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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV showcases the best of the brand


The redesigned 2023 Outlander plug-in hybrid is Mitsubishi’s most important model. Not in terms of sales, performance or even competitive efficiency: Instead, the three-row SUV shows Mitsubishi’s potential for the future.

With an improved powertrain and premium amenities, the new Outlander PHEV promises that Mitsubishi can not only survive for the foreseeable future, but also look forward to in the transition from combustion to electrification.

“The Outlander PHEV is not just another SUV for us to sell, it represents a paradigm shift at Mitsubishi Motors,” said Mark Chaffin, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America. Green car report. “It’s the gateway to electrification.”

First launched in 2013 and with global sales exceeding 300,000, the Outlander PHEV is the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid model, according to Mitsubishi’s statistics. Being there first has its advantages. The second-generation PHEV now comes with a small third row of seats to accommodate a total of seven passengers, a larger battery, and a more powerful engine, all of which aim to be an SUV-like drivability. an EV.

Improvements that will help it fight 2023 Kia Sorento PHEV and its six seats, as well as Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Mini Truck. This time around, the PHEV shares the same platform and redesigned gas Outlander body for 2022. The wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than its predecessor, the body is 2.3 inches wider and taller. 1.5 inches. It is more versatile than the Nissan Rogue because it also shares the platform as part of Mitsubishi’s allegiance to alliances with Renault and Nissan.

The biggest change comes from what’s underneath the third row of seats. A 20 kWh battery pack replaces the old 13.8 kWh battery pack, increasing capacity by 54%. Electric range increases from 24 miles to 38 miles, which is impressive even if it’s lower than the five-seat Toyota RAV4 Prime’s 42-mile range. Along with the larger 85 kW front and 100 kW rear motors (up from 60 kW and 70 kW respectively), the Outlander PHEV 2023 operates more frequently in electric mode.

During an afternoon test driving it around the Mitsubishi development center in Ann Arbor, the Outlander PHEV demonstrated better than its predecessor in every way, while continuing with what made it stand out before its PHEV SUV rival: the seamless transition between engine and engine.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Performance

With 40% more electric power, the Outlander PHEV 2023 relies less on the 2.4-liter inline-four that’s mostly carried away with the exception of tweaks to the exhaust system. With a traction motor in one of the two axles and a motor generator in the other, the system produces 248 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It doesn’t jump out of line like an EV but it’s more responsive than a turbocharged engine. It’s smooth, thanks in part to a hydraulic clutch that sends the engine in and out that connects directly to the front and rear wheels, providing full-time all-wheel drive.

Power is mostly up front in the default EV mode, which can deliver up to about 84 mph of electrical power with a full charge. Heavy throttle pedal engine; it also becomes a combo string to move. When cruising at highway speeds, it behaves like a parallel hybrid by relying on the 2.4-liter engine when it’s at its most efficient. The disturbance between power sources is barely noticeable, except for the new power display in the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that is standard on the Outlander PHEV.

With seven different driving modes and six degrees of Kevin Bacon brake regeneration, there are plenty of ways to optimize handling.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Driving mode

In the default state of Eco mode on electric EVs, it is quiet enough to hear the hum of the engine. There’s not much wind noise, but some road noise penetrates the cabin on the highway in part from the standard 20-inch wheels on the test.

Via a dial on the control panel, Power and Tarmac modes run the engine as a hybrid system, while the engine blends Normal, Gravel, Snow and Mud and EV power. The smooth power supply can be destroyed by the modes that do not respond immediately to expectations.

In some cases when the engine starts to move, the system does not immediately switch to EV Mode. Kotaru Honda, chief engineer for the Outlander PHEV, explains that when the gasoline engine first starts, it must run for a minute or so to warm up the catalyst to operating temperature. It will then revert to EV Mode. This is a common problem with PHEVs; when you start the engine, it will turn on for a while.

In battery saver mode, the Outlander PHEV can stay on battery power for a short time. Assuming you click a button to maintain 80% charge, the system can oscillate between ICE and EV to maintain that state of charge. It’s an average state, not a constant state, so if you add more regen by stretching, the battery can power on until it’s back to 80%. It’s also common for PHEVs, and it wouldn’t have been noticeable if I hadn’t studied the display.

Charge mode can charge the battery from the engine while idling, essentially turning it into a gas generator to restore battery charge.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Regenerative brake

Different drive modes affect regen brake settings. In Power and Tarmac modes, it defaults to the least brake regen, B5. Eco mode shoots at B3, but the default mode is B2. The difference between the six levels is felt only at the end of the spectrum; it’s never strong enough to make it wobble forward like in some EVs, but it also lacks a pedal to drive down to a stop. The three settings on the paddle shifter will also do the job, and if you don’t want to mess around with the paddles, there’s a button on the control panel.

On a gravel road and the drive mode selector in the Gravel, the Outlander PHEV’s all-wheel drive system proved its worth. With no mechanical connection to the rear axle, the full-time system disconnects torque instantly between the axles. As the inner rear wheel turns around once and the rear begins to slip, braking-based torque holds the inner wheel and lets the outer wheel take over. Vectoring on the rear wheel is new for 2023.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Then, getting out from the slightest slip, was enough to infuse me with racing car fantasies that I could never have realized with the Mitsubishi riding pistol, there’s plenty of power in the rear on the top. straight line to throw up the gravel dust clouds.

The Outlander PHEV’s handling is ripe. It evolves from the wild, loose nature of youth into a calmer and more certain crossover. That’s where I was most impressed and delighted in a way that the Pacifica Hybrid never had.

Ground clearance has increased from 7.3 to 8.3 inches, and with the larger tyres, the body doesn’t lean towards the driver high but the increased stiffness results in more composure and stability.

The steering has also been improved for better centering stability but also less vibration. The lock-to-lock ratio has been reduced from 3.3 turns to 2.6 turns, and with the electric power steering motor positioned closer to the tire, there’s quicker, more direct response.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Interior space

Another notable change for mechanics is the fewer stops at chargers and gas stations. The fuel tank increases to 14.8 gallons, from 11.3 gallons, and is larger than the ICE Outlander’s 14.5-gallon tank. Changing from a steel barrel to a molded plastic barrel that can wrap around other battery and engine components allows for a total hybrid range of 420 miles without sacrificing any interior space.

The larger battery sits below the cabin floor, the larger one fits under the second row of seats, while a rear engine nestles under the standard third row. Even children will have a hard time getting into that third row. If you’re big enough to put your feet on the floor, you’re too big for the third row. In a pinch, you can finance a middle-row passenger to tuck their knees into the back of the front seat to fit 7 small people to a birthday party or graduation, but the stamina of passengers will have an inverse relationship with the number of kilometers traveled.

With the middle row of seats sliding all the way back to the third row, the middle legroom is 38.5 inches. The second row has a 40/20/40 split, but the bottom is 60/40, so when you slide forward or tilt the seat, the 40/20 on the driver’s side moves as a unit. It’s convenient. That is not the case with the third row. It takes four steps to open or collapse it, including manually folding the headrest. The default setting will most likely not work for Outlander PHEV owners.

Because it’s designed to be PHEV and ICE, the luggage compartment behind the third row is the same, and it’s significantly larger than its predecessor, at 33.5 cubic feet with the third row. or less, or 78.5 cubic feet with both rows flat (compared to 30.4 and 66.6 cubic feet in its five-seat predecessor).

The increased capacity, power, range and seating is almost overshadowed by the exotic luxury appointments on the top 40th Anniversary Edition model. Fully loaded and with no factory options, the 40th takes Mitsubishi into premium territory with its black semi-aniline leather and saddle; heated and cooled front seats; 12.3-inch cluster with cool, crisp graphics; 9.0-inch touchscreen with a font too close to Nissan’s; 10.8-inch head-up display; Bose Audio; a wireless smartphone charger; a panoramic sunroof; three-zone climate control; a heat pump; and an electric rear door with a button placed too close to the steering column uncomfortably.

A two-tone roof stands out with certain color combinations. The 40th comes with a copper roof that is virtually indistinguishable from the black bodywork, except for sunlight, and black roof options that combine Red Diamond, Sterling Silver, Titanium Gray and White Diamond .

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Charger

The Outlander PHEV can quickly charge CHAdeMO from 0% to 80% in 38 minutes with a maximum output of 50 kw. Most PHEVs lack fast charging capabilities. On a Level 2 CCS charger at 15 amps, it will take 6.5 hours to fully charge. Mitsubishi expects the EPA to certify the 2023 Outlander PHEV at a range of 38 miles and at 64 MPGe.

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV worth it?

Prices for the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV start at $41,190, including the $1,345 destination fee. The flagship 40th Anniversary Edition is expected to hit $50,000, but it won’t be finalized until near the November 1 sale. Like most PHEVs, it’s no longer eligible for credit. use the revised federal EV tax.


Mitsubishi provided lunch to refuel us on this live report.



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