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  • Writer's pictureAlain Kuhn Von Kuhnenfeld

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Updated: Jan 2, 2020

This week we are reviewing the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the GT trim. Our vehicle was assembled at the Okazaki Plant in Japan and has an MSRP of $ 51498 CAD.

Fun Factor: 5

Can it Family: 7

Fuel-Friendly: 9

HWY-warrior: 6

Karaoke Friendly: 7

Baby-friendly: 8

City Cruising: 10

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is quite an interesting car; when launched, it was the first mass-market SUV that offered AWD with a plug-in at a very reasonable price. It's like an electric vehicle with a range extender as the car is powered by twin - AC synchronous permanent magnetic electric motors, one for the front wheels and one for the rear wheels independent from each other produce 80hp. The torque figure is different for the rear wheels as they produce 144 lb-ft of torque, and the front wheels produce 101 lb-ft of torque. The gasoline engine, when in function, can be used as a generator to recharge the batteries and also bring momentum to the front wheels. The power output for that engine makes 117hp and can produce 137 lb-ft of torque. The Outlander isn't the fastest SUV, especially for one that is powered by all-electric motors; however, these do a decent job getting vehicle moving. The feeling of engagement is not high; it provides instead a rather relaxing mood that isn't found in gas-powered engines. You'll be inclined to let the car roll out when getting to a red light to recoup as much power as possible, which would otherwise be wasted with a traditional gas-powered vehicle. The Outlander can be driven either in D or B; interestingly enough, we do find a paddle shifter on the steering wheel. The purpose in this car is quite different, they provide several different modes for levels of recuperation using the paddle shifters, and in its highest mode, it can almost bring the car to a halt without using the brake paddle.

The Outlander is the perfect vehicle for the family; it offers sufficient space for all. As a family of 5, we never felt cramped within the car, and we had enough cargo space for our kid's activities. The front seats offer heated seats, and the driver also gets a heated steering wheel these work well even in the coldest temperatures. There is one USB outlet for the front passengers and one for the rear passengers. Even when plugging the device in the second row, it can be used to control the infotainment. As for the seat comfort, the Outlander provides around average comfort, and our model came with electrically adjustable seats. The elephant in the room is the slight rocking of the front seats, which doesn't particularly show refinement. Then again, with its electric range and price, it may be forgiven. The rear seats are well-bolstered, and even adults will find them adequate for longer journeys. The middle seat doesn't provide the best support for longer journeys due to the unprinted form of the armrests. The trunk can fit a large stroller, 2 would be a stretch since the 3-row amenities aren't removed in the PHEV model, as for medium-sized stroller two can fit. The 2nd-row seats fold flat and give access to an even larger usable trunk.

What makes the Outlander stand out is its fuel economy; in the week we had it, our average fuel economy was 3.9L/100km over a distance of 500km, with 73% of the time driving in electric mode. What helped this low fuel economy is that the Outlander can be charged in 3 ways, at home using a standard outlet that takes about 7 hours overnight (Mitsubishi announces 8 hours) or using a level 2 charger, which takes about 3.5 hours. What makes it stand out compared to the competition is that it also has a CHAdeMO plug for even faster charging; in this mode, it can fully charge its battery to 75% in only 25 minutes. We observed this while the outside temperature was below freezing. Mitsubishi announces 80% within 25 minutes. Charging the battery fully can give you a range between 42-45km in the winter while driving in the city or traffic. This will suffice for most people to commute from home to work and back. While charging our car, a current satisfied owner of a 2018 Outlander even told us getting over 65km of range in the summer, satisfying even longer journeys in all-electric mode.

While on the HWY at highway speeds, we did see a dip in range, and someone can expect a range between 32-35km. Mitsubishi announces a range of 35km in EV mode and a total range of 499km with one fuel tank if you drive continually without charging. Once this is depleted, the fuel economy situates above 9L/100km, still a very reasonable fuel consumption for a vehicle this size in a real-world scenario. We observed around 9.4L per 100km in our test on a 100km stretch once the battery had been depleted. As security features, you get blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert standard on all Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Now for the ride quality, the suspension is tuned to offer a maximum level of peacefulness to your journey. The steering feels a little disconnected at high speeds, hence needing to do several steering corrections while driving to keep it straight. It was especially noticeable when the engine switches from EV to gas or back to EV. The other item is that once the gasoline engine turns off and it goes into EV mode, the heating stops operating for a short while until the engine turns back on.

The sound system of the Outlander is quite harmonious and powered by 6 speakers. The audio controls are easy and simple to operate with a knob. As for the infotainment, it offers a 7-inch touchscreen display; it may look a little low in resolution; however, its functionalities are quite simple. The same goes for other controls such as the climate; it offers physical buttons to control the temperature and can be adjusted on the go without too much looking off the road. It also offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto to make life easier with easy connectivity and familiarity with these operating systems.

The Outlander offers ISOFIX ports on the outer seats of the 2nd row and offers 3 anchor ports, so even the middle seat can accommodate a child seat. Getting car seats inside is simple; the rear doors open quite wide, so even the biggest car seat may be installed without any hassle. The ports are hidden underneath the leather and may need a little work getting to them. The same goes for removing them since you can't see the anchor points while unlatching the car seat; it may need some extra work to remove it. As for kids getting into the vehicle themselves, they'll need some assistance due to the ground clearance of the car. Once the door is open, the bench is of a proper height making it easy for them to jump into there seats.

While we drove the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in the city, we rarely ever needed fuel, and when we needed a charge, we knew we could easily get 75% of the battery within 25 minutes. That's the time it took us for a little coffee break to get an additional 30km of EV range using the CHAdeMO chargers. Combine that with a fully charged vehicle overnight, and you can really do 100% of your travel in EV mode. One thing that needs to be considered while driving the Outlander in freezing winter months, if the vehicle is parked outside is that it will automatically turn on the engine and may not use the battery before it gets warm to protect the battery's longevity. The best thing to do during these months would be to keep the Outlander in an indoor garage or to set up a timer to preheat the vehicle before driving it.

Why would we buy the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or what we liked about it: Good real-world EV range, AWD in EV mode possible, lots of usable space, can almost be driven with one pedal, hence reducing the wear and tear of the breaks.

Why we wouldn't buy the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or what we didn't like about it: Limited heating while the engine is turned off, average driving dynamics, the rocking of the front seats is a turn-off. It has also been mentioned by one of our followers as being the only reason they didn't wish to purchase the vehicle.

Mitsubishi has lent us this vehicle for one week as a press vehicle, we have no affiliation with Mitsubishi Canada, and the above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the vehicle referred to above.

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