2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV First Drive Review: Lightweight diamond in the rough

the Mitsubishi Outlander was one of the first small, affordable plug-in hybrid SUVshowever, lost ground in recent years with the introduction of strong offerings from Toyota, ford, Hyundai and kia. The main reason was that the regular stranger wasn’t particularly competitive, and once the PHEV finally had company, there was nowhere to go but down. Well, there’s a whole new and dramatically improved Outlander now and finally it is plug-in hybrid Version is here to make up for that lost ground.

Like the pure gas version, the new one 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV impresses with a stylish, spacious and appropriately modern interior and a generally comfortable and calm demeanor. However, the plug-in hybrid goes significantly further, with more power and refinement, as well as a strong electric range. There are a few weak points that keep it from being best in class (like the pure gas version), but depending on your needs, the Outlander PHEV could still be the green compact SUV for you.

The Outlander PHEV has a powertrain very similar to that of its predecessor. A naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine now produces 134 hp instead of the previous model’s 148 hp. While it can provide power directly to the wheels, it is most commonly used as a motor generator for the front and rear electric motors (much like a Honda hybrid operation). Both engines are also more powerful than before. The front engine took 20 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque to make 114 ponies and 188 pound-feet. The rear makes 40 more horsepower for 134, although torque remains the same at 144 pound-feet. The result is a grand total of 248 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than the Ford Escape PHEVand more torque than that Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage plugins. the Toyota RAV4 PrimeThe 302 hp surpass them all.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Along with more power, the Outlander PHEV can now go 38 miles on a charge — 14 more than before thanks to a battery that’s grown from 13.8 kilowatt hours to 20 kWh. Again, that’s more range than Ford, Hyundai and Kia, albeit less than Toyota. Mitsubishi also offers an unusual feature not available on these competitors: DC fast charging. We’re not sure how necessary a DC fast is charger is in a vehicle that can run on petrol in a pinch but if you want a top up battery and don’t want to wait overnight to get it from the outlet in your garage, why not? The only catch is that it uses the older CHAdeMO connector that has become the HD DVD (remember this?) EV charging options player. DC fast charging is also only available on SEL trim and up, as is the handy 1,500-watt auxiliary power port, which allows you to use the battery pack to power household appliances.

Despite all of these improvements, the Outlander PHEV still falls short in one key specification: overall efficiency. combined fuel consumption is 64 miles per gallon equivalent, or 10 mpg-e worse than the old model. That’s also a big deficit compared to these competitors: Toyota (94), Kia (84) and Hyundai (80). The Ford achieves 105 mpg-e but is only available with front-wheel drive. The Outlander’s downside is probably that the petrol engine just isn’t very efficient. Numbers for the gas engine alone on the new one aren’t available, but the old one only got 26 mpg, so the new one is probably worse. If you are looking for maximum efficiency, you must also evaluate your driving needs. If most of your trips can be served by the 38-mile range, the Outlander will be great. If you find yourself frequently accumulating more miles or not being able to recharge as frequently, you should look at the competition.

Enough with the powertrain specs, how does the Outlander look in practice? Generally pretty good with only a few criticisms. With power coming mainly from the two electric motors, delivery is very smooth and has excellent pickup at low speeds. On the other hand, it loses motivation when approaching freeway speeds, especially in all-electric mode. When driving in hybrid mode, the petrol engine kicks in to supplement the motors at those higher speeds. Not only are the electric motors very smooth, but they have a nice power spread that feels fairly even front and rear, with maybe a little slop to the rear. It feels a bit Subaru-like when cornering without as much understeer as you’d expect from a run-of-the-mill compact crossover with front-wheel drive.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The petrol engine was quite noisy after starting the Outlander in the cold, with a high-pitched howl that changed in volume depending on engine speed. It calmed down noticeably as the car warmed up and went mostly unnoticed, and indeed the engine generally became remarkably quiet (or at least well insulated from the cabin) afterwards. Given the generally low levels of other noise, the cabin was mostly quiet after the ride.

The Outlander offers a whopping seven driving modes that affect power delivery and steering effort. You can also choose to drive in EV, hybrid, battery saver and battery refill modes. We rarely complain about the choices, but there are many caveats with these modes. If you want to drive in EV mode, you can’t use Power or Tarmac mode – they throw the Outlander back into hybrid mode. Additionally, in order to achieve maximum recovery in EV mode, you must use One Pedal Mode (activated by a button next to the Power Mode button) rather than invoking it with the paddles as you can on various other PHEVs and EVs can do, e.g. like those from Kia. Instead, the paddles work more like selecting lower gears for going down hills and turning on the petrol engine. Annoyingly, the one pedal mode also dramatically reduces regeneration when approaching a stop. The purpose is to allow crawling, but it leads to some awkward stops when taking over from the car. Since the Power and Tarmac modes cannot be used in full EV, you cannot have a heavier steering feel in this mode as there is no custom or individual mode to mix and match preferences with. Basically there is a lot to choose from, but they could be a better choice.

This brings us to the Outlander’s ride and handling, which is perhaps the highlight of this SUV. It’s incredibly supple and smooth. I could haul a shocking speed down the most rutted, cratered roads I could find, even on 20-inch wheels, and do it comfortably. And its aplomb on terrible tarmac doesn’t translate into sloppy handling. The light, feelless steering and moderate body roll Doesn’t build confidence right away, but once you learn to trust the Outlander, you can enjoy its quick and accurate turn-in, neutral balance, and impressive stability. It can actually be quite funny.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

And then there’s the Outlander’s other big advantage: its interior space. Granted, our tester was a loaded SEL Premium, but there are many constants across the lineup that make it a great place to ride. Instrumentation and infotainment are shared from newer Nissans (the Outlander is mechanically related to the Nissan villain), and they’re bright, crisp, and run fast. Large icons and simple menus make the screen particularly easy to use. It’s also supported by a set of handy physical buttons for climate control, volume, tuning, and shortcuts. The knobs in particular have nice knurled textures and solid action. The handsome dashboard looks premium, especially on our test model, with contrasting orange leather, diamond stitching and even some real aluminum trim.

The seating position is also great. It’s possible to sit surprisingly low, making the Outlander look almost car-like if you want, while still reserving the option for a high, commanding perch. Thickly padded seats with ample lumbar and padding ensure a comfortable, fatigue-free ride, at least in the front. The second row is similarly spacious as the front, but with flatter cushions. The third row is, well, there. It really isn’t suitable for adults in almost any scenario, although kids could probably be reasonably comfortable provided the second-row occupants sacrifice their own legroom. At least it’s easy to set up and take down the third row, but it would be nice if there was a delete option for the third row. Many customers would probably prefer a little more cargo space or even a spare wheel. Incidentally, that would also be nice with the regular one, since the third row is also mandatory there and no replacement is available. That’s not to say the Outlander is small on the inside. It has the same cargo space as the non-hybrid, meaning 11.7 cubic feet behind the third row, 33.5 behind the second and 79.7 behind the first row (78.3 on sunroof models). This maximum cargo space is larger than any other small plug-in hybrid SUV.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Price-wise, the Outlander PHEV is at the higher end of the spectrum, starting at $41,190 — about $1,000 more than the Kia and Ford and about $2,000 less than the RAV4 Prime. You also don’t have access to federal tax credits since it’s built in Japanunlike the American-made Ford (the Toyota RAV4 Prime be eligible or not in 2023).

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is not an absolute champion of the compact plug-in hybrid segment. Its disappointing overall efficiency and a few minor driving quirks hold it back. But there are still plenty of reasons why it might be a good fit for a buyer. If you’re looking for plenty of space, comfort, and electric range without sacrificing handling or overpaying, the Outlander PHEV is worth a closer look. Maybe more realistic, but if you’ve been on the hunt for one of those hard-to-get PHEV rivals, don’t be afraid to give the Mitsubishi a look at all. You should be pleasantly surprised.

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Hey, I am Sakib Hossain Sojib, an entrepreneur known as an SEO Specialist, Digital Marketer, Blogger, and Content Creator. I have a team of researchers who guide and review products for our audience to help them by providing valuable information to help our audience makes the best decisions for their needs. I love to take care of my cars. So, I like and enjoy car maintenance and automotive research. The provided content is based on my learning, research, and understanding of the topic and its concept. Our extensive experience in the industry allows us to offer unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and products. We aim to educate and empower our readers by providing them with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their needs.

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