2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug


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Sep 25, 2023

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug

Mitsubishi puts an interesting, but no longer entirely novel, spin on the

Mitsubishi puts an interesting, but no longer entirely novel, spin on the compact SUV.

From the June 2023 Issue of Car and Driver.

Like a shape-shifter, Mitsubishi has been many things. First known to Americans as the maker of gas-stingy little Dodges and Plymouths, Mitsubishi went on to produce its own econoboxes, sporty coupes, high-strung sport compacts, and off-road-ready SUVs. Repeatedly, though, changing markets or a wave of competitors washed out the ground beneath Mitsu's feet. The brand's latest niche is the plug-in-hybrid compact crossover. Its Outlander PHEV, sold here since 2018, enters its second generation for 2023—but the floodwaters of competition are already rising.

A corporate tie-up with Nissan means the latest Outlander is based on the Nissan Rogue, but the two look nothing alike. Under the hood is Mitsubishi's engine: a 131-hp Atkinson-cycle 2.4-liter inline-four aided by three electric motors, one of which drives the rear wheels.

The powertrain makes a combined 248 horsepower (versus the base engine's 181) and 332 pound-feet of torque. Even though the PHEV weighs 4751 pounds—a whopping 887 more than the regular Outlander—it's still 1.6 seconds quicker to 60 mph, reaching the mark in 6.6 seconds. With that time, it can't match the 302-hp Toyota RAV4 Prime but beats the Ford Escape and Kia Sportage PHEVs. And in EV mode, the electric motors have enough thrust to move you around town.

The new, larger battery (an estimated 16.8-kWh pack) can be replenished by the engine or by plugging in. A DC fast-charger took the depleted battery to 94 percent in 61 minutes. The EPA estimates 38 miles of EV range; in our 75-mph highway test, we went 24 miles before the engine fired up.

Other modes can add to or preserve the battery's state of charge or just let the system decide the motive mix. The standard digital instrument cluster keeps tabs on the hybrid system's noisy machinations, although the readout isn't easy to follow. Paddles adjust brake regeneration, and a console button brings nearly one-pedal driving. Using the actual brake pedal is not so satisfying, with lots of dead travel. Still, our 171-foot stop from 70 was acceptably short.

Midcorner bumps can set the body into a corkscrew motion, and hitting one usually results in a shock reverberating through the cabin.

That cabin—which is similar to a top-spec Rogue's—is roomy, except for the third row, which is so small as to be strictly theoretical. Our top-level SEL S-AWC example came with the ritzy SEL Premium package (semi-aniline leather, a panoramic sunroof, massaging front seats, and more) for $2700.

Despite the fancy cabin, the $50,980 as-tested price gives us the sweats. The similarly pricey RAV4 Prime drives better, while the Escape and the Sportage cost less. For compact-SUV buyers, the Outlander PHEV offers a way to ease into electrification. But for Mitsubishi, an influx of competitors means it may not be much of a safe haven for long.


2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWCVehicle Type: front-engine, front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICEBase/As Tested: $46,890/$50,980Options: Premium package (power panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, synthetic leather door inserts, semi-aniline seat leather seats, 10.8-inch head up display, Bose sound system, front seat massage), $2700; White Diamond/Black roof, $995; tonneau cover, $200; Welcome package (touch-up paint pen, carpeted floor mats, cargo floor liner, tray mat), $195

POWERTRAINDOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter inline-4, 131 hp, 144 lb-ft + AC motors, 114 and 134 hp, 188 and 144 lb-ft (combined output: 248 hp, 332 lb-ft; 16.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, C/D est)Transmissions, F/R: continuously variable automatic/direct-drive

CHASSISSuspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 13.8-in vented disc/13.0-in vented discTires: Nexen Roadian GTX RG1 P255/45R-20 101W M+S

DIMENSIONS Wheelbase: 106.5 inLength: 185.4 inWidth: 73.2 inHeight: 68.7 inPassenger Volume, F/M/R: 54/46/18 ft3Cargo Volume, Behind F/M/R: 64/31/13 ft3 Curb Weight: 4751 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS60 mph: 6.6 sec1/4-Mile: 15.8 sec @ 82 mph100 mph: 31.9 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.6 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 secTop Speed (C/D est): 110 mph Braking, 70–0 mph: 171 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.85 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMYObserved: 27 MPGe75-mph Highway Driving, EV/Hybrid Mode: 44 MPGe/25 mpg75-mph Highway Range, EV/Hybrid mode: 24/370 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMYCombined/City/Highway: 26/25/27 mpgCombined Gasoline + Electricity: 64 MPGe EV Range: 38 mi


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