Do You Care? Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV New for 2022

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Let’s assume you’re lost and have made your way to a Mitsubishi dealership to make an emergency phone call and use the bathroom. Suddenly, the urge to buy a hybrid SUV overtakes you and you involuntarily find yourself asking a salesperson to direct you to the nearest model. They have several available and walk you over to the Outlanders, where they totally bypass the new models to show you the previous-generation PHEV.

It costs substantially more than the current, fourth-generation utilities — all of which are powered exclusively by liquid fuel and look nicer. But you can’t help yourself. Before you realize what’s going on, the dealer has invited you back to his office to start the paperwork on your new plug-in hybrid. Too terrified to scream, you walk past the much larger used lot and are handed a pen you’re told you can keep once seated. As you touch it to the documents, black ink flows out endlessly onto the paper and begins traveling up your arm. Panicked, you flail around on the floor as sensory organs begin to fail you and the world goes dark.

You awake drenched in what you hope is sweat and begin sobbing, relieved that it had all been a terrible dream. But the above could be a reality for less-discerning drivers, minus the supernatural elements.

Mitsubishi has continued selling the previous Outlander PHEV to make up for the fact that the current SUV offer doesn’t have one. While not nearly as bad of a vehicle as some of us like to pretend, the third-gen model couldn’t be called graceful or polished and its hybrid powertrain (updated in a bid to remain competitive) has been outclassed by enough rivals to avoid any serious recommendations.

But that might not be the case for much longer, as Mitsubishi recently confirmed that it will be offering a new Outlander PHEV based on the new platform in 2022. Details are limited but it’s supposed to address the shortcomings of the aged third-generation model by bringing over improvements from gen four.

These include a substantially upgraded cabin, cramped third-row seating (clearly intended for children), and a general sense of refinement from behind the wheel thanks to Mitsubishi collaborating with Nissan to basically offer a cheaper version of the Rogue. When combined with the brand’s rather good 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, the standard model even makes for a fairly compelling value proposition — something we hope carries over to the forthcoming PHEV.

Unfortunately, pricing is TDB. But Nissan hasn’t said anything about bringing a hybridized Rogue to market, giving the upcoming Mitsubishi some time to shine when it goes on sale in the second half of 2022. For now, the manufacturer was only willing to state that the next Outlander hybrid will offer improved battery capacity and a stronger electric motor than its predecessor. That means an all-electric range surpassing 24 miles and likely a combined output exceeding 221 horsepower.

We’ll have to wait to see how it stacks up against other high-riding PHEVs. But my own nostalgia for Mitsubishi makes it difficult to root against the brand and North America always needs more value-oriented vehicles that aren’t abysmal to drive. Besides, the company had a few genuinely good sales years before the pandemic. Those tri-diamond badged vehicles we see on the road can’t all be coming from rental lots.

[Images: Mitsubishi]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Chetter Chetter on Jul 30, 2021

    2018 PHEV owner here. Car was bought as a third car solely for its ability to qualify for the LIE HOV pass. I have the top of line GT model- zero complaints. Much better experience than the car it replaced- a 2014 Accord hybrid touring.

  • Dothetime Dothetime on Aug 01, 2021

    I have a 2018, outlander PHEV, 1000 miles on a quarter of a tank. Most of my driving is in EV mode. Not the most refined SIUV out there but well worth the money, after you get a $5800 tax credit.

  • Ras815 Their naming scheme is almost as idiotic as having a totally separate Polestar brand for EVs that look exactly Volvos. But you can tell it came from the same idiocy.
  • Dukeisduke "The EX naming convention is used for the automaker’s new and upcoming EVs, the EX30 and EX90."Only upcoming when they can figure out the software.
  • SCE to AUX I've always said that consumer/business pressures will reign in government decrees, as they have in the past in places like California. That state has moved the goalposts many times for "ZEV" mandates.But the problem is the depth of politicization of the EPA. Mfrs need continuity and long-term commitment to requirements, not living on a 4-year political cycle of who's in the White House and Congress. Your President - whomever that is - isn't going to be around forever.Ironically, backing off the gas means handing a greater lead to Tesla, Rivian, and Lucid, (and possibly H/K/G). The whiners have begun heavy investments whose ROI will be extended by years, and their EV sales will reduce even further.It's like the coach granting his players less practice time because they're tired, while the other team stays fit - that's how you lose the game.
  • Dukeisduke The administration is slowly dribbling out details of the change - it's like they don't want to piss off environmentalists, the auto manufacturers, or the UAW. John McElroy covered this very well in today's installment of Autoline Daily: AD #3751 - 2024 U.S. EV Sales Could Grow 43%; China Price War Spreads To ICE; U.S Vehicles Biggest Ever, Also Lowest CO2 - AutolineAlso, even though vehicles in the US have gotten larger, heavier, and more powerful (thanks to the shift away from sedans to trucks and SUVs), according to a year-end report by the EPA, in 2023, average fuel economy was at its highest ever, and CO2 emissions of new vehicles were at their lowest ever ( The 2023 EPA Automotive Trends Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fuel Economy, and Technology since 1975, Executive Summary (EPA-420-S-23-002, December 2023 ).
  • Golden2husky How about real names instead of alphabet/numeric soup?