2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Builds on Predecessor’s Success

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The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV arrives on the finish of the 12 months with extra energy, a higher-capacity battery, and an estimated EV vary of as much as 38 miles. Within the rising class of compact SUVs with engines and plugs, the vary of the redesigned plug-in-hybrid Outlander is surpassed solely by that of the Toyota RAV4 Prime—and exceeds that of fashions from Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and Subaru.

The 2023 PHEV is the plug-in model of the all-new Outlander that launched final 12 months. That 2022 model was the primary Mitsubishi to share important expertise with a Nissan line (on this case the Rogue) following the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s takeover of Mitsubishi in late 2016.

The brand new Outlander PHEV is the second technology of what you might be shocked to be taught is the world’s best-selling plug-in-hybrid SUV. The majority of these gross sales got here in Europe, beginning in 2013—the model did not go on sale within the U.S. till 2018. Over virtually a decade, international gross sales of the Outlander PHEV now complete roughly 300,000.

One Engine, Three Motors

The brand new PHEV Outlander makes use of the identical powertrain setup as its predecessor: an inline four-cylinder engine that may energy the entrance wheels alone, flip a generator to recharge the battery whereas a second entrance motor powers the wheels (as a sequence hybrid), or energy the entrance wheels together with that e-motor (as a parallel hybrid), relying on which situation is essentially the most power environment friendly.

Curiously, the PHEV model of the Outlander makes use of a wholly completely different engine from the usual model’s. The non-hybrid Outlander converted to a Nissan engine-and-CVT powertrain, however the brand new PHEV retains the Mitsubishi-designed Atkinson-cycle 2.4-liter 4 from the earlier technology.

The 2 entrance motor-generators operate as a constantly variable computerized transmission, although one powers the wheels whereas the opposite acts as a generator to recapture power on overrun or braking, utilizing it to recharge the battery. To offer all-wheel drive, a 3rd electrical motor powers the rear axle, with torque shuffled entrance to rear as required.

The ability of the 2 electrical motors that drive its wheels, nevertheless, is way increased than within the previous model—rising to a mixed 249 horsepower from 174. The overall mixed energy of the engine and motors is 248 horsepower with peak torque of 332 pound-feet.

The capability of the lithium-ion battery pack, mounted under the cabin ground, rises to twenty.0 kilowatt-hours from 13.8 beforehand. That, in flip, boosted vary to a projected 38 miles from the outgoing model’s 24 miles.

Regardless of the brand new bigger battery, the onboard charger continues to be rated at simply 3.3 kilowatts, which means a complete recharge from empty will take about 6.5 hours. Unusually for a plug-in hybrid, Mitsubishi matches DC fast-charging on the upper trims—although it makes use of the previous CHAdeMO connector and protocol, discovered solely on Nissan Leafs and some discontinued Kias. Restricted to 50 kilowatts, fast-charging will return the battery to 80 p.c capability in 38 minutes (if you could find a CHAdeMO station). A transportable 120-volt charging wire comes commonplace.

Easy One-Pedal Driving

We spent roughly an hour and lined greater than 25 miles round Ann Arbor, Michigan, in one in every of a number of pre-production Outlander PHEVs, of which, we had been instructed, “no two are precisely the identical.” Ours had a VIN under 000100, and its badges and labels did not mirror remaining manufacturing designs.

In electric-only mode with a charged battery, the plug-in Outlander is clean and adequately quick, particularly within the 20-to-50-mph vary suburban drivers typically use. After we floored it, the engine kicked on to offer most energy. However a detent within the accelerator journey helps drivers keep away from waking the engine.

Drivers have lots of selections: three drive modes (Regular, Eco, or Energy) and 4 traction choices (Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, or Mud). Then there are 4 powertrain settings: Regular (or hybrid), EV (for electric-only driving), Save (to preserve battery vary), and Cost (which makes use of the combustion engine to recharge the battery for later EV use).

Lastly, there’s the “progressive pedal” button, higher recognized to skilled EV drivers as one-pedal driving. It solely slows the automobile to five to eight mph—drivers should nonetheless brake to a whole cease—and idle creep stays. Apart from full stops and panic braking, although, we discovered it doable to speed up and brake the Outlander PHEV with simply the accelerator pedal.

A novel characteristic is constant deceleration whether or not the powertrain is delivering hybrid, gasoline solely, or totally electrical energy. That is to get prospects used to the conduct of an electrical automobile, execs mentioned, whether or not it is stronger regenerative braking by way of paddle or the complete innovative-pedal one-pedal driving expertise. We predict that is sensible.

Mitsubishi notes that the plug-in-hybrid Outlander makes use of the most recent technology of the Tremendous–All Wheel Management (S-AWC) suspension tuning the late lamented Evo efficiency sedan made well-known. The aim was “robust and clean acceleration” in electrical mode that averted “FWD really feel,” mentioned Mitsubishi’s Kaoru Sawase. It is offered by a deliberate rear-wheel-drive bias in energy supply (100 kilowatts from the rear electrical motor versus solely 85 kilowatts on the entrance).

In 20 miles of largely suburban and freeway driving, the Outlander PHEV felt balanced and positively extra highly effective than the CVT-equipped standard model. That is acceptable, for the reason that plug-in variant slots in on the high of the Outlander lineup, changing the earlier V-6 model.

Excessive-Finish Options

As the highest Outlander trim, the plug-in model comes commonplace as a seven-seater. The third row is ineffective for adults (we tried) and just for babies on quick journeys. It does fold flat for cargo house, and the second row slides and reclines. Varied non-obligatory options on lower-end Outlanders are commonplace right here; one is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Mitsubishi has giant, clear graphics all through its infotainment screens, and we discovered them simple to learn in all situations together with vivid daylight.

As with most new autos, there’s a lengthy checklist of superior driver-assistance techniques. DC fast-charging is commonplace solely on the SEL and better trims.

Costs begin at $41,190 and high out close to $50,000 for a completely loaded model. First deliveries will come within the final week of November with nationwide availability in early December. The sphere of plug-in-hybrid compact SUVs is turning into extra crowded, however Mitsubishi has finished a reputable job of sprucing its newest model to maintain it from getting swamped by the competitors.

Specs

Specs

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV


Car Sort: front-engine, front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE


Base: $41,190

POWERTRAIN


DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4, 132 hp, 144 lb-ft + 2 AC drive motors, 114 and 134 hp, 188 and 144 lb-ft (mixed output: 248 hp, 332 lb-ft; 20.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 3.3-kW onboard charger)


Transmission: constantly variable computerized

DIMENSIONS


Wheelbase: 106.5 in


Size: 185.4 in


Width: 73.2 in


Peak: 68.7 in


Passenger Quantity: 120 ft3


Cargo Quantity: 12 ft3


Curb Weight (C/D est): 4300 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)


60 mph: 8.0 sec


1/4-Mile: 15.9 sec


High Velocity: 105 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY


Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 26/25/27 mpg


Mixed Gasoline + Electrical energy: 64 MPGe


EV Vary: 38 mi


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