By on July 29, 2021

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]

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25 Comments on “Do You Care? Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV New for 2022...”

  • avatar

    within 24 miles would describe 90% of my driving. gas engine for that occasional longer haul

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Amidst the snark, you forgot to mention that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the PHEV sales leader in Europe:

    So maybe they actually know what they’re doing. Except for a dumpy 2020, Mitsubishi had 7 straight years of sales growth in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      If I put up with the snark, do I get to expect actual good prose?

      PHEV is the sweet spot for me right now. Most of my trips are local, but it’s nice to not care about when electricity runs out and you switch to gas on those longer errand days.

  • avatar

    Even a small EV range can give a big improvement to a hybrid’s efficiency. Here’s a long-term experiment involving our two family cars: with similar driving routines, my wife’s Ford C-Max Hybrid has a long-term fuel efficiency of 38 mpg. My otherwise identical Co-Max Energi PHEV has recored 65 mpg. That was a happy surprise, and a beneift I never would have expected.

  • avatar

    Looks like a decent entry into the hybrid class, although I really wish it was 42 miles, not 24. The former will probably take care of most owner’s daily commuting – barely. The latter gives a very good cushion for other running around and would probably guarantee that the gasoline engine only fires up once or twice a month.

    Plug-in hybrids are a really underrated class, being a really good alternative in places where the EV charging infrastructure has yet to begin. Places like my old hometown of Johnstown, PA (population 20,000; double that by adding the suburbs) which has exactly two public Level 2 charging points in the area: the Nissan dealer and the Holiday Inn Express in the eastern suburbs of town. The kind of place that if I took my Bolt there, I’d have to do a DCFC in Bedford before climbing the mountain, and then stay at the Holiday Inn.

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting to mention DCFC; the Outlander PHEV is one of the few PHEVs (maybe the ‘only’ one) that offers DCFC. IIRC, it needs it, too, because the lame 3.7kWh onboard charger for Level 2 charging takes 3.5 hours. That’s a long time to get 24 EV-miles.

      On top of that, the Outlander’s DCFC plug is the soon to be outdated (in the US, anyway) CHAdeMO type since Nissan’s future US EV products will be switching to CCS.

  • avatar

    PHEVs are the real future here. Theyll exploit epa cafe testing loopholes just like the tiny turbo i4 engines did starting with the chevy cruze and ford fusion.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree but they’re *really* pushing EV despite all logic and business sense to the contrary. I will be interested to see if PHEV or hybrids fall under attack through Fedgov regulations in the mid term.

    • 0 avatar

      What were the loopholes? My Cruze Eco did 35mpg all the time and 40 when I nursed it. And that was a 2800 pound car, quiet and good ride.

  • avatar

    These are hideous, but very capable. Underrated, especially in a world where a Kia Telluride demands a $10K markup. (Seriously: WTF, guys.)

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve read and heard many a prole praise the KIA Telluride and actually think its desirable – prior to leaving Earth in 2020. Its basically a larger Sorrento, yet they seem to think its a Bentayga. Kinda sick.

  • avatar

    Run, do not walk, to the nearest Chrysler dealer and pick up a real vehicle that is also PHEV: the Pacifica.

  • avatar

    they’re better cars that gm equinox or gmc terrain. I buy it over a Cadillac also.

  • avatar

    I seriously don’t understand all the hate for Mitsubishi.

    They have had their most solid lineup in years. Sure they may not be the most exciting, but they seem to be good value for the money.

    I like the Mirage for instance. It seems like a honest little car. Kinda reminds me of my old Saturn. There’s a market for what Mitsubishi is selling, and their increasing sales numbers show that. And everyone I know who has a Mitsubishi seems happy with them.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. I bought a Mirage back when I was delivering pizzas. The car never had a single issue, and regularly hit 50MPG. It is the perfect car for low income earners, or anyone doing small deliveries. With a 3 cylinder engine and old school port injection, if something ever did break it could be fixed cheaply by nearly anyone. Yeah it has poor handling, but who cares? It will get you to work every morning.

    • 0 avatar

      Conversely, I don’t even know why Mitsubishi exists in the US. I don’t doubt Mitsu is still well-regarded abroad, but what do they offer here that you can’t get better elsewhere?

      They still seem like underpowered, outdated, ugly junk. The sort of car you dread being the last choice in the car rental lot. The sort of brand that screams ‘I’ve made poor financial choices’. It seems like no one wants to be in a Mitsubishi, you sort of fall into it thanks to unfortunate circumstances.

      • 0 avatar

        “The sort of brand that screams ‘I’ve made poor financial choices’.”

        I don’t know. The first brand that would pop into my head for that market is Nissan.

  • avatar
    Undead Zed

    “Do You Care?”

    Unless I hear the words “Evo” or “Eclipse”, not really. It’s hard to get excited about yet another crossover being announced for a market that’s oversaturated as hell with crossovers and SUVs. 8 of the last 9 car reviews on this site were for them.

  • avatar

    Knowing that there’s the hookup between Mitsubishi and Renault and Nissan, it makes sense that they would still sell a previous-gen model. Renault has a history of continuing to sell previous-gen models alongside their replacements.

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    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.

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