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

Nancy J. Delong

Yep, the PHEV still uses the outdated Outlander’s physique. Emme Hall/Roadshow I’ve occur to appreciate plug-in hybrids for how they ease you into electric powered car ownership. In the scenario of this 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, I can make your mind up when to use its 24 miles of all-electric […]

Yep, the PHEV still uses the outdated Outlander’s physique.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

I’ve occur to appreciate plug-in hybrids for how they ease you into electric powered car ownership. In the scenario of this 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, I can make your mind up when to use its 24 miles of all-electric powered array, but I still have the peace of thoughts of an internal combustion engine to hold me chugging on extended trips. PHEVs really do make going electric powered easy. Regretably, this Mitsubishi is not a plug-in I’d propose.


  • Normal all-wheel drive
  • 24 miles of all-electric powered array
  • In a position to settle for a fast cost

You should not Like

  • Poor driving dynamics
  • Out-of-date infotainment
  • Low cost inside products

As you have in all probability observed, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is still the outdated model of Mitsubishi’s midsize SUV, not the swanky new 2022 design that shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Rogue. Nevertheless, the outdated SUV does have some updated methods, by way of a new two.four-liter I4 engine supplemented by a pair of sixty-kW and 70-kW motors, giving the Outlander all-wheel drive. Merged, this powertrain makes 221 horsepower — 31 much more than last calendar year. The 13.eight-kilowatt-hour battery pack is more substantial than before, enabling for an EPA-believed 24 miles of electric powered array (up from 22). Also, the battery can settle for a fifty-kW DC fast cost via its CHAdeMO plug, which will allow the battery to realize eighty% capability in 25 minutes. That’s sluggish compared to the one hundred fifty-kW and 350-kW choices for comprehensive EVs, but not all plug-in hybrids have fast-charging capabilities, so this 25-minute time is a issue in the Mitsu’s favor.

The Outlander PHEV has a little gasoline tank — only eleven gallons — so the SUV’s overall array is just 320 miles. Right after a week of tests, I averaged 32.1 mpg in gasoline-only operation and three.nine miles for each kWh. The EPA states the PHEV must get 26 mpg and two.two miles for each kWh for a blended overall of seventy four MPGe, but I clearly observed those people quantities easy to conquer.

The Outlander has Normal, Eco and Gravel driving modes, in addition to Activity and Snow, which are new this calendar year. The Outlander PHEV could be a excellent decision for those people who have to offer with inclement climate. I must also issue out that the Outlander PHEV competed in the 2020 Rebelle Rally, a 7-day navigational rally that normally takes location on the grime without the support of GPS. The Rebelle Rally goes via some of the hardest desert and mountain roads of California and Nevada, and aside from having trapped in the dunes of Glamis for a bit, the Outlander experienced no mechanical concerns and finished the rally with a 3rd-location finish in the crossover course. It truly is much more capable than you may possibly believe.

In addition to driving modes, there are also certain EV configurations. I can run the car in comprehensive-EV manner for that zero-emission goodness, a series hybrid manner that costs the battery even though I’m driving or a parallel hybrid manner that uses both equally the battery and the gasoline engine at the same time. I can even decide on and opt for when to use the electric powered electric power, preserving it for about-town errand running. At the time the battery is depleted, the gasoline-powered engine kicks on. Regardless of what manner the car is in, electric power swaps are sleek and easy.

The upgraded plug-in powertrain is both equally much more highly effective and much more economical than before.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Regretably, the Outlander is not particularly wonderful to drive. Its steering is free and sloppy and the SUV feels like it’s all above the location on the street. The handling is roly-poly however the experience good quality is severe and unpleasant. The brakes, nonetheless, are company and assured, and they do double responsibility with regenerative braking sending electric power back into the battery. The additional oomph from the electric powered motors indicates there is lots of get-up and go, but all round, this is not a car I’d want to drive each day.

On the in addition aspect, each individual Outlander PHEV arrives conventional with forward-collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, blind-place monitoring and automated substantial beams — and my GT trim receives the extra profit of adaptive cruise manage. All these units do the job as advertised. The lane-keeping guide can easily be turned off for those people who obtain it aggravating.

Inside of, Mitsubishi’s infotainment procedure is easy to use but the touchscreen’s graphics are pretty dated, there are no bodily quantity or tuning knobs and I experienced a range of concerns trying to get my cell phone to basically join using the USB-A port. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both equally conventional, but I could not get the Outlander to sign up my cell phone on much more than one occasion. Wi-fi cell phone charging is not available, possibly.

Overall, the inside is hit or skip. My GT tester’s seats look really interesting and I appreciate the use of contrasting stitching. Heated entrance seats are conventional on all trims and the GT even has a heated steering wheel. Having said that, there are tons of tough plastics and proof of value-cutting in the course of the cabin. Case in issue: a set of cup holders resides in the cargo location, a vestige from when you could get a 3rd row in the gasoline-powered 2020 Outlander.

The products, the infotainment… almost nothing is really good inside the Outlander.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

That cargo location is a little smaller, as perfectly, with 30.four cubic feet of place with the second row seats up and 62.eight cubes when folded down. The rear seats do not fold completely flat possibly, so be prepared to have scaled-down products sliding towards the back.

Even with its small updates, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is priced the similar as the 2020 design: $37,490, which includes $1,195 for place. But this crossover is so, so tricky to propose. I really like the Toyota RAV4 Primary which is a significantly nicer SUV all round, and features three hundred hp and better array. A ton of individuals criticize the RAV4 Primary for currently being costly, but my Outlander PHEV GT arrives in at approximately $44,000, which is a ton of cash for anything this outdated.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a ton going for it in terms of gasoline overall economy and electric powered array, but the driving expertise, products and tech all go away a ton to be wished-for. Here is hoping Mitsubishi places this PHEV drivetrain into the spiffy 2022 Outlander in its place.

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