Weekend adventures with Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Known colloquially as the Music City thanks to a deserved reputation as the song writing capital of the world, Nashville certainly has plenty to appease fans of country and beyond. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the Tennessee capital – and the surrounding counties – which also features beautiful nature and roads, top-tier restaurants, five-star hotels and more. Mi took the mid-size crossover on a summer drive in the area to experience the above, and here are some of the highlights of a quick trip to this scenic region.

DRIVE

Picking the right vehicle capable of easily maneuvering through the city and backcountry, carry a full load of people and gear, and reducing pain at the pump isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the reimagined 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV ticks all the boxes.

This second-generation flagship boasts the brand’s latest Dynamic Shield styling language, characterized by ultra-slim LED daytime running lights and signature chrome “X”- shaped elements on the front fascia. A slightly larger footprint equals extra interior space, and due to a repackaged higher-capacity battery designers managed to fit a stowable third row in the back to accommodate smaller passengers.

Speaking of the battery, its upgraded 20 kilowatt-hour rating yield 61 kilometres of emissions-free motoring, or together with the lager 56-litre fuel tank gives the compact-size crossover a total travel range of an impressive 687 kilometres (Fun fact: the latter is exactly the distance between Nashville, Tennessee, and Momence, Illinois).

A nice bonus is DC fast-charger support, not usually seen in the segment, meaning topping up to 80 percent takes 38 minutes if plugged into a compatible station. In addition, a nifty vehicle-to-load function allows occupants to connect electronic devices to one of two 120-volt AC outlets powered by the vehicle’s on-board 1,500-watt inverter. For example: recreational equipment or the LED lights and coffee maker used during our overnight excursion.


The powertrain is comprised of a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, complemented by a pair of electric motors and a generator, creating 248 horsepower, 332 lb-ft of torque and all-wheel drive. When everything is working in concert, fuel consumption is rated at a thrifty 3.6 Le/100 km in mixed city and highway operation.


The vehicle truly shines while venturing off the beaten path. The company’s lauded Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system distributes torque to each corner as needed providing optimal traction, demonstrated impressively when we took the SUV on rough trails and through thick underbrush in neighbouring Fayetteville. New on the model is rear Active Yaw Control, previously only offered up front, which can individually brake the left or right wheel improving cornering capability. The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is sold in five main trims and starts at $46,538.

STAY

If you’re looking for a different kind of holiday under the stars, Getaway might be the ticket. Launched in 2015, the company specializes in tiny cabin (think 140 to 200 square feet) wilderness escapes within two hours of major U.S. cities. In Nashville the outpost is located in the nearby community of Moss on a 415-acre lot overlooking a majestic forest.

Every compact plot includes a parking spot, firepit, picnic table and Adirondack chairs, and inside each cabin is a comfortable Queen bed or bunk, hot shower stall, air conditioning and heating system, two-burner stove, sink and drinking water and toilet. There’s limited cellphone reception and no Wi-Fi, but that’s kind of the point, right? Don’t worry: a landline is provided in case of emergencies, and the Getaway team is available 24/7. 

EAT

Nestled on the ground floor of the Joseph Hotel in the heart of Nashville is the fine-dining Italian establishment Yolan. Opened by chef Tony Mantuano who helped Chicago’s Spiaggia earn a Michelin star, the walls of the beautiful airy eatery are lined with curated wine bottles pairing perfectly to the antipasti (appetizer), primi (first) and secondi (main) dishes found on the à la carte menu.

Indecisive? Then the tasting menu may be the route to go. Standouts among this season’s eight-course Campania-region-inspired selection are the Tortelli “alla Genovese” (short rib, onion, Parmigiano-Reggiano), Parmigiana di Melanzane (eggplant, scamorza, tomato jam), and Spigola (Mediterranean seabass, chanterelles, zucchini alla scapece).

PLAY

Ever want to get behind the wheel of a single-seat, open wheel race car and learn how to actually drive it? At PTC Driving Academy, you can. Offering one- and two-day schools, professional instructors teach the fundamentals such as advanced braking techniques, car control and proper heel-and-toe downshifting on a 2.1-mile-long track, and in the more advanced programs, passing.

No previous experience is necessary, though drivers need to be able to operate a manual transmission. Prices start at $1,425 USD. The track is also available for private rental, and on the 420-acre property also sits a classroom and office, bathrooms and kitchen and a merch shop.

SEE

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has been called the “Smithsonian of country music” and for good reason — the 350,000-square foot facility is a sight to behold from the piano-shaped architecture down to the onsite Hatch Show Print letterpress business that has been making posters for the industry since 1879.

Inside the galleries, visitors can browse the countless priceless artifacts including stage wear and instruments, personal effects and the famous Gold Record Wall. One of the notable permanent exhibitions is Sing Me Back Home: Folk Roots to the Present exploring the genre’s roots in the nineteenth century through today.

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