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Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2024: This week's test drive

2024-03-20

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This week I had the opportunity to test drive the brand new Mitsubishi Outlander. The model is based on the same platform as the Nissan Rogue, which means it's far from a traditional Mitsubishi product. There are many similarities between the two models, especially in terms of cabin design. The Outlander and the Rogue also share the same base engine. However, only the Outlander is available in PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) version, and that's the one I drove.

 

Mitsubishi was one of the first manufacturers to offer a serious model in the plug-in hybrid SUV segment. Thus, one could say that the Outlander is somewhat of a pioneer in its segment. This is evident in the electrified aspect of the model, both in terms of driving experience and technology. The model is compatible with Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations, which is not the case for most compact PHEV SUVs. This is what allows you to recharge 80% of the battery in less than 38 minutes.

 

Driving Experience

 

The first thing I notice when driving a vehicle is the soundproofing, and I must say Mitsubishi could have done better here, especially for a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Fortunately, the model makes up for it in many other ways. The test version was equipped with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors for a total output of 248 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. Needless to say, the accelerations are brisk, and there is enough power for overtaking. This setup is paired with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), and all-wheel drive is standard.

 

I found the Outlander's suspension a bit stiff in the city, but that's partly due to our wonderful roads at this time of year. On a smooth road, the ride is very pleasant. It's also a vehicle that moves easily despite its weight. The steering is light, and body roll is well controlled in tight corners. Where I had less fun was on the highway. The vehicle is particularly sensitive to crosswinds, and I felt like I was struggling to keep a straight line. Also, I find that regenerative braking is particularly aggressive. It makes driving unpleasant on the highway. Fortunately, the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist system help to correct these two drawbacks.

 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV offers a multitude of driving modes for off-roading, and that's something I was particularly eager to try. I was particularly impressed by how the all-wheel drive system works in mud and sand. The CVT is perfectly programmed for this kind of situation. The driving experience of the Outlander is predictable even in the worst conditions, and that's something I really liked about the model. The Japanese manufacturer's SUV has its flaws, but it also has beautiful qualities and capabilities that are clearly not found in the majority of its competitors. The only thing that disappoints me a bit is that its towing capacity is limited to 2,000 pounds.

 

As for the 100% electric mode, the Outlander PHEV is clearly among the leaders in its category. I managed to travel over 65 kilometers in 100% electric mode at a temperature below 0 degrees Celsius. The manufacturer claims 61 kilometers in general.

 

Design and Technologies

 

It took quite some time before the manufacturer finally presented us with a new Outlander, but let me tell you that the wait was worth it. The SUV boasts a handsome silhouette that is both modern and muscular. It bears resemblance to a Land Rover, and that's clearly not a bad thing. Mitsubishi has also made excellent choices in terms of colors and wheels that complement the model's exterior finish well.

 

The interior is slightly different from what we're used to from Mitsubishi, but that's normal since it's essentially the dashboard of a Nissan Rogue. The seats are a bit stiff in the first few minutes, but they are very comfortable after several hours of driving. The interior finish is interesting and bold.

 

The test version was equipped with a digital dashboard. It is functional and displays everything one needs. Navigating through the various menus is rather simple. The heads-up display is very clear without compromising visibility. However, what I liked less were the graphics of the multimedia system. The display gives the impression of being designed 15 years ago, which is a bit unfortunate for a vehicle with such a modern style. There are also all the sounds that the vehicle produces. Some of them are annoying, and others are downright aggressive. It's the kind of thing you eventually stop noticing, but the automotive journalist in me clearly fixated on it.

 

Price and Equipment

 

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is available in five different versions, which is a significant advantage compared to its competitors, which rarely offer more than two versions. Its starting price is $48,198 and can go up to $58,198 depending on the chosen version. However, its standard equipment is already comprehensive with a 12.3-inch digital dashboard and more.

 

Author's Recommendations

 

The 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is not perfect, but it is seriously competent and enjoyable in certain situations. In the end, it's mostly a matter of taste. Moreover, it's important to remember that the model is available with 7 seats, which gives it another advantage over the majority of its rivals. It's a particularly interesting vehicle for families who love to go on adventures.

 

Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

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