2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review
By Phil Shuyler
Surprisingly delightful. That was our overall experience with the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The overall look and feel of the interior is much better than previous Outlanders. The seats are extremely comfortable, even on long rides, and the design of the dash is quite appealing. The quality of the standard 7” infotainment screen does look a little dated, however the screen itself is integrated nicely into a wraparound center stack. Available dual-zone climate control is a helpful feature, as are the heated front seats and steering wheel. When pulling in or out of a tight space, the available multi-view surround view camera is something you will grow to love. It takes a backup camera to the next level by giving drivers a birds-eye view from the top of the vehicle, showing you all 4 sides simultaneously. While this is nothing new in the industry, it’s not available in every car, and it’s a nice feature to have in a budget friendly vehicle like the Outlander.
Some of the available technology that you’ll find yourself using every day includes adaptive cruise control (which allows the vehicle to automatically follow and keep a set distance between you and the vehicle in front), a blind spot warning system (that warns you when a vehicle is in your blind spot), and SiriusXM Tune Start (which records selected SiriusXM channels so you can rewind and fast forward). We do wish there was a physical “TUNE” knob or buttons to skip between different radio channels and music tracks, but thankfully they did include a volume knob.
For those looking to link your smartphone to your car, the Outlander PHEV includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a free Outlander PHEV II app that allows you to control certain vehicle functions over Wi-Fi. These include preheating or cooling the cabin, setting the most efficient charge times, and more.
On the Road
While on the road, we found the drive to be exceptionally smooth, and even though the 197 combined horsepower isn’t a lot, it was perfectly sufficient in everyday driving. The pair of 60-kilowatt electric motors are located at the front and rear, aiding in the effectiveness of the standard all-wheel drive system.
To help you maximize your electric range, there are multiple drive modes for you to choose from. Choose between Charge, Save, EV, B0 to B5, as well as normal D and ECO modes. The Charge feature allows you to use your gasoline engine to charge your EV battery, while Save only uses the gasoline engine to power the vehicle, allowing you to save your EV battery for future use. EV of course is for pure electric driving. You can also use the paddle shifters to go between B0 and B5, which adjusts the amount of regeneration when your foot is lifted off the accelerator. And for those that want to take their conservativeness a step further, there’s a button that allows you to turn on and off the motor of the power liftgate.
It’s important to note that the standard Outlander can seat up to 7 passengers, while the Outlander PHEV can only seat 5. In gas only driving, the fuel economy for the PHEV is actually about the same as the gasoline Outlander (25 mpg), but of course you get the ability to drive up to 22 miles in pure EV mode with the PHEV. This adds up to give you an MPGe rating of 74. The total range for the PHEV is an estimated 310 miles, which we found to be conservative as we averaged over 330.
While the exterior offers a variety of colors including black, white, silver and red, the interior offers only 2 – black or dark brown. It’d be nice to see something lighter, but if you’re a fan of darker interiors, then you’ll feel right at home. Some additional interior features we liked included a 3 prong AC outlet in the backseat and another in the cargo area, the ample second row leg room, a power sunroof, and a rockin’ 710 watt Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with 9 speakers.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV starts at $34,595 and can climb to over $45,000 with options. Overall, it brings us a relatively large plug-in vehicle at an affordable price tag. And with standard all-wheel drive, it’s a vehicle that could be right at home in all 50 states.