Long Term Reviews

What is it like to live with an electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid car? It’s an important first question for anyone considering the switch from petrol or diesel to electricity. Our car reviews shown here are all based on long term use and provide all the knowledge you’ll need to understand what life in the electric lane is all about.

Our cars

Kia Optima PHEV (2017)

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2019)

Alex Grant spends some months with the latest generation 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to find out what’s new and what life’s like plugged in. With an improved electric range thanks to a larger battery and more emphasis on driving electric than in the previous version, plus the added promise of both fuel and tax savings, could this be the best Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid yet?

Kia Optima PHEV (2017)

Kia Optima PHEV (2017)

Plug-in Hybrids have divided opinion amongst the motoring press, with some stating they’re negatively compromised, while others praise their Jekyll & Hyde persona. They’re complicated machines with two powertrains, but what are they like to live with? We spend three months with the handsome Optima PHEV to find out whether it is fast, frugal, fun or perhaps all three.

Nissan Leaf 30kWh (2016)

Nissan Leaf 30kWh (2016)

The Nissan Leaf is, perhaps, the definitive EV. It’s a great all-rounder and most people’s go-to example of an electric car. We spent 3-months with the 30kWh Tekna-trimmed version to find out what life is like with a Leaf as an everyday tool. As we found out, an electric car is only half the story, as in 2016 infrastructure plays a large proportion of ownership that isn’t always realised.

Latest news about our long termers

Update 7: More ‘EV’ than ‘Evo’?

Update 7: More ‘EV’ than ‘Evo’?

‘Race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ might be an ageing automotive mantra but, as a teenager in the late 1990s, motorsport had a transformative effect on Mitsubishi’s image and desirability. The red and white RalliArt war paint of the Lancer Evolution and the tunability...

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Update 6: A Design for Life

Update 6: A Design for Life

SUVs have become the automotive industry’s Swiss Army knife, merging estate car load space, MPV visibility and that rugged kerb appeal drivers seem to have an unending appetite for. Europeans bought a record 29.8 million of them last year, according to JATO Dynamics,...

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Update 5: Getting Connected

Update 5: Getting Connected

When historians reflect on the early part of the 21st century, it might well be the smartphone that gets recognised as one of this era’s most transformative technologies. Whether it’s live streaming events before reporters, fuelling the growth of social media, or the...

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Update 4: Part of the family

Update 4: Part of the family

It’s funny how your priorities change as life throws new commitments your way. Ten years ago I’d probably have been enthusing about the Outlander PHEV’s electrically-boosted 223hp and Lancer Evolution X platform sharing. These days, with a need to transport three kids...

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Update 3: Best of Both?

Update 3: Best of Both?

I hit what I guess must be a PHEV milestone this month. Flying into Heathrow Airport (not a cheap place to plug in) after an early start, I did a non-stop run back to Cardiff and had a double dose of range anxiety, fully depleting both of the Outlander’s “tanks” by...

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Update 2: The Cost of Convenience

Update 2: The Cost of Convenience

At the start of 2014, I was coming around to replacing a Vauxhall Ampera and, although I’d got on well with it, I was getting a sense that the powertrain was about to start ageing badly. The Outlander PHEV offered as much range without the practicality sacrifice,...

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Update 1: Revisiting the game-changer

Update 1: Revisiting the game-changer

This year marks the fifth anniversary of Mitsubishi’s first Outlander PHEVs arriving in the UK. It’s become so ubiquitous since (more than 40,000 sales and counting) that it’s easy to forget just how forward-looking this car was back in 2014 – a low-CO2 SUV, launched...

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Wk10 & 11. Wales and driving sans plug

Wk10 & 11. Wales and driving sans plug

Another week goes by with the Optima PHEV and in many ways, testament to the car is the fact there's precious little to report. The car just keeps on rewarding me with nothing exciting to say. Had this been any lesser car, there might have been mention of the odd...

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Wk9. Motorway EV driving

Wk9. Motorway EV driving

On a particularly cold summer evening, I decided to put the electric range of the Kia Optima PHEV (Optima Prime) to the test. It has always stated 31-miles on the display, although I've managed to eke 32-miles with relative ease after driving carefully and at town...

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Wk8. 1,000 miles, 93.1mpg

Wk8. 1,000 miles, 93.1mpg

I have finally covered 1,000 miles in 'Optima Prime' (Kia Optima PHEV) and I'm impressed. Passing the milestone took a while to reach, partly because I have access to other cars and partly because my daily commute is only 12-miles. Coincidentally, the car had its...

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Autovolt is the UK's leading consumer magazine dedicated to electric and hybrid vehicles. We cover electric cars, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell vehicles and much more.

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