Finally, Mitsubishi has decided to bring the Outlander PHEV to the U.S. after overlooking this market for a long time. The Outlander PHEV is the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe. Although the automaker has been experiencing a decline in the recent past, the future outlook looks bright as Nissan acquired a major stake in the ailing automaker last year and is set to transform fortunes of the automaker. Enthusiasts of the model have been waiting for long since the automaker first unveiled it in 2013 way before all the current plug-in SUVs in the U.S. made their debut including the likes of the Volvo XC90, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. It is, however, better late than never and enthusiasts are set to enjoy the PHEV starting this December. The most captivating thing about the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is that it is around $28,000 cheaper than the current plug-in hybrid SUVs.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exterior and Interior
Compared to the plug-in hybrid crossovers in the market, the Outlander looks a little bland but what it lacks in looks it compensates in fuel economy and affordability. In terms of looks, the Outlander PHEV looks like the conventional Outlander models. The model is a four-door crossover that accommodates five passengers and leaves plenty of room for cargo. The base trim of the Outlander PHEV is actually equipped like the SEL trim of the gas-powered variant.
Inside, the model features premium soft leather upholstery. It also comes with an EV monitoring screen display. The cabin is full of plastics but they are well laid out to create a pleasing interior that is much quieter than gasoline-powered models.
In terms of technologies, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, multi-view camera system and blind spot monitoring are standard. Also standard is Smartphone connectivity that integrates Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is also an app that enables the driver to monitor the battery level, charging program, control lighting as well as control cooling and heating in the car.
The GT S-AWC trim adds a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system, a power sunroof as well as LED headlights.
Designers fitted AC power outlets in the rear seat as well as in the cargo area; these come in handy when you go camping or when you need to charge your electronic gadgets such as a laptop.
Drive-train and performance
The new Outlander PHEV is powered by a 2.0 L, inline-4 and two electric motors (one at the front axle and the other at the rear axle) backed by a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the seats. The model features Mitsubishi’s S-AWC AWD system as standard. The setup produces 197 hp.
The drive-train has three main diving modes; they are “EV Drive” that only utilizes power from the electric motors, “Series Hybrid” that uses the gasoline mill and battery as a generator to charge the electric motors and “Parallel Hybrid’ mode where the gasoline engine is used as the main source of power with electric motors kicking in when extra power is required. There are also three minor modes which are “Battery Save” mode that ensures charge is maintained above 90% by letting the model run in Hybrid mode. The other mode is “Battery Charge” which converts the inline-4 engine into a generator to help maintain the battery charge and lastly the “Eco” mode that helps reduce electricity and fuel consumption.
The battery can be recharged via regenerative braking or via a plug. In addition to a standard 240-volt charger which takes 4 hours to recharge the battery pack up to 80%, the automaker offers a DC fast charger that achieves the same level of charge in only 30 minutes. The automaker is yet to release the actual all-electric range but has confirmed that it will exceed 13 miles.
Price and release date
Mitsubishi has gone an extra mile in trying to undercut its rivals in terms of prices. The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will be the most affordable plug-in hybrid crossover SUV in U.S. by an astonishing $28,000. The base Outlander PHEV has an MSRP of $35,535 inclusive of $940 destination fee. The range-topping GT S-AWC trim fetches $41,235. The models also qualify for a $5,836 federal tax rebate making them even cheaper and competitive with the gasoline variants of the model. In comparison, the next-inexpensive plug-in hybrid crossover is the BMW X5 40e which fetches $63,200. Mitsubishi will start delivering the Outlander PHEV to dealerships this December.