Escapes in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
//sponsored post in collaboration with Mitsubishi Motors in the UK
With lockdown restrictions slowly easing, I’ve found my life getting increasingly busy, which is a great thing. This month alone, I’ve been occupied with CPD training courses, finishing building our shed to store our kayaks, pre-season equipment checks, writing work and photography work and even our first ‘little and local’ lockdown kayak tour, not to mention answering emails. Time, of which I have had plenty all winter, is now suddenly valuable again. Putting personal adventure as a priority now takes a little more planning. To do this, I’ve been allocating one day a week for a big adventure, and then using ‘sunrise starts’ to squeeze in a mornings activity to start the day.
This week, I’ve been venturing out at 5.30am most mornings to explore some local haunts in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, an electric hybrid 4WD SUV. Combining photography work with a daily dose of adventure to make the best of a spectacular weather window.
Our first adventure took myself and my partner Jen a little north of our home, to Foinaven. A 911m high mountain and an under-rated gem here in the far north. This was our ‘big day out’ for the week.
First thoughts on the Outlander PHEV
I’ve never driven an electric hybrid before, and the most standout first impression is of the silence during the driving experience. When in electric only, the car slips through the landscape with a quiet woosh and when in hybrid it is still surprisingly quiet, well, apart from Jen blasting the Moana Soundtrack through Apple Airplay at full volume! The plush interior has a luxury feel with quilted leather trim and some innovative additions like a sunglasses holders in the roof trim and heated seats. One of my favourite things is the mug holders actually fit a proper mug in them, a small thing but apparently rare these days. Needless to say coffee was included in the morning drive which in combination with ‘Its so shiny’ blasting from the Moana playlist was rising stoke to hit the hills.
Foinaven, started with a short 2km wander through the peat bogs before we joined the western ridge to ascend to the summit. Initially, Jen and I were dubious we had made the right choice, it was currently the only peak on the horizon capped in cloud, we put our trust in the forecast that it would clear. Before long we were treading steps through the fresh dusting of lambing snow with the rocky summit in sight. Arriving on Ceann Garbh (western most sub-peak), the ridge drops away to the east with spectacular vistas looking ahead to Ben Hope, Scotland’s most northerly munro. To our south we could see as far the Isle of Skye and our north the lonely island of North Rona far out at sea. The cloud had played ball, and left.
A short trek across the ridge brought us to the summit for lunch before turning home via a long but spectacular descent back through the bog to the car. Packing our rucksacks into the boot, we headed for home just as the sun really came out to play.
We are extremely fortunate in the Highland region to have a larger than average scope to explore during the current lockdown rules with the ability to drive a fairly large distance within our sparsely populated council area. With an hour north and an hour south driven it was a pleasant surprise to see how little the Outlander PHEV’s fuel gauge had dropped. With the car in combined electric / petrol setting it was recording just under 140 miles to the gallon, which is unreal! Especially when I’m more used to my old van which made about 20mpg.
Personally the Outlander PHEV’s real selling point is the ability to drive in fully electric mode for up to 28 miles. This would cover my summer commute to kayak in the islands, and right now it covered my morning adventures, done entirely on electricity.
As is often in mid-April, snow showers turned to a high pressure arriving and with it a spectacular weather window. Perfect for a few sunrise paddle and bike adventures to start the day.
Whether it be a bag full of kayaking clothes, a paddle or a bike the Outlander PHEV has tonnes of room in the boot, which makes throwing equipment in and out an easy job rather than the usual game of Tetris. The next morning, I returned to the same spot with a mountain bike in the back by folding down the rear seats.
Around the lochs are several fantastic routes to enjoy, with some exciting rock slabs to ride and spectacular views to draw inspiration beyond. A quick hour long blast around the lochs was all I needed to 1. gain motivation for a busy day ahead and 2. freeze my fingers to the handlebars …. heated seats back on!
The approach to the ride finishes on a rough 4×4 track, which gave the opportunity to have a short play with the Outlander PHEV’s electric assisted 4×4. Crawling up rough track in low-diff, the petrol/electric engine felt more like a diesel in terms of torque and effort, it had no bother what-so-ever rolling over the uneven and muddy terrain, even in reverse.
Like all good tools the Outlander PHEV has been comfortable and capable in what it can do and has been a great way to access and enjoy the usual adventures I like to enjoy. Of course, when the play stops the work begins, back to building sheds. For the rest of the day the roof-bars and boot become full of wood, insulation and tools to finish off the jobs that needed to be done.