After spending a week with a 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT S-AWC I wanted to showcase the most notable part of the vehicle, the hybrid system.
Before I dig deep, I want to give a brief overview of the SUV. The Outlander PHEV features a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors that are mated to a 1-speed transmission — which I’ll touch on in a moment. The electric motors can obtain power from being plugged in, or by the gas portion of the car, which charges it in a few unique ways. So let’s jump into these hybrid features.
As my video above discusses, when you hop in the driver’s seat, one of the main differences in the driver’s field of view is the lack of a tachometer — or not one you’re used to seeing, anyway. The PHEV doesn’t need one, as it only has one gear.
In the place of the tachometer is a gauge that simply says Charge, Eco and Power. At idle, the needle sits flat between Charge and Eco — and when you hit the accelerator in the PHEV, the needle rises through Eco. When you give it your full foot, you’re in the Power section.
Now, speaking of the Outlander’s solo gear and lack of tachometer, the next thing I noticed in the Outlander PHEV’s driver seat was the paddle shifters. Paddle shifters on a one gear vehicle? That makes no sense, right? But it does.
The paddle shifters in the PHEV are tied to the vehicle’s regenerative braking system (RBS). The driver chooses from one to five as they would choose gears — but now, it’s on the "strength" of the regenerative braking. One is the least noticeable and, as I state in the video, five is much like downshifting and feeling the engine braking. It isn’t very abrupt, and it won’t throw you forward as if you slammed on your brakes — but you’ll definitely feel it in four and five, as opposed to one through three.
All of the hybrid settings and features are all tied together. You can visibly see the charge you’re "earning" from your regenerative braking and driving habits on the PHEV’s vehicle information screens. You get to see the EV Power, Instant Fuel, Charge, and "Cumul" (for Cumulative). You can also see Energy Flow, which shows where the power is visibly going with an image of the vehicle and Eco Information screens. Saving energy is completely in the drivers’ hands.
The center console features a battery charge button (CHRG) to charge the battery, as well as a save button (Save) to save battery power where it can. In the center screen between the speedometer and the PHEV’s unique tachometer, you can see a total number of the miles of battery energy you’ve collected through your driving habits. Once you’ve collected your desired battery mileage, you simply have to hit the EV button located next to the Outlander PHEV’s Twin Motor 4WD Lock button and you will drive around using nothing but the electric energy you earned. Once you use up all of the battery energy, the PHEV will alert you on the dash — and it will automatically kick you back into a normal driving mode with the gas and electric motors working together.
In my opinion, all of the hybrid features and hybrid settings really make the Outlander PHEV something interesting. The best performance cars are known to give a sense of theater. While the Outlander PHEV is not going to give you that sense, all of the hybrid options keep you entertained (and efficient) behind the wheel. Find a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV for sale
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