The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is building a solid reputation as more and more people discover how good a vehicle it is.

It is the UK’s best-selling Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle and when it came to market more than a couple of years ago more than 10,000 people bought one in the first ten months. By the end of last year sales had reached the 26,000 mark.

The PHEV is derived from the third generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander, which pioneered the cross-over vehicle design concept and has sold 1.5 million units globally since launch.

It was developed from the ground up to be driven by either an internal combustion engine or hybrid technology and it offers the best pure EV range of any of its competitors.

It has the lowest emissions of any all-wheel drive vehicle and is the only AWD vehicle to utilise electric power to drive both front and rear wheels for superior traction both on and off the road.

It is also the only plug-in hybrid to offer rapid charging (up to 80 per cent in 25 minutes and adjustable regenerative braking.

It was revised last year and now the new Outlander PHEV has arrived, representing another evolution in technology, safety and dynamic performance.

Prices start at £34,749, but this excludes the £2,500 Plug-in Car Grant from the Government.

The 2017 model has a new EV switch located below the 4WD button and once activated, it allows the driver to operate the vehicle in EV mode without the engine starting, provided there is sufficient charge. This in fact means you can drive for more than 30 miles on electric power making it ideal for the average commuter.

The 2017 Outlander PHEV also delivers more performance with improved acceleration in EV mode compared to its predecessor. CO2 emissions have also been lowered by 1g/km to 41g/km, with an average weighted fuel consumption of 166 mpg – a 6.4 per cent increase versus the previous version.

An electronic parking brake is also new to the 2017 Outlander PHEV, as well as the brake auto hold button function which, when activated, holds the vehicle in traffic or on an include the same way a handbrake would, allowing the driver to release the footbrake.

Across all variants, the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV powertrain and chassis has been revised, with new dampers and rear suspension bushes, making it a quieter and more refined to drive.

It is better on the road and seems to be even easier to handle. Steering is excellent and the vehicle is fun to drive, not at all staid. This probably due to the low centre of gravity and excellent weight distribution.

Safety features have also been further developed and improved and there is Pedestrian Detection plus Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The Outlander PHEV has a 2.0-litre petrol engine and there is a seamless transition between three driving modes (EV, series hybrid, parallel hybrid), which combine to deliver optimum performance regardless of driving conditions.

The model is unique in offering adaptive four-wheel drive with twin electric motors driving the wheels. The front and rear axles are each equipped with their own high-output motor to deliver acceleration even more powerful than a 3.0-litre petrol engine, while maintaining an incredibly responsive 4WD performance.

You get 0-62mph in 11 seconds and the CO2 emissions are 41g/km and this Outlander can tow a tonne and a half.

It is possible using both electric and petrol to get more than 100 miles to the gallon.

The new PHEV 3h is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels and LED DRLs with headlamp washers as standard and in terms of comfort and convenience it feaures a long list of standard equipment including a touchscreen Display Audio system with DAB and Bluetooth, Rear View Camera, an Electronic Parking Brake with Brake Auto Hold and the new EV Switch. Steering wheel paddles, for adjusting the level of regenerative braking, are also standard, as is dual-zone climate control; automatic lights and wipers; cruise control and speed limiter; rear view mirror with auto dimming and electrically retractable door mirrors.

Next on the line is the PHEV 4h coming in at £39,399 with more kit and the PHEV5h has yet even more and that costs £43,899.

The Outlander PHEV range is also backed by a five year, 62,500-mile warranty.

For an additional £500, customers can purchase the Mitsubishi Service Plan, which covers scheduled maintenance for the first three years.