Home' Open Road Sydney North and North West : OR0517 Contents Engine: 1.2-litre four-cylinder Transmission: CVT Power: 66kW
Torque: 120Nm Fuel consumption: 4.7L/100km (claimed) ANCAP:
Not yet tested Price: $15,990 (plus ORC)
Launched in 2014, Mitsubishi’s Outlander
PHEV was the first plug-in hybrid SUV on
sale in Australia. Over 100,000 are on the
road globally, but in Australia only about
600 PHEVs have been sold.
The updated PHEV range has two
specification levels – LS and Exceed –
which replace the PHEV and Aspire.
Pricing has increased $3000 to $50,490
for the LS and $55,490 for the Exceed.
Better quality trim materials and
a redesigned steering wheel have
smartened up the interior, and Mitsubishi
has replaced its fairly ordinary
infotainment system with a new
Smartphone Link Display compatible with
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Exterior
changes are slight, amounting to new-
design alloy wheels, LED headlamps and a
shark fin antenna. A comprehensive safety
package is also standard on the Exceed.
The mechanicals remain unchanged
and 110kW is available for most driving
situations. A new DC fast-charge socket
has been fitted, allowing 80 per cent
battery recharge in 25 minutes. Also new
is an EV mode switch that maximises the
driving range on battery alone.
Engineering improvements include
thicker glass, more extensive sound
insulation, quieter tyres, revised damper
tuning and modified suspension mounts
– all aimed at isolating occupants from
road noise and mechanical harshness.
Recalibrating the engine management
system has sharpened acceleration and
improved the official fuel consumption
figure from 1.9L/100km to 1.7L/100km.
There’s no doubting the PHEV’s hybrid
credentials; we achieved nearly 50km on
pure battery and used just 3.4L/100km
on varied roads. The six-step engine
regenerative braking system makes you
reconsider the way you drive – it’s possible
to use regenerative braking to slow the
car and charge the battery while hardly
using the conventional braking system.
The PHEV Exceed is edging towards
premium SUV pricing, so the
improvements in overall refinement were
essential. Whether they will improve sales
is anyone’s guess, but as an economical
SUV it’s now hard to ignore. – Tim Pomroy
The Mitsubishi PHEV has been
treated to a minor makeover
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol engine/electric motors
Transmission: No gearbox Power: 87/120kW
Torque: 186/332Nm Fuel consumption:
1.7L/100km (combined) ANCAP: HHHHH
Price: $50,490 (plus ORC)
There’s no doubting the PHEV’s hybrid credentials;
we achieved nearly 50km on pure battery
FIRST SOLD DURING THE NOUGHTIES, the Ignis was a
compact hatch that, due to its height, had some qualities of an
SUV. Suzuki itself admits the Ignis was not a widely known
nameplate in Australia, so in a way this is a new model for the
Japanese carmaker and it’s now billed as a ‘light SUV’.
The range is simple: GL and GLX. The GL starts
at $15,990 for the five-speed manual and
$16,990 for the CVT auto. The GLX costs
$18,990 and is available only in auto. All
models have a 1.2-litre fuel injected four-
cylinder engine putting out a meagre
66kW and 120Nm.
Customisation is one of the big
drawcards for the Ignis and the buyer can
choose the colour of the wing mirrors, headlight surrounds,
centre grille bar, fog light bezels and wheel decals.
Seen front-on, the Ignis is as cute as a button, particularly
with its chrome or colour-coded surround around the
headlights and grille. The ‘droopy face’ rear and fake vents on
the C-pillars are less appealing. The black and white interior,
designed to make the custom colours stand out, does its job
well, though, so overall styling gets a big tick.
But looks aren’t everything and, while the Ignis might have a
low price, it certainly feels built to it. Hard plastics abound in
the cabin, the steering wheel isn’t pleasant to touch, the
brakes creak, there’s considerable engine noise under
hard acceleration, the exposed steering column can
be seen from the rear seats, and spot welds are
visible below the doorsills.
It’s not very nice to drive, either, and its
three-star EuroNCAP safety rating is terrible.
But it is a reasonably spacious light car with
plenty of tech and a splash of personality for
less than $20,000. – Kris Ashton
Budget car specialist revives its Ignis as a ‘light SUV’
A welcome DC fast-
charge socket has been
fitted to the PHEV.
10/04/2017 3:41 pm
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