Is the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Any Good?

Is The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Any Good?At first look, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV seems an irresistible hybrid crossover. To determine if the Outlander PHEV is any good, we researched what automotive experts are saying about the 2020 models.

With an MSRP range of $36,095 to $41,495, the Outlander is an affordable, plug-in hybrid crossover that offers excellent value for safety with a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.  Owners mention how much they enjoy the driving dynamics of the vehicle, which offers fast acceleration using its multiple engines and high-performance road-handling thanks to its Super All-Wheel Control system. The downside? Unlike other Outlander models, the PHEV carries only 5 passengers. 

Curious? Keep reading as we break down this bottom line and discuss the various aspects of the Outlander PHEV.

Outlander PHEV Performance

Choose Electric Drive Mode (EV) for zero fuel consumption and zero emissions. Choose Hybrid Drive Mode (gasoline + electric) for higher speeds, rapid acceleration, and steep climbs. The Outlander PHEV is Mitsubishi's flagship vehicle where it comes to high-end technologies and owners enjoy high acceleration rates that are lacking in the regular gasoline-only version of the Outlander. Mitsubishi’s standard Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) gives the Outlander PHEV stability and precise handling of variable road conditions.

Outlander PHEV Safety Systems

Outlander PHEV received a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Mitsubishi adds automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights to an already impressive safety package for 2020 models (except ES). Steadfast safety features include:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • 360-Degree Camera
  • Forward Collision Mitigation
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Dual-Stage Front Airbags, Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Driver Knee Airbag, & Side Curtain Airbags
  • Anti-Theft Alarm System

As mentioned above, the Outlander PHEV

Fuel Efficiency

Among competing hybrid crossover models, such as Toyota's RAV4, the Outlander’s EV Mode driving range comes out a bit short at 22-miles with an estimated total driving range (electric + gasoline) of 310-miles.

Capacity - Cargo and Passengers

The capacity of the Outlander PHEV is limited due to the need to stow the hybrid system’s battery pack and on-board charger. Behind the second row of seating, 30.4 cubic feet of cargo space is available. When the second row of seating is folded down, a maximum of 66.6 cubic feet of cargo space becomes available.


Mitsubishi modernized the look of the otherwise ordinary 2020 Outlander PHEV by adding chrome detailing, newly added front grille, wider taillights, and bold, silver, and black 18-inch wheels.


The 5-passenger Outlander PHEV is practical, but some feel that the all-black or grey interior with silver carbon trim lacks luxury. High-end trims with leather seats don't have that issue.  An 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat enables a comfortable driving position. The second row has ample leg-room. The Outlander’s tall roofline and low door sills give all passengers a high viewpoint from the climate-controlled cabin.

After a quick look at the overall reviews, you might still be wondering what else the Outlander PHEV has to offer. Keep reading to learn more about Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid crossover.

How Does the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Work?

Mitsubishi’s plug-in hybrid system is powered by one, 12kW-h lithium-ion battery, and two, 60kW electric motors paired with a 2.0L 4-cylinder gasoline engine to generate 117 horsepower. The Outlander PHEV automatically selects the appropriate driving mode:

  • Electric Mode (EV) powers the vehicle using the main drive lithium-ion battery and electric motors, resulting in a quiet ride with zero fuel consumption and zero emissions.
  • Series Hybrid Mode powers the vehicle using the gasoline engine to assist the main drive lithium-ion battery by generating electricity when the battery’s charge is low. This mode is typically used for quick acceleration or a power surge to get up steep inclines.
  • Parallel Hybrid Mode powers the vehicle using the gasoline engine, typically during high-speed highway driving.

How Much Electricity Does it Take to Charge an Outlander PHEV?

Mitsubishi’s Outlander stands apart from other hybrid crossovers with three methods of plug-in charging capability. Level 1 charging uses 120V power from the grid by connecting to a standard household outlet. Level 2 charging significantly reduces charging time by using a professionally installed, 240V charging station at your home or using a  240V public charging station. Outlander PHEV is the only plug-in hybrid crossover capable of DC Fast Charging.

The Outlander PHEV is equipped with a 3.7kW on-board charger. When connected to a Level 2 charging station, the Outlander will charge at a maximum of 3.7kW even if the station is rated higher. When connected to a DC Fast Charging station, the Outlander will charge at a limit of 22kW, despite the maximum 50kW availability.

How Long Will the Outlander PHEV Lithium-Ion Battery Last?

The lithium-ion, main drive battery will last for the life of the vehicle. The battery is not considered a serviceable item, and you do not need to include the battery in the Outlander's routine maintenance schedule. Lithium-ion batteries do experience some natural degeneration of battery chemistry that you might notice during the life of the car. Natural degeneration is not a failure or malfunction, but it could reduce the EV driving range. Battery capacity can decrease over time for several reasons including but not limited to:  operating conditions, temperature, storage conditions, and charging frequency.

Does Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Have Regenerative Braking?

The Outlander PHEV reclaims otherwise wasted energy from braking by using a Regenerative Braking system to recharge the main drive lithium-ion battery when you brake or decelerate. Easily adjust the Regenerative Braking strength to any of six available settings by using a paddle-type selector located on the steering wheel. While driving, you choose whether to maintain the battery's charge by engaging the SAVE button before driving in EV Mode or to continue charging the battery by engaging the CHRG button.

Does Mitsubishi Outlander Have CVT Transmission?

Outlander models powered by gasoline engines are equipped with a continuously variable, 6-speed electronic transmission (CVT). The Outlander PHEV does not have the CVT transmission. On plug-in hybrid models, the front axle electric motor is equipped with a single-speed drive mode, switchable reduction gearbox and the rear axle electric motor is fitted with a single-speed, fixed reduction gearbox.

How Does Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) System Work?

Mitsubishi's S-AWC system gives you predictable, high-performance handling. On the Outlander PHEV model, the S-AWC system uses twin-motor 4WD and Active Yaw Control (AYC) combined for reliable distribution of power. Twin-motor 4WD manages front and rear torque while AYC distributes braking force for each wheel. You can select the driving mode for the S-AWC system:

  • Normal Mode for dry surface conditions.
  • Sport Mode for a quick response along curving, dry surface conditions.
  • Snow Mode for reliable starts and secure handling on snow-covered surface conditions.
  • Lock Mode for improved traction with locked 4WD on rough gravel or muddy surface conditions.

Whichever mode you choose, if you've never driven a vehicle with an S-AWC system, you're going to enjoy the way the Outlander PHEV handles the road.

What is ECO Mode on the Mitsubishi Outlander?

On gasoline engine powered Outlander models, ECO Drive Mode closely monitors energy output while you drive and employs energy-saving techniques to maximize fuel efficiency. On models equipped with S-AWD, the Outlander primarily uses 2WD, and ECO Drive Mode automatically engages AWD when more traction is needed.

On Outlander PHEV models, the driver can select the preferred mode of power to maximize fuel efficiency while driving:

  • EV Priority Mode uses all-electric power from the main drive battery, but the gasoline engine will engage if more power is needed.
  • Battery Save Mode stops the use of the main drive battery and engages the gasoline engine. This is the most efficient mode for highway driving.
  • Battery Charge Mode forces the gasoline engine to charge the main drive battery. While using this mode, the lithium-ion battery will reach up to 80% capacity within 40-minutes.

Does Mitsubishi Outlander Have Sat NAV?

Sat NAV is not an option on the 2020 Outlander PHEV. Mitsubishi integrates your smartphone using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto with the Outlander PHEV’s standard 8-inch screen on the Smartphone-Link Display Audio System. Listen to your favorite playlists with Bluetooth compatibility while Apple Maps or Google Maps projects your route on display.

What is Mitsubishi’s Remote Control App?

Mitsubishi offers a convenient Remote Control App to use with the Outlander PHEV. Downloading the app enables you to create a charging schedule for your vehicle that syncs with your driving routine and assists you to monitor charging costs. The Remote Control App also lets you control cooling, heating, and defrosting before you get into the crossover.

Does Outlander PHEV Have Third-Row Seating?

Comfortably seat 5-passengers with the Outlander PHEV's second row of seating. Third-row seating is not available on the plug-in hybrid model due to the need to stow the plug-in hybrid system's battery pack and on-board charger beneath the floor in the rear of the vehicle. Passengers can stow their gear in 30.4 cubic feet of cargo area behind the second row of seats. In the front, the glove box can stow small items. Cup holders are neatly placed throughout the cabin.

Can I Tow with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

The Outlander PHEV has a towing capacity of 1,500-pounds. You can tow a pop-up camper, PWC, ATV, snowmobile, or lightweight trailer with the Outlander's capacity. Mitsubishi offers an optional, factory-installed towing package for the Outlander that includes a hitch and wiring harness.

Where is Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Made?

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation manufactures Mitsubishi's 2020 Outlander PHEV at locations in Di An Town, Vietnam, and Hunan, China.

What Are the Warranty Options for Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

The 2020 Outlander PHEV comes with a 5-year/60,000 mile (whichever comes first) new vehicle limited warranty. 

The powertrain on Outlander PHEV comes with a 10-year/100,000 mile limited warranty to the original purchaser. Mitsubishi also provides a 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty.

Mitsubishi offers a fully transferable 10-year/100,000 mile (whichever comes first) warranty on PHEV components and the lithium-ion, main drive battery. Additionally, the Outlander PHEV comes with a 5-year/unlimited miles roadside assistance benefit.

Overall, the Mitsubishi 2020 Outlander PHEV is a reliable plug-in hybrid crossover. Mitsubishi sticks to the basics for style and comfort but efficiently powers the Outlander PHEV to get you where you want to go.

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