Test Drive: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Offers Best Of Both Worlds

The Mitsubishi Outlander might not be the first SUV that comes to mind, but the challenger brand really should start gaining more consideration in comparison to its competition. 

Having spent a week in the Outlander PHEV, which is short for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, I can tell you firsthand there's a LOT to like about this vehicle.

First, some of the things I like: It gets 64 mpg combined city/highway which includes an electric driving range of 38 miles. It’s easy and quick to plug in, you don’t need a special outlet installed in your house or apartment. I plugged mine into a 120v three-pronged grounded outlet on a back porch that’s usually used for my landscape lights -- and in the winter, I plug in a heated cat house for my feral cats.  

The cats were pleased, no doubt, that I unplugged the landscape light overnight (and not their warmth source) in order to charge the Outlander. After being plugged in for 8 hours, the vehicle had a full 38 miles of range, which just about got me through today’s errands.  If I owned this vehicle, I could see myself very rarely needing to pump gas.

A quick word about the outdoor outlet — you can often find them on exterior walls, on decks, and by pools. They aren’t expensive to install, unlike the Level 2 chargers that are necessary to charge battery EVs at home (which don’t have a gasoline engine backup.)

It’s super easy for anyone to plug in a PHEV vehicle. The plugs are light and simple to use, unlike some of the public charging cords that require some physicality to plug in to the car. 

Another on my “like” list would have to be the price.  The MSRP is $45,445. The additional equipment that my test vehicle included totaled $4,090 for items including $995 for the white diamond/black roof (super stylish) and $300 for a retractable tonneau cove (which provides a covered place for extra storage) and $195 for the welcome package, which includes a handy touch-up paint pen, console tray mat, floor mats and a cargo floor liner. 

Another $2,700 went to the SEL Premium Package, which features power panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, synthetic leather doors insert with quilting  (black and saddle tan), semi-aniline letter appointed seating surfaces, 10.8 inch head-up display (HUD), BOSE Premium Sound system  with 9 speakers and  driver and passenger seats with a massage function. Those seats are exceedingly comfortable, even after a 200-mile road trip, which you can take without having to worry about charging thanks to its gas-only abilities. 

All of these are items that make the vehicle feel like a much more expensive SUV. With destination and handling, the vehicle totals $50,880, which is slightly higher than the U.S. new-vehicle average transaction price in November 2023, which was $48,247, according to Cox Automotive. 

Finally, a very important “like” is the Mitsubishi Motors Confidence program. Every 2024 Mitsubishi comes with a two-year/30,000-mile limited maintenance Included program. The vehicles also include an industry-leading 10-Year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty and roadside assistance program. The company's five-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance program is among the best in the industry.

If you are going to make the investment in a new vehicle, the manufacturer needs to stand behind its product, and Mitsubishi absolutely does. 

Since its global debut in 2012 as the world’s first PHEV SUV, and its subsequent U.S. debut in 2018, the Outlander PHEV has gone on to become the world’s best-selling PHEV SUV.  

The all-new model takes everything the company learned in PHEV technology, and adds to it the next generation of motorsport-derived Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system, wrapping the whole package in the unique bodywork of the new Outlander.

It might be hard to believe that a vehicle this stylish has such great off-road capabilities, but it does. I wasn’t able to play around on any off-road courses this week, but the Outlander handled wonderfully on the snow and ice, which is helpful in an everyday Midwest winter climate (welcome to my world.)

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