New Car Review

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: New Car Review

RELATED READING
See all Mitsubishi Outlander articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader June 2018

As its name suggests, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a hybrid variant of the regular Outlander compact crossover -- and a plug-in version, at that. Those initials mean "plug-in hybrid electric vehicle." The thing to remember is that the "plug-in" part means usable range from the battery, but the vehicle isn't suddenly going to leave you stranded if battery energy dips below a certain level. There's still a combustion engine on board to get you home. What a PHEV does is employ electric power to improve overall fuel economy.

A PHEV model makes the aging Outlander a little more relevant in these times, bringing a new set of potential buyers to a crossover that usually makes value for money one of its most attractive attributes, since it cannot really compete on a quality level.

Apart from the powertrain, this plug-in hybrid differs from its regular sibling in that it's a 5-seater only, as opposed to offering a third seating row -- the battery pack and extra hybrid hardware have to go somewhere. The PHEV is also available solely in the Outlander range's top two trim levels that come with all-wheel drive as standard.

Mitsubishi dealers are thin on the ground, but don't let that put you off the Outlander PHEV. Plug-in hybrids in this part of the automotive world are scarce, and this might be exactly the vehicle you need.

What's New for 2018?

The Outlander PHEV is brand-new for this year. However, the regular Outlander has been around for quite some time.

What We Like

Pleasant enough interior, thanks to the higher trim level status; 10-year/100,000-mile warranty on PHEV components

What We Don't

Most of the driver aids are only available in the top trim; general refinement is not that great

How Much?

$35,590-$41,290. That's before a federal tax credit of $5,836 and any state incentives.

Fuel Economy

The combustion side of the equation is a 2.0-liter/4-cylinder engine. This is augmented by an electric motor up front and one at the back, both running on a lithium-ion battery back. The combined setup sends 197 horsepower to all four wheels.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a way of calculating consumption in plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles that it calls miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe). It rates the Outlander PHEV at 74 MPGe when combining the city and highway cycles. It also puts maximum electric-only range at 22 miles.

Recharging a depleted battery on a 240-volt supply takes about four hours; a fast-charging facility can bring it up to 80 percent in 25 minutes.

Standard Features & Options

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is sold in SEL and GT trims.

SEL ($35,590) starts with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/start, power remote tailgate, roof rails, rain-sensing wipers, automatic on/off headlights, LED taillights, color driver information display, hill-start assist, heated side mirrors, full power accessories, heated/8-way power-adjustable front seats, slide/recline rear seats, leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, piano black interior accents, a self-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, voice control, Bluetooth, a 7-in touchscreen, a 6-speaker CD audio system, HD/satellite radio, dual USB ports and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration.

GT ($41,290) adds chrome exterior trim, LED headlights (with automatic high beams) and fog lights, a heated steering wheel, 360-degree camera system, wood grain trim, a sunroof, power-folding mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, adaptive cruise control with frontal collision mitigation and pedestrian, lane-departure warning, two 115-volt AC outlets and a 710-watt/9-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system.

Options include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a towing package (when properly equipped, the Outlander PHEV can tow up to 1,500 pounds).

Cargo space behind the rear seats is 30.4 cu ft. With those seats folded down, it expands to 62.8 cu ft. Mitsubishi doesn't give a figure, but the subwoofer in the GT version encroaches a little on luggage area.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability control, hill-start assist and seven airbags (front, front side, driver knee and full-length side curtain).

This PHEV model hasn't been tested specifically, but the regular all-wheel-drive Outlander received five stars out of five overall in government crash testing, including four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts.

In the Independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash test program, the regular Outlander earned the top Good rating in every major category and was named a Top Safety Pick Plus.

Behind the Wheel

Soft-touch cabin materials in the cabin are complemented by crisp gauges. Seat comfort is just about acceptable, although more cushioning would be welcome. The rear quarters deserve a mention for their sliding/reclining seats and generous legroom.

The driving experience is safe and secure rather than inspiring.

Other Cars to Consider

2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid -- This is where the Outlander PHEV becomes more intriguing, since there isn't a plug-in hybrid compact crossover offered by other mainstream manufacturers at the moment. So a RAV4 in the usual hybrid form we've come to know and embrace from Toyota is one of the few consumption/emissions-conscious alternatives.

2018 Kia Niro PHEV -- Kia markets this as a crossover, although it's more of a raised hatchback. It's also a subcompact, so it's smaller than the Outlander. But it starts at $28,840, has an EV range of 26 miles and is quite refined to drive.

Used Toyota Highlander Hybrid -- For more space, hybrid economy and three rows of seating, this could do the job. Check out Toyota's certified pre-owned (CPO) program.

Autotrader's Advice

Federal and state incentives make the GT version more affordable, which means extra equipment and more driver assistance features.

Find a Mitsubishi Outlander for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: New Car Review - Autotrader