2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Hybrid, Mitsubishi, SUV, Test Drives

Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) are gaining newfound notoriety as of late as the Electric Vehicle (EV) push seems to have slowed down a bit. For bridging the gap between normal gas-burning vehicles and hybrids, many manufacturers like Mitsubishi are at the forefront of offering mainstream PHEVs that bring a surprising amount of creature comforts that border being a luxury offering. Such a notion is found in the latest Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, claimed as the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid SUV, which I had a chance to check out again after my initial review of the redesigned crossover last year.

The 2024 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV remains unchanged for the new model year after its redesigned introduction as a compact crossover for the 2023 model year, except for a higher Platinum Edition trim being offered for 2024. Thriving off a fresh new platform that is shared with the latest Nissan Rogue and perceived as midsized with its large presence and respected interior volume, the new Outlander PHEV brings many desirable characteristics. It offers some of what you get out of new EVs but with a gas engine that eliminates range anxiety and adds a respectable performing powertrain with a total of 248 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. That power provided by two electric motors and a 2.4-liter direct-injection Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine is sent through a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). Dashing to 60 mph takes about 6.5 seconds where the plug-in hybrid system is mostly seamless in its operation to manage power from the electric motors and gas engine to feed the Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) system for powering all four wheels. There are multiple drive modes to map programming for the sophisticated all-wheel-drive system to best conquer various terrains.

See Also: 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC Review & Test Drive

Running on fully electric power you have a range of about 38 miles that is attainable in the real world as I witnessed last year and again this year. Power from just the electric mode is adequate for calm commutes and provides just enough low-end grunt from the instant torque to jump into traffic and keep up on local roads or maintain highway speeds. There was a strange high-pitched sound emitted from the electric motors or their control units when you accelerated most times, which become rather annoying.The intelligent PHEV powertrain sorts out the best conditions for the use of electric power and the gas engine when in the default hybrid drive mode with the engine always on standby if extra acceleration is needed while the electric motors only provide enough power to hit 60 mph in about 11 seconds. Switching to the EV mode prioritizes the use of the 20-kWh, 350-volt battery pack that’s mounted low in the floor to limit taking up precious seating and cargo volume.

Charging the battery with a Level 2 (240-volt) charger will result in a full charge in slightly over 6 hours using the vehicle’s standard J1772 outlet. Alternatively, a Level 3 DC fast charger can provide an 80% charge in just 38 minutes, utilizing an outdated CHAdeMO charge port that is next to the J1772 outlet. The fully charged EV boasts an approximate range of 38 miles, reflecting a 14-mile increase compared to the previous year’s model. This mileage figure has been substantiated through real-world testing, achieving a total of 39 miles without relying extensively on the gas engine, primarily on back roads and maintaining slightly below highway speeds.
Without charging up the hybrid battery, utilizing the Normal hybrid mode, the Outlander PHEV has decent efficiency, landing closely with the EPA estimate of 26 mpg in mixed city and highway driving conditions. On the highway under similar circumstances, I observed fuel efficiency reaching as high as 27.5 mpg. The MPGe estimate stands at 64 MPGe when factoring in a full charge followed by nearly depleting the 14.8-gallon fuel tank, resulting in a combined range of up to 420 miles.

Having the same trim level as last year’s review, my Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC test vehicle’s interior is rather plush and on the verge of being luxurious with the accented-colored, quilted-stitched leather seating surfaces and several soft touch areas. This is the area in which the Outlander really shines in the top-level PHEV SEL S-AWC trim, which offers an inviting space for up to 7 passengers. The third-row seating arrangement, which is just for two passengers, is to only be used in a pinch as the seats that fold into the cargo floor are very short on legroom. Otherwise, the Outlander PHEV works excellent as a 5-passenger crossover.

In the area of technology, the mostly simplistic infotainment unit fed through a 9-inch touchscreen can use some polishing and improvement of its response to commands. The system is often slow in response, and I noticed a few hiccups in it not opening Apple CarPlay after a couple of connection attempts via a USB connection. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be integrated wirelessly, enabling you to use the convenient wireless charging pad in front of the gear shifter.

Safety features are abundant in the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. These include the typical functionalities of Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning and Prevention, Forward Collision Warning and Mitigation (emergency braking), Traffic Sign Recognition, Driver Attention Alert, Automatic High Beam, and Blind Spot monitors, along with the added benefit of Trailer Sway Control. For maneuvering in confined spaces, the 360-degree camera system proves invaluable, enhancing precision during parking maneuvers. It’s also nice to have a large color head-up display in the top-trim Outlander.

The new Outlander PHEV has a premium of about $8,000 over its normal gas-burning counterpart but has an edge in performance, having more power provided by the engine working with its two electric motors. Not to mention, the Outlander PHEV has a bonus for offering full-electric driving. With all things considered, the Outlander PHEV, at its base price of $40,345, is not bad. Moving to the top-trim commands a starting price of $46,295 before any fees, and adding in a few option packages to load up my Outlander PHEV SEL S-AWC test vehicle, you will be looking at a total price of $51,835, which includes a $1,445 destination/handling fee.


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