The old Outlander lives alongside the new one.
Hot off the reveal of the all-new 2022 Outlander, Mitsubishi has just announced updates to its existing Outlander Plug-In Hybrid. Unlike the 2022 Outlander, the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV does not feature an all-new design, and it is not based on the same platform as the Nissan Rogue. Instead, the Outlander PHEV includes a slew of enhancements under the skin that were expected based on filings with the California Air Resources Board.
Under the hood sits a new, more efficient 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, replacing the old 2.0-liter unit. The 60-kW rear-axle-mounted electric motor has also been replaced with a more powerful 70-kW unit. The engine provides 126 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque on its own and combines with the electric motor to produce 221 hp, a 31 hp increase over the 2020 model.
The electric motor and engine aren't the only things that have grown on the Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi has also upped the battery from 12.0 kW/h to 13.8 kW/h, increasing the all-electric driving range from 22 to 24 miles. The additional electric grunt increases the electric top speed from 79 mph to 83 mph. Last but not least, Mitsubishi has also updated the powertrain software to provide better synchronization between the battery and engine. This should reduce noise, vibration, and harshness, which were issues in the outgoing Outlander PHEV.
Every Outlander PHEV comes standard with Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system, which now features Sport and Snow driving modes. All of the updates to the powertrain updates yield fuel economy improvements of 74 MPGe and 26 MPG.
The 2021 Outlander PHEV comes in three trim levels - SEL, Limited Edition (LE), and GT - and pricing has not increased from last year despite the improvements. The LE trim is new for 2021 and adds a standard sunroof, Mitsubishi Power Sound System, blacked-out grille, dark chrome 18-inch wheels, and a special blackout design for the bumpers. The SEL starts at $36,295, the LE costs $37,995, and the fully-loaded GT is $41,995. All three trim levels qualify for a $6,587 federal tax credit, an increase of $751 compared to the 2020 model year due to the battery enhancements.