Mitsubishi's flagship SUV has a new plug-in hybrid sibling.
Mitsubishi has been in somewhat of a lull for the last while, with no performance models around and a fleet of pretty drab SUVs. But an about-turn has happened with the new Mitsubishi Outlander, which has reestablished the Japanese automaker as a strong contender in the segment. However, for the 2022 model year, there was a glaring error - the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid is still the old model, one that we proclaimed is in desperate need of a refresh.
We knew a new one was coming, and the drip-feed of information has been coming steadily. But now, the new Outlander PHEV has finally been unveiled in full.
Mitsubishi says it nailed the recipe and claims the new Outlander PHEV comes with all the positive attributes associated with an SUV and the "environmentally conscious efficiency unique to an electric vehicle." In non-marketing speak, it means you get to own an SUV without feeling bad about it.
Up front, there's a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 131 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque. But the front and rear motors have seen a power increase of 40% over the previous model, now at 114 hp and 134 hp, respectively. Combined with a 20kWh battery pack, this enables a claimed range of 54 miles on electric capacity alone, albeit measured on the WLTP cycle.
Since the average American drives 16 miles to work per day, you can easily run the Outlander PHEV on electricity for extended periods. Having electric motors at the front and rear also means it has a 4WD system without a mechanical coupling.
The bigger battery also allows you to run luxuries like climate control without having to worry too much about range. As an added bonus, Mitsubishi al increased the size of the gas tank to 14.8 gallons.
The new Outlander Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with seven driving modes, including Normal, Tarmac, Gravel, Snow, Mud, Power, and Eco, which all work with the Super All-Wheel Control AWD to help balance the car in different conditions. The system already incorporates Active Yaw Control, as made famous by the Lancer Evolution, and if rumors are to be believed, Ralliart could even develop a version of the Outlander. There are a further four powertrain modes. Normal is a regular hybrid mode, EV priority mode runs on electricity, battery save mode does what it says on the tin, and battery charge mode utilizes the full brake regeneration and additional power from the engine to charge the batteries.
Mi-Pilot is another new feature consisting of Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist, and speed limit detection.
From the emotional side, the new exterior is striking and available in ten colors. The interior is also a giant leap forward, featuring the latest technology, high-quality materials, soft padding, and what appears to be a bunch of standard features.
"With low CO2 emissions and environmental impact in terms of life-cycle assessment, the all-new Outlander PHEV model can be considered the best solution for carbon neutrality today," said Takao Kato, president and chief executive officer, MMC. "With our electrification technology that delivers an exhilarating, eco-friendly ride, plus all-wheel control technology for safety and peace of mind in any kind of weather and road conditions, we are confident this new Outlander can make driving even more enjoyable and fulfilling."
The US trim levels and pricing will only be announced in the second half of 2022 when it goes on sale locally. In Japan, however, there are four trims, and both five- and seven-seat configurations.