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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Assessment: Nice 3-Row Crossover That Occurs to Be a Hybrid

With a brand new physique and cabin as superior because the powertrain, the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a delight that occurs to have a plug — not a plug-in you purchase regardless of the remainder of the automobile.

It’s simple to overlook that Mitusbishi was the primary automaker to supply a plug-in crossover within the U.S. The Outlander PHEV arrived in 2017 and quietly began racking up gross sales. Worldwide, it grew to become the highest-selling PHEV in 2018 and has held onto that cumulative gross sales title ever since.

The teachings realized from that mannequin are why this second-generation providing doesn’t really feel like one thing experimental. It feels prefer it was a part of the Outlander challenge from the very begin.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review front view parked
(Picture/Evan Williams)

I’m in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the primary drive of the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Usually it’s a spot you’ll be able to depend on for delicate temperatures and solar, even initially of December. However this yr wasn’t regular. A blizzard rolled within the day earlier than our drive, bringing the mercury beneath 32 levels Fahrenheit and coating the roads with crusty snow and loads of ice.

In every other PHEV mannequin, I’d have been dreading the situations. The Ford Escape PHEV, for instance, is front-drive solely. The Toyota RAV4 Prime has only a small 53 horsepower motor driving the rear wheels, leaving it not at all times as much as the problem when issues get actually slick.

Briefly: Mitsubishi’s newest gasoline Outlander is a contender for finest in school. Including a plug-in driveline to create the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV simply makes the expertise higher whereas utilizing much less gasoline.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Assessment: A Chassis That Lives As much as the Driveline

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review front three-quarter close up of grille
(Picture/Evan Williams)

To go together with its new chassis and physique, Mitsubishi has given the Outlander PHEV newer and extra highly effective motors. The motor within the entrance places out 114 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. The one within the rear: 134 and 144. That’s much more energy to show the rear tires when the fronts don’t have grip, however there’s extra to Mitusbishi’s system than elevated energy.

Mitsubishi touts its Tremendous-All Wheel Management AWD system (S-AWC), however what does that basically imply? All-wheel management is only a fancy identify for all-wheel drive, which the Outlander will get because of the twin motors.

The Tremendous a part of the equation is system integration. S-AWC hyperlinks AWD, Energetic Yaw Management, stability management, and ABS into one system, letting the completely different elements work collectively for a greater end result.

Twin-motor AWD lets Mitusbishi dole out extra energy to the entrance or rear motor primarily based on wheel slip. With the newest system, Mitusbishi says it acts extra shortly than earlier than. It’s not restricted by clutches or mechanical methods in the way in which an ordinary center-differential AWD system could be.

Energetic Yaw Management displays steering enter and a few dozen different situations, then makes use of the brakes to regulate forces left and proper throughout the automobile. Within the final technology, it solely managed the entrance brakes.

This time it controls all 4 wheels. It may gently brake a spinning tire to ship extra energy to the wheel with grip like a limited-slip perform, or it might tug on an inside wheel to cut back understeer in a nook.

Stability management and ABS do the identical factor as in each different automobile. The primary tries to stop you from dropping management; the latter stops you from locking the tires if you hit the brakes.

S-AWC Extra Secure on Street, Extra Enjoyable Off

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review close-up of wheel and tire
(Picture/Evan Williams)

The impact is a automobile that can do some candy donuts within the snow. Extra related in regular driving, the system catches you when dangerous issues occur, like once we hit a patch of ice with a entrance tire and fast braking on the rear introduced the nostril again round. That stored the Outlander out of the guardrail and unclenched our … effectively, you already know.

Utilizing the brakes like this, the system additionally reduces how a lot your passengers are tossed round on twisty roads, which Mitusbishi says helps scale back automobile illness.

Winding up and down the mountains north of town, we weren’t positive it was working till we handed one other automobile whose passenger was hanging on for expensive life within the turns whereas our passenger sat comfortably.

2.4L Fuel Engine, No Transmission

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review under the hood
(Picture/Evan Williams)

There’s a gasoline engine right here too. A 2.4L four-cylinder that makes 131 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. What’s lacking is a transmission. Whereas some PHEVs use a CVT and others a extra typical computerized, Mitusbishi simply left that half out.

In most driving conditions that require the gasoline engine to run, its solely perform is to run the generator that sends energy to the 2 motors and the battery. It may, in sure freeway situations, drive the entrance wheels instantly by way of a single-speed transaxle. Why the bizarre association? Mitsubishi says the system is extra environment friendly this manner.

38 Miles of Electrical Vary

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review driver's side shown
(Picture/Evan Williams)

With a 20 kWh lithium-ion battery pack below the seats, the Outlander PHEV may give you as much as 38 miles of vary on a cost. That’s greater than every other three-row plug-in you should purchase right now. It’s additionally the one three-row PHEV you should purchase right now, however that’s one other level for Mitsubishi not in opposition to it.

The vary is 4 miles in need of the RAV4 Prime and 7 greater than the Hyundai Santa Fe PHEV gives.

Regardless that the Outlander PHEV has a mixed 248 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, it might solely handle 60 miles per hour within the 9-second vary. Flip the dial to “Energy,” the place the gasoline engine runs on a regular basis and you’ll drop that to about seven and a half.

We wouldn’t name the Outlander PHEV sluggish with these numbers, but it surely’s definitely not fast. And even brisk.

It’s obtained sufficient stand up and go for freeway merging and fast passes. The Outlander simply doesn’t really feel prefer it has all the energy and torque the numbers recommend. It undoubtedly doesn’t have the off-the-line shove we anticipate from an electrical drive.

Engine Setup for Quiet Driving

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review close-up of plug-in hybrid EV badge
(Picture/Evan Williams)

The engine is quiet. The PHEV expertise is often considered one of loud engine droning when you’ve run down the battery, particularly on the freeway. As a result of the Outlander’s gasoline energy is just attempting to show the wheels when it’s at low RPM, you don’t get that noise. Or the unusual feeling that goes with it.

Even when in cost mode, Mitsubishi has the engine pc set to maintain the revs (and quantity) down.

The loudest noises are varied high-pitched sounds coming from the electronics. To a few of us, the sounds had been irritating. Others couldn’t hear them in any respect. This could be associated to the ages and ranges of listening to loss among the many group of journalists current, making this one thing you’ll need to expertise for your self earlier than shopping for.

As soon as the battery runs flat, the gasoline engine stays on and the gasoline consumption will increase. The official determine is 26 miles per gallon mixed. We noticed figures above 30 on a brief city take a look at part. Electrical consumption is estimated at 2.2 miles per kilowatt-hour. We noticed a way more spectacular 3.7 per the sprint show.

Stage 3 Quick-Charging Obtainable

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review interior front dash steering wheel infotainment display
(Picture/Evan Williams)

The Outlander PHEV will cost on an ordinary Stage 1 AC plug at house, supplying you with a full battery in a single day. Its 240V Stage 2 charging occurs at 3.5 kilowatts and takes round 6.5 hours.

Go for SEL trim and up, and also you get Stage 3 quick charging similar to a full EV. The Outlander makes use of the marginally less-common CHAdeMO plug, however it is going to take 50 kilowatts and cost to 80% in round 38 minutes.

Strong Cabin Provides to Expertise

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review two front seats
(Picture/Evan Williams)

Inside, the Outlander PHEV advantages from the identical cabin as the newest gas-only mannequin. Constructed on an structure shared with the Nissan Rogue, this could be the nicest automobile Mitsu has ever offered. Definitely the nicest it has provided in North America.

The Outlander physique feels impressively strong with no rattles or creaks. The automaker describes the inside supplies used as being “class-above.” Every part definitely feels and appears prime quality with great detailing, just like the quilted stitching provided on high trims.

When you’ve skilled the first-generation Outlander PHEV, the distinction right here is night time and day. It appears like a automobile a number of generations newer, not only a single technology.

Third Row Seating This Time Round

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review third row bench deployed
(Picture/Evan Williams)

Whereas the last-generation PHEV lacked the third row provided with the gasoline mannequin, this time round it doesn’t. Mitsubishi stated this Outlander was designed to have electrical energy from the beginning and that’s helped make the house.

Higher packaging and smaller electronics enable a decrease flooring and do the remainder of the work to make the seats match.

It’s a 3rd row finest used very often or for small children. With the center row slid again, the seat cushions contact. With the center row ahead, there’s nonetheless little or no room for ft or knees again there.

The odd-looking ultra-tall headrests don’t assist the picture that this isn’t anticipated for use by adults. Nonetheless, a 3rd row of any dimension is a really fascinating function, and we’ve definitely seen worse than this one.

The second row, not less than, is rather more spacious. The Outlander’s wheelbase is about an inch and a half longer than earlier than and the roof is about the identical quantity greater — each of which assist. The width is up by 2 inches, giving everybody slightly extra shoulder house.

Because of the effectively that holds the third row when folded, cargo house isn’t as compromised as you would possibly anticipate. Outlander PHEV will maintain 12.8 cubic ft when all of the seats are in use. Fold row three and also you get 30.8. With all of the seats folded, it has as much as 66.2 cubic ft of storage.

Worth Undercuts 2-Row Competitors

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review second row seating
(Picture/Evan Williams)

Outlander PHEV begins with the $39,845 ES mannequin. Each Outlander has a 12.3-inch digital sprint with energy and regen gauges. There’s loads of information to throw on the driver and a few completely different interfaces to select from. The ES has an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with SE and up getting a 9.0-inch unit.

Each get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, however the large display will get wi-fi CarPlay. The larger display provides navigation from TomTom as effectively.

The infotainment system appears to have fast sufficient {hardware} behind it to function easily and shortly. However the interface itself is much from intuitive, and after too many minutes of preliminary frustration, we bailed on it. We caught with CarPlay to get us round as an alternative.

A minimum of there are bodily controls for many features, so that you’re not counting on the contact interface more often than not.

We had been driving the loaded-up SEL Premium trim which sits above the SEL Touring and plain previous SEL. For a nice shock of $48,145, it has semi-aniline leather-based seats and therapeutic massage. All the SEL grades get beautiful quilted seats and adaptive cruise with Mi-Pilot steering help.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Assessment: Abstract

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review rear three-quarter exterior
(Picture/Evan Williams)

The unique Outlander PHEV was the one choice for a purchaser who wished a PHEV crossover. It spent a number of years as the one alternative, and that was its greatest function. It was the perfect as a result of it had no competitors.

At this time, the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander is the one PHEV with a 3rd row. However slightly than buying and selling totally on that one function, stated function is simply an added perk. The Outlander has a aggressive driveline, good specs, and a stellar cabin. It additionally manages to ship these options at a very aggressive value.

This isn’t a automobile you purchase as a result of it’s a PHEV. It’s one you purchase as a result of it’s a very good automobile that occurs to be a PHEV.

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