Power, luxury, efficiency: the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV experience

When the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV first arrived in Canada in 2018, it quickly became the best-selling plug-in crossover for a reason, bundling zero-emissions motoring with unique styling and the company’s advanced Super All-Wheel Control system. And now it’s back showcasing even bolder styling and enhanced performance all around.

Adhering to the Japanese concept of “I-Fu-Do-Do” that means authentic and majestic, this is translated here into four key pillars: toughness, confidence, quality and strong and smooth acceleration.

The vehicle is sold in seven grades from ES ($46,538) to GT Premium Two Tone Roof ($57,948). All are well-equipped and include many standard features like, full LED lighting, privacy glass, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, heated front seats, stowable third row, full digital instrument cluster, all-wheel drive and much more.

Powertrain

Unlike the gasoline variant that utilizes a shared Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance engine, the plug-in powertrain is built in house. Similar to its predecessor, a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder internal combustion engine is combined with three uprated electric motors – two are located at the front, one of which is actually a generator, and one at the back spinning both axles. Together, the setup produces an extra 74 horsepower compared to previously for a net 248 horsepower and 332 lb-ft torque.

If the 56-litre fuel tank (formerly 43-litre) and higher-capacity but smaller-sized 20 kWh battery (formerly 13.8 kWh) are full, the PHEV boasts an impressive total range of 687 kilometres. This includes 61 kilometres of pure electric travel. A myriad of other settings are available such as Battery Save forcing the ICE to work in order to preserve stored energy for a later time.

Exterior

The 2023 Outlander PHEV takes advantage of the same sweeping changes made to the regular fourth-generation model debuting last year: for example the tall reimagined signature Dynamic Shield front fascia design language, where the combination daytime running lights and turn signals match up seamlessly to the tops of chrome pieces; the headlamps relocated down to the middle of the bumper; the slated black mesh grille; jet tailfin C-pillar; and the rounded line on the tailgate paying homage to overseas siblings donning an external spare tire.

In addition, SEL trims and above wear 20-inch alloy wheels, fitted underneath the flared wheel arches.

Interior

The cabin of the GT Premium stands out in particular thanks to its two-tone semi-aniline leather seating, which is very stylish and extremely comfortable. The saddle tan accent colour scheme carries through to the dash and door trims, giving the Outlander PHEV a definite upscale vibe. The cabin’s design is clean, and the controls neatly packages in an easy to manipulate style around the centre stack. The centre console is equally well thought out, housing an electronic shifter, Drive Mode Selector and parking brake button.

The GT Premium is also equipped with a 12.3-inch digital display replacing traditional dials, an elegant and clear interface giving the driver all the information they need, and bundles a head-up display affording yet another layer of convenience and safety.

The heated second row of the Outlander PHEV delivers occupants a generous amount of legroom and comfort, while the newly-installed third row – made possible by the more compact battery and rear motor – is great for kids or miscellaneous belongings. When not in use and folded flat, the Outlander PHEV has a cavernous cargo compartment for all of your travel needs.

Safety

Outlander PHEV was built with families in mind and taking care of precious cargo. From MI-PILOT Assist advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system to the 11 air bags, the vehicle incorporates over 50 new safety and technology features. Mitsubishi Connect is available in Canada linking you to an emergency call centre 24/7 as well as many remote functions via the convenience of your cellphone.

Infotainment

The GT Premium comes with a large 9-inch central display screen for the infotainment system offering a navigation and is compatible with Apple CarPlay (wirelessly) and Android Auto. There’s a mix of on-screen commands and physical buttons to scroll through the various menus and functions which are user friendly. And an onboard wireless charger ensures mobile devices never run out of juice.

Audio sound quality is excellent courtesy of the 10-speaker Bose premium stereo included in the GT trim.

Drive

The Outlander PHEV delivers a solid, quiet drive experience, whether you are in the city or travelling on the highway. The high-torque output results in quick and smooth acceleration, and makes merging onto the highway a joy. The S-AWC system also means that it can handle a variety of different terrains and road conditions. Ride quality and steering feel of the Outlander PHEV is comfortable for longer trips, and the suspension setup does a good job of quelling any impact due to bumpy roads.

Through the aforementioned Drive Mode Selector in the centre console, you can choose one of seven different pre-sets to reflect the conditions of the day. These include, Power, Tarmac for sportier performance, Gravel, Snow, Mud, Normal and Eco to maximize fuel economy.


Charging the vehicle takes approximately 6.5 hours using a Level 2, 240-volt source. Unusual for the segment Level 3 is supported too, capable of going from 0 to 80 per cent in about 38 minutes. When parked, leveraging the internal combustion engine and the built-in Charge Mode getting to 80 per cent will be just over an hour-and-a-half.

Conclusion

The new 2023 Outlander PHEV provides a fun, efficient and altogether different take on the SUV class. Add in the luxurious appointments on the higher grades and this latest Mitsubishi product is sure to please even the most discerning automotive consumer.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV S-AWC

Configuration

Front engine / All-wheel drive

Engine/Transmission

2.4 litre 4-cylinder + 3 electric motors / CVT

Power/torque

248 horsepower/ 332 lb-ft of torque

Fuel (capacity)

Regular (56 L)

Combined fuel economy rating
(L/100 km)

3.6 Le/100 km

Warranties

10-years/160,000 km (powertrain)

10-years/160,000 km (drive battery)

5-years/100,000 km (basic)

5 year Roadside Assistance.

Starting MSRP#1# $46,538
MSRP as Tested#1#

$57,948

SCHEDULE A TEST DRIVE

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