2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV review: A better hybrid, but still hard to recommend

Victoria D. Doty

Yep, the PHEV continue to employs the old Outlander’s system.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

I have arrive to appreciate plug-in hybrids for how they ease you into electrical auto possession. In the circumstance of this 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, I can determine when to use its 24 miles of all-electrical range, but I continue to have the peace of thoughts of an internal combustion engine to retain me chugging on lengthy journeys. PHEVs seriously do make likely electrical simple. Regretably, this Mitsubishi is not a plug-in I might propose.


  • Standard all-wheel push
  • 24 miles of all-electrical range
  • Ready to accept a quick demand

Don’t Like

  • Lousy driving dynamics
  • Outdated infotainment
  • Inexpensive interior materials

As you have possibly recognized, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is continue to the old edition of Mitsubishi’s midsize SUV, not the swanky new 2022 model that shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Rogue. Nonetheless, the old SUV does have some updated tips, by way of a new two.four-liter I4 engine supplemented by a pair of 60-kW and 70-kW motors, supplying the Outlander all-wheel push. Mixed, this powertrain makes 221 horsepower — 31 a lot more than previous year. The thirteen.eight-kilowatt-hour battery pack is more substantial than in advance of, making it possible for for an EPA-believed 24 miles of electrical range (up from 22). Also, the battery can accept a fifty-kW DC quick demand through its CHAdeMO plug, which enables the battery to obtain eighty{394cb916d3e8c50723a7ff83328825b5c7d74cb046532de54bc18278d633572f} ability in twenty five minutes. That’s slow in contrast to the one hundred fifty-kW and 350-kW choices for total EVs, but not all plug-in hybrids have quick-charging abilities, so this twenty five-minute time is a level in the Mitsu’s favor.

The Outlander PHEV has a little gas tank — only eleven gallons — so the SUV’s total range is just 320 miles. Immediately after a 7 days of screening, I averaged 32.one mpg in gas-only operation and 3.nine miles per kWh. The EPA claims the PHEV ought to get 26 mpg and two.two miles per kWh for a mixed total of 74 MPGe, but I obviously observed those numbers simple to beat.

The Outlander has Usual, Eco and Gravel driving modes, in addition to Activity and Snow, which are new this year. The Outlander PHEV could be a superior decision for those who have to deal with inclement weather. I ought to also level out that the Outlander PHEV competed in the 2020 Rebelle Rally, a 7-day navigational rally that will take position on the grime without the need of the help of GPS. The Rebelle Rally goes through some of the hardest desert and mountain roadways of California and Nevada, and aside from receiving stuck in the dunes of Glamis for a bit, the Outlander experienced no mechanical issues and ended the rally with a 3rd-position finish in the crossover class. It is really a lot more capable than you could possibly feel.

In addition to driving modes, there are also unique EV configurations. I can function the auto in total-EV manner for that zero-emission goodness, a collection hybrid manner that rates the battery even though I’m driving or a parallel hybrid manner that employs both of those the battery and the gas engine at the same time. I can even select and choose when to use the electrical electricity, saving it for about-city errand running. At the time the battery is depleted, the gas-run engine kicks on. Irrespective of what manner the auto is in, electricity swaps are smooth and simple.

The upgraded plug-in powertrain is both of those a lot more powerful and a lot more successful than in advance of.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Regretably, the Outlander isn’t exactly nice to push. Its steering is unfastened and sloppy and the SUV feels like it is all in excess of the position on the road. The dealing with is roly-poly however the experience high-quality is severe and awkward. The brakes, however, are agency and assured, and they do double obligation with regenerative braking sending electricity back again into the battery. The additional oomph from the electrical motors signifies there is a great deal of get-up and go, but in general, this isn’t a auto I might want to push daily.

On the furthermore aspect, every Outlander PHEV comes regular with forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-location checking and automated substantial beams — and my GT trim receives the added gain of adaptive cruise handle. All these systems operate as advertised. The lane-trying to keep support can conveniently be turned off for those who discover it bothersome.

Inside of, Mitsubishi’s infotainment method is simple to use but the touchscreen’s graphics are extremely dated, there are no bodily quantity or tuning knobs and I experienced a number of issues making an attempt to get my phone to in fact connect applying the USB-A port. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both of those regular, but I could not get the Outlander to sign-up my phone on a lot more than 1 occasion. Wireless phone charging is not presented, either.

General, the interior is hit or skip. My GT tester’s seats search pretty neat and I appreciate the use of contrasting stitching. Heated entrance seats are regular on all trims and the GT even has a heated steering wheel. Nonetheless, there are tons of tough plastics and evidence of charge-chopping all through the cabin. Case in level: a set of cup holders resides in the cargo area, a vestige from when you could get a 3rd row in the gas-run 2020 Outlander.

The materials, the infotainment… nothing is seriously great inside the Outlander.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

That cargo area is a little tiny, as nicely, with 30.four cubic feet of room with the 2nd row seats up and 62.eight cubes when folded down. The rear seats never fold completely flat either, so be ready to have smaller sized goods sliding towards the back again.

Even with its small updates, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is priced the similar as the 2020 model: $37,490, including $one,195 for vacation spot. But this crossover is so, so difficult to propose. I seriously like the Toyota RAV4 Primary which is a a lot nicer SUV in general, and offers three hundred hp and greater range. A good deal of individuals criticize the RAV4 Primary for currently being costly, but my Outlander PHEV GT comes in at virtually $forty four,000, which is a ton of revenue for something this old.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a good deal likely for it in phrases of gas overall economy and electrical range, but the driving working experience, materials and tech all depart a good deal to be preferred. This is hoping Mitsubishi places this PHEV drivetrain into the spiffy 2022 Outlander in its place.

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