As the saying goes, “better late than never.”
That’s certainly the case with Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV which is finally ready for sale in the United States. We’ll remind you the vehicle was first shown as far back as the 2012 Paris Motor Show, although the Outlander PHEV due to reach showrooms in December is an updated version.
It’s been priced from $35,535 for the 2018 model year, including a $940 destination charge, and this is quite the value if you can look past the badge. The next cheapest plug-in hybrid in the mid-size SUV segment is the BMW X5 40e iPerformance which starts at $63,200.
The powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter inline-4 and an electric motor at the front axle, plus another electric motor at the rear axle. Peak output of the system is 197 horsepower.
Powering the electric motors is a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery which can be charged up via a plug or on the run thanks to regenerative braking. The Outlander PHEV is the only vehicle in its class with a DC fast charger, allowing you to charge the battery to 80 percent capacity in around 30 minutes. Otherwise, you’re looking at around 4.0 hours with a 240-volt outlet.
The powertrain allows multiple driving modes, one of which is electric-only 4-wheel drive. An electric range for the U.S. is yet to be confirmed but is expected to fall somewhere between 12 and 20 miles. The vehicle can also act as an extended-range electric car where the internal combustion engine is used soles to maintain charge in the battery. The third and final mode is a hybrid mode where all three power sources can be used for maximum performance.
Other than the advanced powertrain, the Outlander PHEV is much the same as the regular Outlander, although you do lose the third-row seats because of the battery and rear-mounted motor. The result is there are only five seats.