2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review

Pros & Cons

  • Delivers plug-in SUV utility without luxury SUV price
  • Offers a generous list of standard features
  • Sophisticated all-wheel drive offers stability on slippery surfaces
  • Generous warranty coverage
  • Small gas tank limits overall range
  • Regular fuel economy is underwhelming
  • Lower ground clearance hinders off-road ability
  • Limited Mitsubishi dealer network
Other years
2018
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for Sale
2018
List Price Range
$20,998 - $27,995

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Which Outlander PHEV does Edmunds recommend?

We think it's worth springing for the GT trim once you figure in a standard federal tax rebate for plug-in hybrid vehicles. It costs a lot more than the base model, but the addition of key accident avoidance features (forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning) and other luxuries — such as a sunroof, heated steering wheel, multiview camera, upgraded sound system, and two rear household-style power outlets — justify the jump.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

6.5 / 10

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a reason to take another look at this family SUV. While the regular Outlander lacks the comfort and refinement of its many competitors, the new PHEV model is one of the first vehicles to bring plug-in recharging capability to the SUV class.

Mitsubishi has sold the Outlander PHEV in other global markets for two years. Now it makes its debut in the United States. Starting at about $35,000 before applicable tax credits, the Outlander PHEV looks pretty much the same as its gas engine-only counterpart. But for the PHEV decals and badging, you wouldn't know the difference.

It's a different story under the hood, where a four-cylinder gas engine joins electric hybrid components. The engine and electric motor combination drives the front wheels, while a second electric motor drives the rear wheels. Sophisticated computer processing determines the best way to dole out power to all four wheels, although drivers can also manually engage a four-wheel-drive lock mode when desired.

Total system output is 197 horsepower, yet the Outlander PHEV's key appeal to most drivers will be its plug-in rechargeability. Mitsubishi says the Outlander plug-in can travel about 22 miles on a full charge, and you can charge from 120-volt, 240-volt or DC fast-charger sources. We'll wait to see what real-world driving actually yields, but 22 miles on all-electric power is similar to how far you can go in other plug-in hybrids.

Less impressive is the Outlander PHEV's fuel economy once the rechargeable battery is largely depleted. At just 25 mpg in combined city/highway driving, it actually does a little worse than a regular four-cylinder Outlander with all-wheel drive (26 mpg). A non-plug-in Toyota RAV4 Hybrid posts 32 mpg combined.

Plug-in utility requires some additional sacrifices. Unlike the standard Outlander, the PHEV doesn't offer three rows of seats due to placement of the battery pack and electrical components. Mitsubishi also had to use a smaller gas tank with the PHEV, and that limits overall gas-electric driving range.

But with 78 cubic feet of maximum cargo space and standard all-wheel drive, the PHEV still rates as a proper SUV. If you need the space and utility and you like the idea of maximizing miles through electricity, the Outlander PHEV warrants a close look.

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV models

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a five-passenger plug-in hybrid SUV offered in two trim levels: SEL and GT. Both are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (117 horsepower) joined by a 60-kilowatt electric motor; the combination drives the front wheels, and a second 60-kW motor powers the rear wheels. Total system output is rated at 197 hp. Electrical power is stored in a 12-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with LED accents, foglights, heated side mirrors, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, keyless entry, push-button start, leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats, 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, voice controls, Bluetooth, a six-speaker sound system, a 7-inch touchscreen display, dual USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Driver safety aids include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Stepping up to the GT adds LED headlights and foglights, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a multiview camera, dual AC power outlets (rated up to 1,500 watts), and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. Enhanced driver aids include forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.

There are two main option packages. The Entertainment package includes a rear-seat DVD player with remote control and wireless headphones, while the Towing package includes a tow hitch and trailer-prepped wiring harness. There are also a handful of optional accessory and cosmetic trim packages that include items such as side mirror covers, lower air dams and cargo mats.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The observations in this review are based on our full test of the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (2.0L inline-4 plug-in hybrid | automatic | AWD).

Driving

6.5
The Outlander PHEV is the most off-road-capable vehicle in its small class and handles its complex powertrain smoothly on the road. But it suffers most of the foibles possible for a heavy hybrid SUV: It's slow and unrefined, with a harshly buzzing engine, bizarre steering and floppy handling.

Acceleration

5.5
The electric motors provide a nice thrust at low speeds, but power runs out quickly. When the engine is called into action, it sounds harsh and strained, especially on hills, and provides much more noise than power. The as-tested 0-60 mph time of 9.8 seconds is slow, even for a hybrid.

Braking

8.0
On our test track, the Outlander PHEV managed a panic stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is good for a hybrid SUV. The brake pedal feels numb but remains predictable and easy to modulate. The transition from regenerative to mechanical braking is almost unnoticeable.

Steering

4.5
Steering resistance is wholly artificial and doesn't build linearly. There's also a dead zone around the on-center point, and the Outlander requires constant shepherding in turns or in straight lines. Yet oddly, in low-traction situations, there's very good feel communicated from the front tires.

Handling

6.5
The lack of roll control creates a lot of lean in turns, and bumps cause unsettling motion in the body. There's no sense of what your wheels are doing, which is a shame because the actual capabilities of the car are perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, it's hard to have confidence in this vehicle.

Drivability

7.0
The Outlander transitions smoothly from all-electric to gas-assisted. The CVT automatic responds quickly to driver input, although it adds to the noise. There is a braking setting for hills, and the sole function of the column-mounted shift paddles is to select braking strength in this mode.

Off-road

8.5
Even in electric mode, the Outlander PHEV can drive all four wheels, and it can simulate a "locked" differential, splitting power 50-50 front and rear. Add in reasonable ground clearance, and while it's no Jeep Wrangler, it's the most off-road-friendly vehicle in its very narrow class.

Comfort

7.0
The comfortable front seats and climate control with a number of customization options are the highlights, along with the quiet of an electric motor in certain situations. But an unsettled, busy ride and generous helpings of noise on the freeway or when the engine engages spoil the effect.

Seat comfort

7.0
The front seats are accommodating and comfortable, but the way the power seat cushion adjustments change the seating position makes them finicky to use. The rear seats are quite firm and narrow and high up off the floor of the car, which may not agree with all passengers.

Ride comfort

5.0
Sharp impacts come through into the cabin, and there's noticeable bounce over bumps. The Outlander never really feels settled on the road, and its ride is busy and unsophisticated.

Noise & vibration

6.5
In electric mode at low speeds, the Outlander is very quiet, although traffic noise is not well-filtered. At freeway speeds, there's noticeable wind and road noise, and any time the engine is needed its harsh buzz is intrusive.

Climate control

8.0
Automatic climate control maintains temperature well, blowing quite cold when you need it. There are a number of options for adjusting its behavior in the vehicle's settings menus. Large buttons allow manual control of all functions, and while their layout isn't optimal, they're clearly marked.

Interior

7.0
The Outlander PHEV is roomy, with good visibility and easy entry and exit thanks to tall door openings and doors that aren't very long. But the cabin feels cheaply built, controls can be hard to locate, and taller drivers will find the driving position awkward.

Ease of use

6.5
Control buttons are clearly marked but placed haphazardly around the cabin, making some functions hard to find. The vehicle settings menus provide quite a lot of customization for a vehicle like this, but the screen is slow to respond and menu labeling isn't very logical.

Getting in/getting out

8.0
The tall, square door openings provide excellent access up front. The higher rear seats mean taller passengers will have to duck. But the rear doors are short, so access is good even in tight parking spaces.

Driving position

6.5
Drivers who prefer sitting higher up may wind up feeling a bit like they're perched in the car. The low armrests and beltline make you feel as if you're sitting above, rather than in, the driving position. Due to that issue and the odd seat cushion adjustments, finding a good position can take some time.

Roominess

8.5
The passenger cabin is pleasantly roomy, which is helped by the fact that you don't feel ensconced in the front, and there's good front kneeroom. The rear seats are narrow, and fitting three adults would be a real squeeze. Rear headroom is good, if not up to the standards of some small SUVs.

Visibility

8.5
The large rear-quarter windows help a lot with visibility over the shoulder, and front and rear visibility are clear and unobstructed. The wide side pillars can obstruct the side view, but generous mirrors and an available 360-degree camera help on the road and while parking.

Quality

5.0
We noticed some surprising lapses in quality, such as rattles and creaks from the cabin and rippling in the formed metal along the edges of the doors. The cabin is covered in hard plastic and vinyl, adding to the chintzy, lightweight feeling of the Outlander.

Utility

7.0
Put the fold-flat rear seats down, and there are tons of cargo space. But with them up, large wheelwell intrusions make for less usable space. There's a good amount of interior storage, but it's not well-organized and lacks the little cubbies and pockets that make other vehicles agreeable.

Small-item storage

6.5
The door pockets are generously large both front and back, as are the center console box and glovebox. But there aren't any of the handy little cubbies for phones or other small items that we've come to expect. The trunk has extra cupholders, just in case.

Cargo space

7.5
The load floor behind the rear seats is narrow, and not all of its 30.4 cubic feet is usable. But the rear seats fold completely flat to open up an excellent 78 cubic feet of space. There's no real liftover, making for an easy-to-use space aside from the intrusions behind the back seat.

Child safety seat accommodation

7.0
LATCH points are stuck down between the cushions and placed at an unusually steep angle, making them harder to access. However, the high rear seat means less bending over to situate kids, and there's plenty of space for even larger seats.

Towing

8.0
The Outlander PHEV's 1,500-pound towing capacity is good for a hybrid, although it still lags well behind the capabilities of traditionally motivated small SUVs.

Technology

6.5
The neatest tech tricks here are the high-output household outlets and a display of the vehicle's GPS coordinates. Cellphone integration is also welcome. But the voice controls are deeply frustrating in practice, and the stereo, while loud, doesn't offer a lot of fidelity.

Audio & navigation

6.0
Sound quality isn't very impressive, but a dedicated subwoofer with separate punch adjustment makes for a lot of bass response. There's no map-based GPS, although the Outlander will display its GPS coordinates. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work as a navigation replacement.

Smartphone integration

8.0
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect quickly and work well. There are two USB ports up front and a household outlet for the back seat and trunk, capable of running serious current. Bluetooth can be annoying, as we had to manually select which phone connected to audio streaming.

Driver aids

7.0
Adaptive cruise works well both at speed and in stop-and-go traffic, but it can react violently when traffic speed changes suddenly. The system does return to default settings between uses. We didn't notice issues with false positives from safety systems.

Voice control

5.0
Voice controls have a good set of available options, and there is a guide displayed on screen. That said, we had frequent issues getting voice recognition to work between misunderstandings and a seeming inability to distinguish spoken commands over the cabin noise.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall6.5 / 10
Driving6.5
Comfort7.0
Interior7.0
Utility7.0
Technology6.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Comfortable, capable, affordable, electric SUV!
Chris,11/27/2018
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
We’ve had our Outlander PHEV for a month now and here’s my first impressions. There really isn’t anything else like it available in the United States... I guess it has been sold in Europe for several years (top selling SUV in the UK, Netherlands and Norway) but they sent them to Europe as fast as they could build them (and sold them for more $) so we just had to wait. There are several outstanding features to consider now that it is here: 1) Price: The well-equipped 2018 SEL model can be found in the US for $30K (perhaps less as the end of the year gets closer). With a $5,836 federal tax credit, I’ll end up paying ~$24K after tax returns are filed. Anything else on the market that can give you similar dedicated electric range, 4x4, and towing capability cost over twice as much. 2) Range: I’m seeing close to 30 miles of dedicated electric range, plus another 270 miles on unleaded. I’ve taken it on two long trips now where the battery is mostly depleted and it’s using the gasoline engine to keep a basic charge level on the battery and move us down the highway. I live in Utah, where there are long stretches of 80 MPH speed limit freeway. Driving from Salt Lake to St. George (~300 miles) with the cruise control set at 85 for the majority of the trip, we averaged 24.7 MPG. Granted, the 11 gallon fuel tank is on the small side for long trips like this, but that’s not really the car’s strong point (although 25 MPG is almost 10 MPG better than my last SUV). The dedicated electric option on shorter trips is where this thing shines though. My daily commute is 28 miles round trip, so I’m usually able to do it all on electric. (Your electric range does drop a bit if you run the heater.) I recharge it each night at home, so my first tank of gas lasted a little over 800 miles. It has become our go-to vehicle for the quick trips around town. We pay .11 a Kw and the on-board recharge cost calculator tells me it’s taking a about 80 cents each night to charge up. 3) 4x4: All wheel drive for winter driving, with a 4x4 lock button if you need to break snow drifts. I’ve only had it out in one storm so far this year, and just running errands around town, but it seemed sure footed. I’ll update this as we get further into the winter months. 4) Passenger/Cargo Capacity: Seats 5 comfortably, with plenty of cargo space left in the back. The standard Outlander has two small folding seats in the rear for a 7 passenger capacity, but they are omitted in the PHEV. This leaves you with lots of cargo space in the back, but it would be nice if they could find a way to put back in even one of those small rear jump seats. The seats you do have are comfortable enough. Front seats are both heated and fully adjustable via electric switches... these seats are standard even on the lower level SE model (which we own) and leather is standard as well. Fold down the rear seats and you have a little over six feet of flat floor cargo space back there. Automatic tailgate is also standard on the base SE model. 5) Towing Capability: The Outlander PHEV is rated to tow 1500 lbs in the US, but 3300 lbs in Europe. Same vehicle is sold on both continents, so I suspect the lower US rating has more to do with the number of lawyers here, rather than any actual engineering issue. I had the factory Class 3 receiver hitch added to our SE. That costs about $700, but well worth it to me to have the towing option. We have towed with it and found it stable and capable for the short, 20 mile trip we made with it. 6) Warranty: Mitsubishi backs up the drive train and battery with a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. Mercedes GLC 350e gives you 4 years/50K miles on the drive train, 6 years, 62K on the battery. Volvo XC90 4 yr/50K miles on both. Tesla Model X has 4 yr/50K basic, 8 year/unlimited mile powertrain. All considerably more expensive vehicles, each with their own range limitations. The exterior of the Outlander may be a little dated, but considering how most manufactures over-design the body on electric vehicles (looking at you Nissan) I don’t mind the unassuming nature of Mitsubishi’s offering... just another Outlander from the outside. From an engineering standpoint however, Mitsubishi has produced a unique vehicle here and perhaps it’s understated looks are part of the reason it has received so little attention here in the USA. It may also be that Mitsubishi isn’t a big brand here, being one of the smaller manufactures by sales in the US. I don’t work for Mitsubishi (or any other automotive company). I’m just a happy owner, who lives in an area that often has dirty air, and wish more folks new about this machine. One year later we are still very happy with it. No issues to report. I have a longer write up, but Edmunds seems to limit the length of these and I'm very near that now. Highly recommend the car.
Great Test drives
Nate the great,01/14/2018
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
Figured something is better than nothing... so I'll post the first review in case some of you have no nearby dealer. Test drove a silver GT and red SEL. Impressions: 1) Gorgeous exterior, nothing not to like. Nice to have 8.5 inch ground clearance, beats most other CUV's, except the CX9. Stock rims look great. 2) Interior is also nice. Seats very comfortable, good thigh support for a 5'11 guy... for what that is worth. Both driver and passenger seats are 8 way power adjustable, which is very rare for this class. Not having a third row is probably the deal breaker for my wife. Between the black and brown leather, I liked black with silver stitching, my wife liked brown with red stitching. 3) Performance. Good not great. Thought acceleration was a bit slow in the 30 to 60 range, although it was plenty zippy off the line. Really loved the paddle shifters, adjusting the engine resistance when foot was taken off gas (for accelerated charging). B5 for tight city driving or hills made one foot driving possible. B2 or 1 for highway driving. Love the amount of control you have over the electric, or combustion. I would recommend going combustion on the highway and electric in the city. A guy who bought one at the dealer was in to get a tow hitch installed and told me he was getting 125mpg so far using that technique. As far as sspension and braking, it was phenomenal. Ive never experienced regen brakes that tight and smooth... did not feel like hybrid brakes. Suspension was perfect.... firm but not crazy tight. Definitely minimized body roll, but could be considered a bit rough for those used to a boat like cadillac experience. Tech: I'm not a big fan of my car braking for me, so I could care less about that, but for SA, the GT trim has all this crazy safety, tech features plus the moonroof and Rockford sound system. Android auto, Apple car play standard both trims. Misc: Surprised about the 11.5 gallon gas tank... deal breaker for me. Unless you do all short trips, this is not the right car. 300ish mile range is no bueno if you have to do a cross country haul on occasion. Worse range than almost any hybrid vehicle. Still a five star vehicle... but I'd be traveling with a 5 gallon gas can in the rear. Overall great day driving Mitsubishi, and with a 2500 dollar rebate and fed tax refund this is a great deal.
Superb Mileage and Performance for Daily Commute.
cvs,01/12/2018
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
I went to dealer on 30 december and trade in my Prius immediately. I was totally happy with the purchase and it has 5 braking modes which can stop the car by itself. It has three driving mode and if you are confused then dont select anything and the computer will do its job way better. The instant pickup is great (not like sports car). The mileage is good and it has better isulation and you dont see any road noise inside the cabin. I handles better in the corner and i am driving daily i am liking more and more. Keep in mind it is regular SUV and for daily commute. I go 20 miles one way daily.
Not your average hybrid!
Skylar Bulosan,02/17/2018
GT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD)
They gave me an amazing deal on a 2018 Outlander PHEV. This vehicle is a life-saver! I have had it for almost 2 months and still not needed to refill the gas. With my driving I am able to drive solely off the battery and that has been saving me a lot of money! We all know traffic is bad and with my HOV sticker, my commutes to work are cut in half. I don't spend hours in traffic on the 91 and when I go out somewhere that uses toll roads, I sure as hell take advantage of those toll discounts.

Features & Specs

MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Hybrid
N/A
MPG
N/A city / N/A hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Hybrid
N/A
See all Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Outlander PHEV models:

Blind-Spot Monitoring
Alerts when a car is hidden in a blind spot, or is approaching one, to protect the driver from a potential lane-changing collision.
360-Degree Camera
Creates a simulated bird's-eye view of the car for tight parking situations, allowing the driver to see the car from all angles.
Forward Collision Mitigation
Helps mitigate an accident by monitoring ahead, warning the driver of an impending collision, and applying the brakes in certain scenarios.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested

More about the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Overview

The Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is offered in the following submodels: Outlander PHEV SUV. Available styles include SEL 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD), and GT 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid DD).

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT is priced between $27,995 and$27,995 with odometer readings between 23539 and23539 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL is priced between $20,998 and$20,998 with odometer readings between 16160 and16160 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2018 Outlander PHEVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $20,998 and mileage as low as 16160 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Can't find a used 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for sale - 11 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $12,074.

Find a used Mitsubishi for sale - 6 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,130.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for sale - 5 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $21,641.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mitsubishi for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $8,565.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mitsubishi lease specials
Check out Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV lease specials