.

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Mileage-PHEV-Sept23.png (282.69 KiB) Viewed 4583 times


So 992 miles in, the charge cost has been £40.59.

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Charge-Cost-PHEV-Sept23.png (287.27 KiB) Viewed 4583 times


I have also today filled up with petrol for the first time at a cost of £40.00 which equated to 29.43 litres / 6.47 imperial gallons. Total cost of petrol + EV charging = £80.59. This gives a cost of £0.081 pence per mile, so just a fraction over 8p per mile for the first 1,000 miles. If you consider that a gallon of petrol is £6.18, then £80.59 divided by £6.18 equates to 13.04 gallons of petrol. 992 miles divided by 13.04 is 76.07mpg. This is works out to be considerably less than the 148mpg claimed by the manufacturer, but is a far more realistic figure given the mixture of town / motorway journeys I have completed within the first 1,000 miles of use. I think its important that all potential PHEV customers realise that the EV charging does not come free, and the petrol consumption is not exactly ground breaking when using ICE. If I work out simply the £40.00 cost of petrol / 6.47 imperial gallons against the 1,000 miles that does equate to 154.56mpg. This does not though equate to the real world mpg figures, but is far closer to the manufacturers quoted figures.

If you have read this so far you may be thinking I am not happy with the mpg figures and the costs for 1,000 miles of motoring. I am not saying or trying to imply that. I am still saving a considerable amount of money over the vehicle it replaced. My old costings would have equated to £0.302 x 992 = £299.58 so my savings are still stacking up. £299.58 - £80.59 = £218.99 actual savings on running costs over the 3 weeks. If as a family we want to maximise the savings on running costs of our transport even further it is clear that actually on longer trips it would be more economical and save more money by using my wife's VW UP over the Outlander PHEV. Its a fact worth considering when we don't actually need the luggage space or maybe only the two of us are travelling, although if I am honest the comfort levels and ACC of the Outlander PHEV probably will win the argument every time. I guess what I am trying to say in conclusion is don't take the manufacturers quoted mpg with too much belief. In the real world things are not as they quote.

Real world vs predicted.. its also clear to me now that the predicted figures within the Outlander PHEV display for EV range are not that accurate. Everyday the quoted EV is different but everyday I manage the same journey with the same level of battery left at the end. This bit of software clearly needs work.

This week has also seen the use of the remote heater function on nearly all mornings and the comfort of a nice warm car with the added bonus of heated seats is still a luxury that is enjoyed everyday. The App appears to be working without hitch even after updating to ios8 and apart from a couple of suggested upgrades to some of its functions, once the timer has been set for the heater etc you can pretty much forget its there. I had hoped to focus on the App this week but I did not think I would hit 1,000 miles quite so soon. In doing so I wanted to focus on the real world economy figures as I am sure that many PHEV potential owners are focusing on the savings. Until next week.

Next week also sees the car have its first service at Reading Mitsubishi. I hope that the drivers door can be adjusted in a way that stops the rubber creak after every pot hole. Right next to your ears it's annoying after a very short period. Other than that there is nothing else on the list. Not bad so far.

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