MITSUBISHI’S best-selling game-changer the Outlander PHEV has been named Plug-in Vehicle of the Year by Scotland’s national newspaper.

The Scotsman, which has been testing one of the vehicles over the long term, said the world’s first 4×4 plug-in hybrid SUV had ‘lived up to its ecocredentials and impressed as a genuinely practical motor’.

The title’s Steven Chisholm called the Outlander PHEV ‘an exciting prospect for anyone looking for an SUV that’s easy on the wallet as well as the environment’.

He praised the vehicle’s material and build quality as well as the cabin’s planning and space plus ‘huge boot’. In addition, he highlighted how – thanks to the Outlander PHEV’s all-electric range of 32½ miles – staff would ‘relish the challenge of hyper-miling the battery’ on their 30-mile round trips from home to the office and back again without using any petrol at all.

And it was the Outlander PHEV’s great fuel consumption as well as its SUV practicality that combined to make it the newspaper’s winner.

The Outlander PHEV currently accounts for around half of all Plug-in Car Grant applications and is the UK’s favourite choice of plug-in vehicle, with Mitsubishi having sold more than 15,000 of them since it was launched last year.

The new Outlander PHEV, which was unveiled in Tokyo in October 2015, has seen the fuel economy improved – up from 148mpg to 156mpg – while the CO2 emissions are down from 44g/km to 42g/km.

Those ultra-low emissions mean that no vehicle tax is payable, and its electric power combined with the efficient 2.0-litre petrol engine deliver an anxiety-free driving range of 541 miles.

What’s more, because the Benefit In Kind is just five per cent, it means a virtual pay rise of several thousand pounds a year for company car drivers, while for business owners there are savings on National Insurance contributions to be had, plus the Outlander PHEV qualifies for 100 per cent First Year Allowance against business profits.

This is the latest in a long line of awards for the Outlander PHEV. Last year, for example, it won Diesel Car’s Best Alternative Fuel Vehicle award as well as Business Car’s Best Green Development trophy in its Techie Awards, while in May this year it was named Best Ultra Low Emission Vehicle at the Fleet World Honours.