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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV First Look: Electrons Cometh

The new Outlander PHEV promises better range and more power

  • 2023 Outlander PHEV stuffs a fuel-efficient powertrain into this much-improved SUV
  • Upgraded front and rear electric motors
  • Larger battery should yield impressive EV range
  • Part of the fourth Outlander generation introduced for 2022

What is the Outlander PHEV?

Everything you need to know about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is right in the name: It's the plug-in hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander compact SUV. The Outlander received a complete overhaul for 2022, with new underpinnings courtesy of the Nissan Rogue. That might be a little inside baseball for some, but in reality, this means that the Outlander benefits from the recently redesigned Rogue's significant improvements. The Outlander's exterior styling and interior quality are also leaps and bounds beyond anything Mitsubishi has produced in recent memory. The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV builds on this much-improved model by adding a revised powertrain to the mix.

What's under the Outlander PHEV's hood?

Under the 2023 Outlander PHEV's hood rests an updated version of the 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder that's in the current model. That engine is augmented by two electric motors, with one on each axle. Mitsubishi says that the output of the electric motors has increased by 40%, so expect to see official specs higher than today's Outlander PHEV, which produces a combined 221 horsepower.

The 13.8-kWh battery pack grows to 20 kWh for the 2023 model — another bump of roughly 40%. As such, pure electric range is raised to 54 miles on the WLTC cycle, but you can expect U.S.-spec vehicles to have less range than that, thanks to the EPA's different testing and rating methods. If the 40% increase in battery size equates to a similar increase in range, look for the 2023 Outlander PHEV to boast roughly 33 miles of EV range on a full charge.

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The Outlander PHEV also comes with Mitsubishi's Super-All Wheel Control AWD system as standard. There's also a new brake-actuated Active Yaw Control system for the rear wheels. Together, they apportion the drive system's power to the wheels with the most grip to help maintain traction.

A total of seven drive modes are selectable via the controller in the center console. Normal, Tarmac, Power and Eco all change numerous parameters to sharpen the vehicle's response to throttle and steering inputs. Gravel, Snow and Mud modes work with the traction control system and either allow or rein in tire slip as needed.

How's the Outlander PHEV's interior?

We've already spent some time with the new, non-PHEV Outlander and we think its interior design and passenger space are huge improvements over the previous crossover. The cabin represents a big step forward for the brand, with a pleasant overall layout and surprisingly upscale materials sprinkled throughout. It's also quieter than its predecessor, easy to enter and exit, and the infotainment system offers just about everything you'd expect from a modern car.

How economical is the Outlander PHEV?

Mistusbishi hasn't released fuel economy figures for the 2023 Outlander PHEV yet, and we'll update this page as soon as it does. As a refresher, the 2022 Outlander PHEV gets 26 mpg on the EPA's combined cycle. With the new PHEV's additional EV driving range, you'll likely get an SUV that can go farther for longer.

Edmunds says

We like the current Outlander and were impressed by just how big a step forward it was for Mitsubishi. We just hope the upcoming PHEV powertrain makes it an even more competitive option in what is a very hotly contested SUV segment.