Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Editors' Review

I've come to love plug-in hybrids for how they ease you into electric car ownership. In the case of this 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, I can decide when to use its 24 miles of all-electric range, but I still have the peace of mind of an internal combustion engine to keep me chugging on long trips. PHEVs really do make going electric easy. Unfortunately, this Mitsubishi is not a plug-in I'd recommend.

As you've probably noticed, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is still the old version of Mitsubishi's midsize SUV, not the swanky new 2022 model that shares its underpinnings with the Nissan Rogue. Still, the old SUV does have some updated tricks, by way of a new 2.4-liter I4 engine supplemented by a pair of 60-kW and 70-kW motors, giving the Outlander all-wheel drive. Combined, this powertrain produces 221 horsepower -- 31 more than last year. The 13.8-kilowatt-hour battery pack is larger than before, allowing for an EPA-estimated 24 miles of electric range (up from 22). Also, the battery can accept a 50-kW DC fast charge through its CHAdeMO plug, which allows the battery to achieve 80% capacity in 25 minutes. That's slow compared to the 150-kW and 350-kW options for full EVs, but not all plug-in hybrids have fast-charging capabilities, so this 25-minute time is a point in the Mitsu's favor.

The Outlander PHEV has a tiny gas tank -- only 11 gallons -- so the SUV's total range is just 320 miles. After a week of testing, I averaged 32.1 mpg in gas-only operation and 3.9 miles per kWh. The EPA says the PHEV should get 26 mpg and 2.2 miles per kWh for a combined total of 74 MPGe, but I clearly found those numbers easy to beat.

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Model Year

The Good ~ Standard all-wheel drive ~ 24 miles of all-electric range ~ Able to accept a fast charge

The Bad ~ Poor driving dynamics ~ Outdated infotainment ~ Cheap interior materials

The Bottom Line The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has a great all-electric driving range, but the driving experience itself leaves a lot to be desired.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 6.5
  • Media 7.5

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