By on March 8, 2018

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - Image: Mitsubishi

Unlike the ad campaign you’ve no doubt seen for the new Eclipse Cross crossover, Mitsubishi’s long-awaited Outlander PHEV plug-in arrived on North American shores with little fanfare. Outlander PHEV sales quietly kicked off in January, years after its overseas debut.

Even though it’s just arrived, news from the Geneva Motor Show tells us there’s changes afoot for Mitsubishi’s sole green model. More grunt is on the way.

The big news is the model’s powertrain, which swaps its 2.0-liter inline-four engine for an Atkinson-cycle 2.4-liter. Without giving exact specifications, Mitsubishi promised extra torque from the upgraded mill (current output sits at 137 lb-ft), along with the secondary benefit of increased fuel economy.

Electric components also see an upgrade. The 12 kWh lithium-ion battery grows to 13.8 kWh, which the rear motor’s output (currently 80 horsepower and 144 lb-ft) grows by 10 percent. Output for the front motor remains the same, at 80 hp and 101 lb-ft. With a larger well of electrons to draw from and a beefed-up rear motor, acceleration in EV mode should see a mild improvement. Range might increase from the existing 22 miles, though Mitsubishi’s keeping that info under its hat.

Other changes include available trim add-ons, additional rear HVAC vents, and a revamped instrument panel. To give the model a shot of fun and help it better handle the white stuff, Mitsubishi has added Snow and Sport settings to the vehicle’s drive modes.

European sales start this fall, but the automaker didn’t mention dates for a North American debut.

Over the first two months of 2018, some 623 Outlander PHEVs found American homes. In contrast, the PHEV’s gas-only sibling posted its best U.S. sales month to date last month, with 5,290 deliveries. February sales amounted to a 44.3-percent year-over-year increase.

[Source: Autocar] [Image: Mitsubishi Motors]

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14 Comments on “2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: Stealthy Plug-in Due for a Power Boost...”

  • avatar

    I cut through the local Mitsubishi lot the other day. He had tons of new stock. I’m seeing more of the Outlanders on the road lately, the Outlander Sport is pretty commmon around here.

    • 0 avatar

      These PHEV versions are really rare; they just hit the ground in the US a few weeks ago.

      They’re a sort-of compelling package for a lot of people who want a big SUV, AWD, and reasonable efficiency. Sadly, the battery is bundled in where the third-row seat should be, so the Outlander PHEV is strictly a 5-seat max vehicle – which knocks it off the list as a minivan replacement. (Which, let’s be honest, are what SUVs mostly are.)

      Also no power-memory seats, which is a pet-peeve of mine.

  • avatar

    Having not driven any Outlander ever, this thing appeals to me on principal. My driving profile would have me using gas 1 day a week at most, while still having 4×4 capability, room for 3 kids & hockey bags, and some ability to pull a trailer around/between properties (~3,000 lbs in the UK).

    Plus, the controls are very nerd-friendly. Lots of ability to fine tune the driving experience to try and game fuel efficiency.

    AND, Ontario’s rebate is ~$9,500 bucks so once the inevitable Mitsubishi rebates/discounts kick in, it’ll be a lot of car for $30-35k.

    • 0 avatar

      On “principle” – a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.

      Principal – the head of a school, college, or other educational institution

      I know I make all kinds of grammatical errors but that one bugs me for obvious reasons.

      The first job I had as a teacher actually had a parking spot labeled “Reserved for Principle” – the Principal didn’t find it funny when I asked if I could park there due to my deeply held principles.

    • 0 avatar

      In regards to your comment: I appreciate the correction. It’s affect on my grammar and sentance constitution going forward will embiggen my commentations.

    • 0 avatar

      It tows 1500kg (3000ish lbs) in Europe, but only 1500lbs on this continent. I tried leasing one in January but couldn’t make it happen. They didn’t want to reduce the price by the tax credit (5836 USD) like Nissan did when I got the Leaf. But it appealed to me for the same reasons: 4WD + long range but no gas to commute. Stayed with my Leaf + beater minivan.

  • avatar

    Tough to recommend Mitsu to anyone as the company could fold anytime, but on paper, this is actually not a bad SUV when you can factor in healthy manufacturer discounts and serious government incentives to buy it. This is one of not that many SUVs actually still made in Japan as well.

  • avatar

    I think an AWD electric reasonably priced SUV is a pretty cool thing. I wish Mitsubishi luck even though what I really want is the return of the turbo AWD manual trans Eclipse.

    • 0 avatar

      We all pine for the return of their cool models of yore! Hopefully some of these new mainstream models will pull them back from the brink and return them to some semblance of health, at which time they might be in the position to reintroduce the fun, niche models we all crave.

  • avatar

    The 2018s are a brand new model already, not even old enough for dealers to do any meaningful discounting yet, and Mitsu announces the improved-in-every-way 2019 already. So, pay full price for the old one or wait for the new one? Should be an easy choice but the trouble is, Mitsu took its sweet time getting the car to North America in the first place, and might dawdle on the upgrades too–or leave them out altogether. Apparently a Mitsu rep told one publication that Australia will get the cosmetic and comfort upgrades but not the powertrain upgrades, for example. That might be the case in other price-sensitive markets like the US too, where the purchase price is cushioned by smaller incentives than in the UK or Netherlands, for example. I wish they’d let us know. All they’ve said so far is that Europe and Japan get the upgrades this fall.

  • avatar

    On the contrary, I’m constantly barraged by Outlander PHEV marketing lately and haven’t seen anything about the Eclipse Cross (saw one on the road this week, looks even more like an Aztek than originally thought possible). I imagine my browsing habits are different than most or all of the B&B though.

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