Mitsubishi Outlander 2018 First Take: Get ready for the cheapest plug-in hybrid SUV

The luxury market has taken the lead with plug-in hybrid SUVs. The Volvo XC60 recently joined even bigger XC90 as a plug-in, as does the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE. Unfortunately, you’ll spend at least $ 52,900 on the XC60 and as much as $ 82,800 for the Cayenne. Oh!

Now there is one that 99% can buy. The Outlander PHEV 2018 will start at $ 34,595 and be eligible for a federal tax credit of $ 5,836, plus anything your state can offer.

The Outlander uses two full-time 60 kW electric motors, each on the front and rear axles, and one 2.0 liter petrol engine each. The energy storage system in a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery is located under the vehicle. Mitsubishi estimates the total capacity to reach 197 horsepower.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2018 PHEV

Mitsubishi tossed its hat into the plug-in hybrid SUV lap with the new Outlander PHEV.

Emme Hall / Roadshow

As a plug-in hybrid, your car’s own regenerative brakes and motor help recharge the Outlander’s battery, but you can also plug it in at home. The DC quick charger will give the battery up to 85 percent capacity in 20 minutes, while the Level 2 home charging station will refill the battery in four hours. Your standard 110 volt wall outlet can be charged overnight.

Mitsubishi hasn’t tested the electric range yet, but says it’s confident it will beat the luxury automaker by 13 miles on average. While driving, I can choose an EV mode, which relies only on battery power if any range remains, or selects Battery Saver mode, where the system maintains charge by dynamically relying muscle.

During my brief stint in the Outlander PHEV on dirt roads and at speeds of 25 mph and below, I discovered that the car switches continuously between its hybrid modes. It allowed me to choose between six levels of regenerative braking with column-mounted paddles. I found myself using max regen on dirt roads, just lift the gas to slow the Outlander before turning.

Mitsubishi Outlander 2018 PHEV

Not “WOW!” kind of interior but also not offensive.

Mitsubishi

Unfortunately I haven’t experienced the Outlander on the highway, so I can’t talk about its handling, ride quality, or driver assistance. The Outlander will be available as standard with blind spot warning with rear cross-vehicle alert, but features like multi-view camera, lane departure warning, and forward collision mitigation will only be available on GT models. , starting at $ 40,295. This top trim will also come standard with adaptive cruise control, which Mitsubishi says will help the Outlander come to a complete stop, but the driver will need to rejoin the system once the vehicle starts moving. switch back.

A new app can control the Outlander’s charging schedule, monitor vehicle status and remotely operate HVAC systems and headlights.

The interior of the Outlander PHEV is good, if nothing stands out. The material and design are nothing special, but I don’t notice any cheap plastic components. The seven-inch touchscreen supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there are two USB ports in the center console. There’s also a standard AC outlet in the rear cargo compartment that can handle 1,500 watts of your electronics, making the Outlander PHEV great for tuning or windsurfing.

I really wish I had more time with the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, and not just on a grained dirt road. The company is on the rise, having sold 100,000 units last year, for the first time since 2007. The introduction of an affordable plug-in SUV will be a boon for the less affluent consumers. than. Mitsubishi products are expected to be found in dealerships in December.

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