Driven: 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Is Much Improved


What’s underneath the Outlander PHEV’s hood?

As a plug-in hybrid, the 2023 Outlander PHEV has a battery pack that you would be able to cost at dwelling or at a public charging station. The battery powers electrical motors that mean you can drive quick distances on all-electric energy. After that, the gasoline engine will swap on and the Outlander will drive like an everyday hybrid.

The 2023 Outlander PHEV has an analogous powertrain configuration as earlier than — there is a four-cylinder engine, two electrical motors, the battery pack and normal all-wheel drive — nevertheless it’s been up to date to be extra highly effective. Its new output is 249 horsepower — up from 221 hp within the 2022 model — and a wholesome 332 lb-ft of torque.

Mitsubishi now has seven drive modes within the Outlander PHEV. The everyday Regular, Gravel and Snow are all current, however extras reminiscent of Tarmac and Energy appear pointless to us for a crossover. Along with the drive modes, the Outlander PHEV additionally has settings for the battery, permitting the motive force to prioritize driving with electrical energy solely or run the engine to save lots of battery energy for a later time.

What’s cooler is a function generally referred to as one-pedal driving. One-pedal driving is commonplace amongst full battery electrical automobiles, however not as a lot in plug-in hybrids. Deciding on this button within the Outlander prompts essentially the most aggressive regenerative braking — you carry off the throttle and the slowing of the automobile helps to recharge the battery. It virtually brings the Outlander PHEV to a whole cease with out touching the brake pedal. Virtually is the important thing phrase there — sadly, it would not work all the best way to 0 mph.

What are the Outlander PHEV’s vary and mpg?

With a completely charged battery, Mitsubishi estimates you may drive about 38 miles with out utilizing gasoline. Electrical vary is up 14 miles from the 2022 model and is similar to what different plug-in hybrid SUVs get, such because the Hyundai Tucson Plug-In and Toyota RAV4 Prime. When you have a brief commute and recharge incessantly, driving the Outlander PHEV can actually assist save on gasoline. Nevertheless, gas financial system as soon as the battery is depleted is disappointing. Mitsubishi pegs it at 26 mpg in mixed metropolis/freeway driving. That is rather a lot decrease than a RAV4 Prime (38 mpg) or a Sorento Plug-In Hybrid (34 mpg).

What concerning the Outlander PHEV’s charging?

Plug-in hybrids are designed to be charged in a single day typically, producing sufficient vary to deal with a average commute. On a fundamental 120-volt family outlet, the battery will cost to full in slightly greater than 10 hours. At 240 volts, or at a typical Stage 2 public charger, that determine drops to six.5 hours.

Curiously, Mitsubishi features a second charging port for the occasional DC quick cost as nicely. Consider this as a street journey scenario, the place you may add some further EV vary in a brief burst of time. At a Stage 3 CHAdeMO plug, the Outlander PHEV will attain 80% battery capability in 38 minutes. We will not identify one other plug-in that gives quick charging, however take word that it is considerably tough to seek out CHAdeMO plugs today. That stated, if you’ll find one, it is extra than more likely to be obtainable to be used.

How does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drive?

Our first drive alternative got here with a hand-assembled pre-production automotive that carefully represents the ultimate model. Our transient expertise behind the wheel (roughly 45 minutes) introduced largely optimistic issues.

Mitsubishi product reps say that the corporate tuned the powertrain to solely use the engine when it is necessary for energy. In its default Regular driving mode, the Outlander PHEV lives as much as this normal. The battery offers sufficient energy to get as much as metropolis speeds with none engine intervention, one thing that may’t at all times be stated of the Ford Escape Plug-in Hybrid. EV-only energy works as much as 83 miles per hour, however an excellent heavy foot on the on-ramp will carry the engine to life.

Switching to Energy mode unlocks all the automotive’s acceleration potential. And whereas the PHEV did really feel at its most potent on this setting, the draw back was an excessive amount of intervention from the engine, with persistent noise coming from the engine operating at excessive rpm. In Energy mode, the powertrain felt the least refined — a pointy distinction to its easy manners within the on a regular basis Regular mode. It is potential that pre-production tuning was the offender for the engine’s incapacity handy the reins again to the battery, however nonetheless, we skilled it all through the drive.

We have but to check the Outlander PHEV in inclement climate however we’ll take Mitsubishi’s phrase that the Outlander PHEV’s All-Wheel Management system (AWC) is designed to deal with all method of conditions. Not like the usual Outlander, the PHEV’s rear axle would not have a connection to the engine. Moderately, the battery pack provides all the energy to a rear motor that drives the rear wheels. The Outlander shouldn’t have any downside holding its personal within the snow, gravel and even deep mud. We sit up for placing the PHEV via its paces in our real-world testing.


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