Clicking the paddle selector behind the steering wheel to reduce or increase the energy you’re regenerating for the electric motor brings a very modern and surprisingly addictive challenge to the process of driving.

With the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the electric motor uses the vehicle’s momentum to recover energy that would be otherwise lost to the brake discs as heat.

The driver can choose from six levels of resistance, depending on driving conditions.

In other words, steep hill descents are now an exciting opportunity to select the highest resistance level, thereby pumping plenty of charge back into the electric motor.

In Bradford’s hilly terrain, there are plenty of chances to take full advantage, although motorists in Lincolnshire and other flat areas may not find themselves using the paddle selector too often.

Mitsubishi has been using this piece of tech on the Outlander PHEV for a while and plenty of others are introducing it to their vehicles too, so it’s vital for future drivers to master the technique of regenerative motoring.

So what’s the point? Well, by keeping the electric motor nicely charged, you’ll be relying on the petrol engine less often, saving on fuel and reducing emissions.

If you want to run on pure electric most of the time, then regenerative braking alone won’t be enough - you’ll also need to plug in and fully recharge.

When needed, the Outlander PHEV has a petrol engine for conventional power but, depending on lifestyle, you may not need to use much petrol if, for argument’s sake, you’re daily commute is less than 30 miles.

What’s especially impressive is the way it switches seemlessly between the normal engine and the twin electric motors to offer the most efficient performance.

It’s a vehicle capable of going from 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds, with a top speed of 106mph, 83mph of which can be reached in EV mode.

In terms of handling, it feels sure-footed on any surface. That’s partly because the Outlander PHEV is the only SUV available with Super All Wheel Control technology, which automatically distributes torque and traction to each wheel, resulting in better stability.

The Exceed version, tested here, also came equipped with an array of safety system and intelligent technology that can actually predict danger.

It has four cameras placed around the exterior to give you a 360 degree view of the space around you, keeping you aware of your surroundings, making parking in tricky spots easier.

Meanwhile, sensors monitor your blind spots to make motorway driving and overtaking easier.

Using a radar, the vehicle also helps you keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If the vehicle in front is too close, slowing down or stopping, the ACC will automatically slow or stop your own vehicle.

Not surprisingly, it all adds up to a five-star NCAP safety rating.

Such innovations make the vehicle the most technically advanced SUV ever produced by Mitsubishi.

Visually, the Outlander continues to look the part, with purposeful clean lines, a distinctive headlight signature and eye-catchign roof rails.

Inside, the interior feels quite luxurious and well laid-out.

The new eight-inch Smartphone Display Audio system is a nice piece of kit, being user-friendly and sporting clear graphics.

The Power lumbar support driver’s seat is comfortable, while front and rear seat occupants have plenty of leg and headroom.

Despite an ever-growing number of competitors, the Outlander PHEV remained Europe’s best selling plug-in hybrid four years in a row from 2015 – 2018 and it also remains the best-selling plug-in vehicle – hybrid or electric – in the UK.

And there’s nothing to dislike about the most recent version of the vehicle, suggesting its success could be set to continue.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed Auto

PRICE: £40,955 on the road

ENGINE: 2360cc unleaded/electric



PERFORMANCE: top speed 106mph and 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds