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Comparison - Outlander PHEV, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and the Toyota RAV4 Prime

8 February 2022

In the past 5 years, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) have really hit their stride. It was only a decade ago that such automobiles that combined the use of electric motors with  traditional combustion engines seemed like an oddity - an interesting and intriguing concept that was held back for the average consumer due to a few deal breaking shortcomings. Flash forward to the current day and the wrinkles have really been ironed out of the technology. We live in an exciting time for this innovative technology with every year inching towards an electric driven future.


It goes without saying that owning a PHEV is no longer a compromise, the battery and electric motor technology has reached a point that it's hard to flaw. From performance, emissions profile and fuel economy, the latest generation of PHEVs is remarkably impressive when put up against their combustion engine counterparts.


In the past, PHEVs were mainly available as smaller sedans and hatchbacks. But as the technology has evolved, there has been a strong emergence of PHEV SUVs. This class now has some heavy hitters, with many of the major automotive manufacturers throwing their hat in the ring in this competitive market. So let’s compare some of the biggest players the SUV PHEV market, taking the time to look at the difference in the battery technology of the Next Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Ford Escape PHEV, Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV, Kia Sorento PHEV and the Toyota RAV4 Prime.


Battery Capacity

The size of the battery is going to play a major role in the convenience of owning a PHEV. One of the biggest fears many consumers have when stepping into the PHEV market has coined its own term - range anxiety. This is the fear that they will run out of battery power at an inopportune moment and location. A bigger battery quelches these fears, offering a better full EV range (no use of the combustion engine required, running purely off the electric motors), and combined range (running the electric motors and combustion engine in tandem). The EV range is generally used for day to day runnings, while the combined range can be used for longer road trips and additional power.


Out of the 5 vehicles, the Next Generation Mitsubishi has the most impressive battery capacity. It boasts a whopping 20kwH lithium-ion battery that stands head and shoulders above its competition. The next closest in comparison is the Toyota RAV4 Prime with an 18.5kwH battery, the Ford Escape with a 14.4kwH battery, while the Kia Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV have a 13.8 and 13.6kwH battery respectively.


EV Range

Many people are drawn to the idea of owning a PHEV because it combines the strengths of a full EV with the strengths of a traditional combustion engine. One of the major points of interest is the ability to solely run off the electric motors, or EV mode, essentially providing fuel-free freedom for your daily commutes. Given the Next Generation Outlander PHEV's bigger battery size it should come as no surprise that it also offers the greatest EV range out of the 5 models we are comparing. The Outlander PHEV offers 87km EV range - more than enough for the average kiwi’s daily commute. Following suit in regards to its battery size in the Toyota RAV4 Prime which has an EV range of 68km, while the Kia Sorento, Ford Escape PHEV and Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV offer 57, 56, 50km.


Combined Range

Where PHEVs separate themselves from EVs is their ability to use their combustion engines in parallel with their electric motors to achieve greater range. This is perfect for longer journeys in which you don’t want to be worrying about looking for a place to charge your battery. The Toyota RAV4 Prime takes the lead in this category with it’s 2.5L four cylinder engine and its large battery providing an impressive 960km of combined range. The Outlander PHEV holds its own, taking advantage of its 2.4L engine to achieve a remarkable 800km combined range, followed closely by the Kia Sorento’s 740km. There is yet to be further information released on the Ford Escape PHEV and Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV’s combined range.


Fuel Economy

While having an impressive combined range is important in a PHEV, it is pretty irrelevant if it doesn’t have the fuel efficiency to match. Thankfully, no matter what your choice of PHEV is you’ll definitely notice a significant difference in your fuel expenditure. Both the Next Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the Ford Escape PHEV boast an impressive 1.5L/100km. The Kia Sorento comes in at a close second with 1.6L/100km, while the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV sits at 3.1 and the Toyota RAV4 Prime is at 6.7L/100km.


The Clean Car Discount and Emissions Penalty

In July 2021, the New Zealand Government introduced a cash rebate on zero and low emission vehicles in a bid to get more electric vehicles onto our roads.This scheme pays out a rebate of up to $5750 for new PHEV/low emission vehicles. This Clean Car Discount is available to claim on the Next Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. To further incentivise the purchase of low emission vehicles, the government is also looking to implement a penalty as of the 1st April 2022. This penalty will be calculated using the CO2 emission ratings based on international testing protocols and calculated using the World Harmonized Light-duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). This will be added as an additional tax when purchasing a vehicle and will scale according to its emissions rating.


Purchasing a SUV PHEV makes sense now more than ever. From the savings you can take advantage of at purchase through the Clean Car Discounts, to the ongoing lower running costs and significant reduction in fuel costs, it has become increasingly difficult to argue against owning one. There was a time where performance was sacrificed for efficiency, but the technology available today means there is no longer a compromise. The Next Generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has incredibly impressive technical specifications whilst boasting a bold design, and full suite of Mitsubishi advanced safety features… whilst being backed by our industry leading 10 year Diamond Advantage Warranty.


If you are looking to secure a new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, call into our North Shore showroom and we’ll try to answer all your questions about the exciting electric future ahead of us. For more information, get in contact with the expert team at Simon Lucas Mitsubishi today!


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