Just because you want a functional hybrid like the Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid (often referred to as the Outlander PHEV), does that mean you must sacrifice the ability to tow anything? It makes sense - these vehicles are all about efficiency, which is pretty much the opposite of towing. Still, this Mitsubishi is an SUV, and it seems large enough to pull a reasonably large trailer. To help settle the matter, we have researched all of the Outlander PHEV's specs to find out if you really can tow anything or if this will be a people-hauler.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a plug-in hybrid, is rated to tow 1,500 lbs. That means that, while you can tow with the car, it will be limited to only the smallest trailers. While it may not be hard to find a small utility trailer that falls under the weight capacities, there are very few travel trailers, or caravans, that this hybrid SUV can handle.
Keep reading as we dig into all of the details regarding the Outlander's towing performance, including the maximum tongue weight it can handle. This will help you decide if you want to attempt to pull anything with your Outlander, and also help you to do so safely.
Can You Tow With a Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid?
As we mentioned earlier, the Outlander Hybrid is rated to tow - up to 1,500 lbs. That's not a lot, but it is more than some non-hybrid rivals. But there is a lot more to towing than this figure. Sure, you need to pay attention to your trailer's total weight, but there are other relevant details to watch out for before you decide to pull a trailer of any kind. Let's start with tongue weight.
Mitsubishi has given the Outlander PHEV a tongue weight rating of 15o lbs. This means that the total trailer weight pressing down on the hitch cannot exceed this figure.
This is not a lot of weight, and it is possible to find a trailer that will fall under 1,500 total pounds but still exceed this figure, so be sure to check before you hitch up. You can use a tongue weight scale to find your exact value.
For one great option, check out this 1,000-lb scale on Amazon.
Even if you are not pulling a trailer, some hitch-mounted bike racks may exceed this figure, especially if you are transporting four heavy mountain bikes. Don't forget to add in the weight of the bike rack when making your calculations!
Once you have checked your trailer weight and tongue weight, there is one more weight to watch for. This is the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which refers to the total weight pressing down on your Outlander's wheels.
This includes every single thing inside of the vehicle, including all of the passengers, as well as the tongue weight of the trailer. You do not need to include the total trailer weight - that figure goes into the gross combined weight rating or GCWR.
For the 2020 Outlander PHEV, the GVWR is 5,225 lbs. Because the car itself weighs 4,222 lbs, this means that the overall payload is roughly 1,000 lbs. This might sound like a lot of weight, but for those camping trips with 4 or 5 family members, all of your camping gear, a full 150-lb tongue weight, and maybe a dog, you can easily exceed this amount.
Can I Tow a Caravan With a Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid?
Finding a caravan, or travel trailer, that falls under these capacities can be tricky, but the good news is that it is possible. Sure, you won't be pulling any big toy haulers, but when you think about it, it is pretty impressive that this uber-efficient SUV can do the job.
Here are a handful of the trailers you can consider pulling if you own the hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander:
Aliner's tiny Scout-Lite pop-up trailer offers some excellent features in one small package. Inside the 10-foot box, this trailer has a 30"x76" sleeping bunk on one side and a dinette that converts into a 40"x76" bed on the other. In between, there are storage areas and a sink cabinet.
Now for the essential specs: the Scout-Lite weighs just 1,180 lbs dry, and the tongue weight is only 130 lbs, meaning the Outlander PHEV can realistically tow this trailer, as long as you don't load it up with too much cargo or water. That's because, when fully loaded, this trailer can weigh 2,500 lbs; way over the Outlander's rating.
Livin' Lite Quicksilver Tent Campers
Livin' Lite knows how to make a light trailer. Check out their website to see their entire catalog of tent trailers. All of them weight less than 1,500 lbs, and all but one - the 10.0 - feature a tongue weight under 150 lbs.
That gives you several options of trailers, including the rugged, off-road-oriented Rock Climber, to choose from for the Outlander PHEV. Note, however, that these are very bare-bones campers, with little in the way of creature comforts. But, if you are looking for a slight upgrade over a tent, this is a great place to start - you get a dinette, some flip-out bunks, and even a small kitchenette in some models.
Little Guy myPod
If a tent or pop-up trailer doesn't appeal to you, a teardrop trailer will likely be the best option. The new-for 2020 Little Guy myPod is about as light as it gets. This tiny fiberglass pod is essentially a bed on wheels, but that has some advantages. Check out the weights - 630 for the curb weight and just 110 for the tongue weight. Because it lands well under the Outlander PHEV's weight capacities, you will be able to load this trailer up with just about anything you need for camping and still be good to go. And there are some creature comforts to speak of, including an entertainment center, electric power, a fan, and even an A/C.
What Is the Towing Capacity of a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?
The hybrid version of the Outlander did not arrive in the U.S. until 2018, so there is no official tow rating for the 2016 model here. However, the Outlander PHEV was sold in Europe well before it made it across the pond. And, interestingly, the tow ratings of European models are often quite higher than the ratings they get here in the USA.
In the UK, for example, the Outlander is rated to tow an impressive 1500 kg when equipped with tow brakes. For our metric-challenged readers, that's 3,300 lbs. So, over twice as much as the US versions. And because there are plenty of lightweight caravans available in the UK, shoppers there are spoiled for choice when it comes to towing with their hybrid SUV.
Does the Outlander PHEV Have a Towing Package?
Yes, Mitsubishi offers a tow package on the Outlander Hybrid. It includes a tow hitch and trailer wiring harness. The harness allows you to plug your trailer into the Outlander, so your trailer lights and turn signals will work as well.
According to the accessories page, Mitsubishi charges $443 for the tow hitch and $100 for the wire harness when configuring a new Outlander. While most aftermarket shops will charge less for the job, this isn't an altogether outlandish price for a dealer to charge.
Consider the Outlander PHEV
It's quite clear that the Mitsubishi Outlander is a unique vehicle - few other SUVs are sold with a plug-in hybrid system. While it is becoming easier to find electric cars - like the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona - few hybrid, electric, or plug-ins offer any towing capabilities. Sure, you could buy a Tesla Model X, which can tow up to 5,000 lbs on all-electric power, but the starting price of nearly $80,000 means most buyers will be unable to afford it. So, that puts the Outlander Hybrid in a unique space, and if you don't mind being limited to tiny trailers, it can be a fantastic tow vehicle.