Driving the perfect plug-in hybrid SUV on a Canadian winter adventure in Whistler

Jami Savage, Adventure Awaits

Award-winning travel journalist Jami Savage took a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV on a winter adventure in Whistler, B.C. full of snow-covered roads driven with the confidence of Super All-Wheel Control and the comfort of heated seats. And of course, what winter adventure doesn’t include charcuterie served from a camping kitchen?

Do you dream of an SUV that can keep up to your lifestyle?

In January 2024, we went on assignment to beautiful Whistler, B.C., where winter was in full force and lots of adventures were waiting to be explored. Our job was to test-drive the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT Premium S-AWC and see how it could keep up with our action-packed weekend. I was overwhelmed with how well it delivered. This fully equipped PHEV SUV was able to handle our adventurous lifestyle and even had a glamorous camping kit from Nomad Kitchen Co. that took our outdoor experience to a new level.


I am excited to share my personal review of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and share insights on what you can expect if you are looking to purchase your own SUV adventure companion.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and eco-friendly adventures

As a passionate adventure seeker and eco enthusiast, I’m always seeking greener solutions to how we explore. When Mitsubishi invited me to check out their new PHEV SUV, I was very excited to experience the new technology and take it out onto some of our best Canadian winter terrain for a test drive. 

What does PHEV stand for?

My first question when I arrived at the Richmond dealership was, “What does PHEV stand for?” PHEV is short for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The Outlander PHEV is the best-selling plug-in hybrid electric SUV in Canada, and perfect for longer adventures as it is a hybrid model.

Electric Vehicle (EV) mode allows you to do your daily in-town commuting as an electric vehicle where a charge can give you 61 kilometres of range in ideal conditions. When you are ready to hit the open road, the gas engine kicks in and you can head up to iconic destinations like Whistler for an epic adventure. The beauty of a PHEV over a fully-electric BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is that it allows you to focus on your adventure and not worry about planning a route based on available charging stations - which may or may not be operational.

This combination of EV and gas modes balances the environmental benefits and cost savings of an electric vehicle with the practicality of a gas vehicle. I know that in my home we have one all-electric vehicle but also still have a gas vehicle for longer road trips and mountain-based adventures. The Outlander checks both EV and long-range boxes (and makes my eco-centric heart swoon) allowing us to be eco-friendly as well as explore without concern about finding a charging station

Our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review

I am excited to share my honest review of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, from the perspective of an outdoor adventurer. When the vehicle first drove around the corner we were impressed with the sporty look and many people who follow us on social have commented on its cool style.

Specs for Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV

This Outlander PHEV GT Premium is designed to stand out from other SUVs with bold front facia, sculpted body character lines, a chiseled rear tailgate and horizontal taillights. Our Outlander was customized with an additional $12,000 in accessories such as Fastco Wheels, Falken Wildpeak AT winter-rated tires, a Nomad Kitchen Co. camping kitchen in the back, along with the Thule accessories and camping equipment. The Outlander shone in the sun in its stunning white diamond paint and was ready to transition from the city to the slopes in search of adventure.

Once we opened the door to the Outlander, I got to sit in the driver’s seat and take a tour of the inside of the SUV. The luxurious interior instantly popped out, showcasing two-toned, semi-aniline leather-appointed seats with heat and massage function (yes, massage!) and a heated steering wheel, all of which came in handy on our cold days in Whistler.

As someone who drives an older vehicle, I was blown away by all of the new safety features and technology that the 2024 Outlander offers. The PHEV showcased lane departure assist, blind spot monitoring, a 12.3” digital driver display (including speed, navigation, safety data, S-AWC settings, battery state-of-charge, total range, EV modes, and more). The smartphone integration function was neat to see as it allowed you to remotely connect to the car and do things like lock or unlock your doors, warm up or cool down the cabin, or even find your vehicle in a parking lot (which let’s be honest, I’ve lost my car more than once!).


Overall the Outlander PHEV has a luxury feel without the luxury pricetag and I was impressed with the look and feel. And it only got better once we hit the road!

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Electric Range

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a fully electric range of 61 kilometres for a full charge of its 20kw battery, and after you’ve used up that charge it switches to gas mode. There are four ways to charge the PHEV that include:

  • A Level 1 Charger (standard 110v outlet at home)
  • A Level 2 Charger (240V outlet) at home or a public charging station
  • A Level 3 Fast Charger at a public charging station
  • By driving the car in “Charge Mode,” which was my favourite. When we were driving down the Sea to Sky Highway, we were generating more power than we were using so we charged the vehicle as we drove.

Outlander PHEV Snow Mode

Our adventures were focused around the Whistler area, taking us up the world-famous Sea to Sky Highway, through the snowy roads in Whistler, and up Callaghan Valley to Whistler Olympic Park. When we were on snowy roads, we were able to turn a dial on the dash to “Snow Mode” allowing the vehicle to showcase Mitsubishi’s legendary Super All-Wheel Control system, which gave me confidence as a driver and smooth handling while navigating snowy roads.

What is Mitsubishi Motor’s Super All-Wheel Control?

I feel like an expert now that I’ve had a few days driving with the S-AWC system. The difference from other vehicles is that the all-wheel drive system uses real-time data from sensors, integrating the information and sending it to each wheel, all the time, all while using the PHEV’s electric motors. Simply put, it does the multitasking for the driver making for smoother handling, superior traction, and a more comfortable ride no matter what the terrain is. I loved how in control I felt of the vehicle.

Mitsubishi Outlander Weekend Camper Edition

While this car had innovative technology, incredible road handling, and looked like a new model on a catwalk, what won over my heart was how Mitsubishi Motors of Canada had converted the cargo area into a full kitchen for the Weekend Camper. As a camper and lover of all adventures outdoors, I was so excited to set up the winter kitchen in the snow and start cooking for myself and my friends. Here are some of the highlights:

Nomad Kitchen Co. - Outdoor Kitchen

The Nomad Kitchen Co. is a California-based family-run company that makes custom kitchens for the back of SUVs, trucks, and even passenger cars. Our Outlander PHEV was fitted with a three-drawer system that when parked, pulled out to create a two-person outdoor kitchenette. The kitchen included a fridge, stove, kettle, sink (with drying rack), and fully stocked drawer with cutlery, cooking utensils, plates, pots, pans, and gas for the camp stove.

We set up our Nomad Kitchen table and enjoyed a charcuterie board in the snow. While we went relatively simple for our first outdoor kitchen adventure I could see how you could take your outdoor cooking game to a whole new level. I’m no chef, but I envision making things like bacon and eggs for breakfasts, hot dogs or grilled cheese for lunch, and hearty family-style meals for dinner like spaghetti and tacos.

Kitchen with Power

One of the unexpected additions to the Outlander PHEV was a built-in 110-volt outlet (which is powered by a 1500-watt inverter) allowing us to plug in a kettle and boil up some hot water for toasty drinks to go along with our charcuterie board.

Ways to use the Mitsubishi Outlander Weekend Camper

While we were set to adventure in the snow, I could see heading out on many different adventures with this fully kitted-out vehicle. I could see using this SUV to go:

  • Apres Ski / Snowboard.
  • Camping - perfect for road trips and eating on the run.
  • Baseball Games - to feed the team in between events.
  • Tailgate Gatherings - to fuel up before or after a hike.
  • Road Trips - with less set up and tear down than a traditional campsite.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Price

The base model for the 2024 Outlander starts at $48,198. However, if you would like to have the PHEV GT Premium S-AWC, pricing starts at $58,198. Please note, that the “Weekend Camper” edition that we experienced and have showcased here also includes additional aftermarket components including a Thule ski/snowboard rack, a Thule 6’ retractable awning, as well as a Nomad Kitchen outfit from a family-run business out of Alameda, California. These aftermarket parts were purchased and installed at a local Mitsubishi Dealership (one important note is anytime you’re adding aftermarket parts like this, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for weight limits and mounting instructions).

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Summary

When I returned to the office my team asked me if I’d ever purchase this vehicle for myself and the easy answer was yes! (And to be transparent, if the answer was no I wouldn’t agree to write an article about it.). I loved the tech, luxurious finishes, safety, and things like the Super All-Wheel Control (that I never knew existed and now I want in my life). My only challenge would be that I like to pack a lot of stuff, either when heading to the mountains or going camping, so I could see adding a Thule roof storage box for the extra gear if I was travelling with our family of four.

Learn more about the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

If you’re in the market for an adventure SUV I recommend heading over to Mitsubishi’s website at mitsubishi-motors.ca. If you’re based in Vancouver or Calgary and want to see the Outlander PHEV Weekend Camper in person, you can head to the Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show in Vancouver on March 2-3, 2024 and in Calgary on March 16-17, 2024.

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