• Engine: 2.4-liter I-4
  • Horsepower: 248
  • EV Range: 38 miles
  • Battery: 20-kWh
  • Torque: 332 lb-ft.

Long Term Updates

Date: July 2023Mileage: N/A

The Mitsubishi Outlander is a recurring name in our Long Term fleet, having tested a previous-generation plug-in hybrid in 2019, and a next-gen non-PHEV just last year. With the new-gen PHEV now available, we couldn’t wait to give it a go.

This is our 2023 Outlander PHEV, decked out in the SEL Premium trim.

Under the hood is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, assisted by front and rear electric traction motors for standard all-wheel drive. The combined output is 248 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, with an EV-only range of about 38 miles; 14 more than the last gen PHEV.

The Outlander PHEV is the most powerful Outlander available, which means it would definitely be our choice. Although to be honest, it’s not just about the extra power. Being able to hit a button and quietly cruise on battery power alone is another nice perk of this powertrain. As is the ability to hit the same button and add significant charge back to the battery just by driving on gas-power.

The SEL Premium Package adds semi-aniline leather upholstery with heated front and rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a Bose sound system. Most importantly, all SELs come with DC Fast Charging. An unusual feature for a PHEV, it can get the 20-kWh battery to 80-percent in under 40 minutes.

Date: August 2023Mileage: 3000

We kicked off the summer with a new addition to our Long Term fleet, this 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid. And after 3000 miles of fun in the sun, we have our first official update.

In the two months since it arrived, we’ve observed an overall 33.9 miles-per-gallon. That’s significantly better than the final tally of 31.4 miles-per-gallon for our 2019 Outlander PHEV long termer.

We attribute some of our newfound success to plenty of due diligence keeping the 20-kilowatt-hour battery juiced up. That’s pretty easy, since our SEL Premium packs DC Fast Charging capabilities.

It’s also easy to slip into EV-only driving. The Outlander PHEV is rated at 38 miles of electric-only range, meaning we can use the battery for most of our local driving and fall back on the 2.4-liter inline-four cylinder for longer and more intensive hauls.

With a decent driving experience and a luxuriously wrapped interior, this Outlander is exactly what we need to fill a minivan-shaped hole in our hearts.

Date: September 2023Mileage: 7,000

It’s been a busy summer for our 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle. We’ve already logged another 4,000, mostly long-distance highway miles on the odometer. With a comfortable, quiet ride and a suite of amenities, we’ve all wanted it as our Road Trip companion.

But those high speed runs up and down I-95 have taken a toll on PHEV gas use. With highway trips quickly depleting the 38 electric-only miles, overall fuel economy has dropped about 10% to 30.2 mpg. Still, that’s just fine, thanks to this 2.4-liter inline-4’s efficient hybrid powertrain.

But, there is more to our Outlander PHEV experience than just saving at the pump.

We’ve raved about the Outlander’s looks both inside and out, but we all know looks only go so far. There needs to be substance behind the appearance. Well now that we’ve put in the road trip miles, we’re happy to report the Outlander holds up as a long-haul vehicle. On vacation my favorite feature was the massaging seats and, granted, they’re not as advanced as we’ve seen in of the high-end luxury vehicles, but they get the job done when back fatigue sets in.

With daily recharging, and shorter fall drives, we expect to see this Mitsubishi’s fuel economy tick up in the weeks ahead.

Date: October 2023Mileage: 10,000

Cooler weather and shorter days are upon us. So, it’s a good time to recap our summer spent with this 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. We’ve tallied another 3,000 miles, bringing our long term test total to just over 10,000 miles.

You may recall a recent dip in fuel economy, attributed to the high-speed, long-distance miles from seasonal road trips, which are not always kind to hybrids. With the change in seasons, our Outlander is spending more time on the plug followed by shorter, mostly commuting trips. And that means better fuel economy, climbing back up to 31.3 miles-per-gallon overall.

As we’ve mentioned before, juicing the 20-kWh battery back up to full is easy thanks to the SEL-trim’s DC fast charging capabilities. Rare for a plug-in hybrid. And now having spent some time trying it, not only does it sound good on paper… it’s a really great feature to have.

And out on the road, things are equally satisfying.

“Ten thousand miles into our test, we are officially over the “get to know you” phase with this Outlander PHEV. And personally, I’ve grown fond of two things: One: the ability to precisely dial in the right amount of regenerative braking on the fly with these steering wheel paddles. And two, the quick burst of electric torque when you stab the throttle.”

Everyone around the office is still impressed with the Outlander overall. It’s versatile, it’s comfortable, and it’s very well appointed. If we could lobby one complaint, the wireless device charger seems to not always jive with our devices. Still, in-vehicle wireless chargers aren’t yet a perfect science.

Date: December 2023Mileage: 15,000

As the fall season peaks, we’re finding ourselves commuting more in the dark. Normally, that’d be a little sad; but, behind the wheel of our 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, things aren’t so gloomy.

Another 3,500 miles gets us close to the 15,000-mile mark. So far, it’s been almost entirely smooth sailing.
As you can imagine, we spend a lot of time driving; so, a comfortable cruiser is greatly appreciated, and our Outlander is exactly that. The seats leave you well rested after hours of driving, and the ride is mostly quiet, aside from the occasional electric hum from the plug-in hybrid system.

Our fuel efficiency has only slightly dropped since last update, now 30.9 MPGs. Still decent, and something we can overlook considering how easy it is to charge up the battery without actually needing a plug.

In one example, the Outlander’s “EV Charge Mode” was able to put nearly 30 miles worth of juice back into the battery after 150 miles of highway driving.

Having the Outlander PHEV’s gas engine to fall back on when electricity runs low is nice, but we still prefer to keep those pistons in place. The obvious reason for that is fuel economy. But it’s also because it’s a real pleasure to drive this thing in full-electric mode. It’s not like a sports car where I want to hear the engine. I’m totally fine piloting an SUV in near silence.

The only complaints involve our personal devices; namely, we still find the wireless charger to be a bit finnicky, and hooking up an older Apple device to CarPlay is not always simple.

Still, these hardly detract from the overall positive experience. As one logbook comment put it, “Nice SUV, Great PHEV.”

Date: January 2024Mileage: 17,000

“New year, new me” may apply to some, but we’re glad things are mostly staying the same with our 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV long-termer.

We’ve commented time and time again on just how great the Plug-In Hybrid system is, and it still receives top marks. Although, we have seen a drop in fuel efficiency of almost a full mile-per, now down to and even 30 MPG. We attribute that to longer drives with no plugging in, and colder weather requiring the 2.4-liter inline-4 to run more. Consider it our New Year’s Resolution to get that number back up.

We’ve also spoken at length about how comfortable the interior is; but, we haven’t mentioned much regarding utility. To that point, the Outlander PHEV has also received high praise.

One great example is cargo capacity. When you’re not hauling seven people around, the rearmost row can be folded down for 30.8 cubic-feet of flat storage. That can be doubled to 64.7 cubic-feet with the second row down.

These are good numbers on their own; and impressively, they’re essentially unchanged from the non-PHEV Outlander. So, if you commonly bank on the “utility” part of your “Sport Utility Vehicle,” the Outlander PHEV shows you can still fit hybrid efficiency into your life.

“While it’s nice that the Outlander PHEV can DC fast charge, the real highlight is that we’re getting a full charge overnight on our standard 110-volt outlets, which means taking full advantage of the 38 miles of all-electric range doesn’t require the purchase and installation of an at-home level 2 charger.”

We’ve managed to post almost 17,000 of our own miles on the odometer.

Date: February 2024Mileage: 20,000

We’ve officially surpassed the 20,000-mile mark in our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV compact utility.

Over a quarter of the 5,000 miles since our last update were driven on the always-congested I-95. The point in our annual Roebling road trip is to test high-performance cars on track, but it’s also turned into a bit of an outing for our Long Termers, too. The Outlander has exceeded expectations yet again. No wonder it’s our MotorWeek pick as Best Small Utility of the year!

We all continue to rave about its comfort. A smooth ride, plenty of room— you’ve heard it all by now. The outside profile doesn’t immediately scream “large,” but it becomes rather apparent once you’re onboard… or loading up for a long weekend getaway.

The PHEV system also maintains its top scores. We have observed a slight dip in efficiency, down to an average of 29.7 MPG, due to a lack of plugging during on our recent road trips. But that’s the glory of PHEVs: Electrified efficiency during regular commutes, no worries about infrastructure on longer drives.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a short jaunt or a long haul. This Outlander PHEV has provided us with the space and utility we need. Admittedly, we haven’t gotten much use out of the third-row seats, but these two behind me have really racked up the miles in the second row. And because it’s so quiet in EV mode, we don’t have to shout to talk to each other. Do we, guys?

GIRL: Yes, we do!

BOY: Yes!

Before another winter storm makes its way here, we’ve equipped our Outlander with Bridgestone winter tires. Nothing to report yet, but we’re hoping to use them for their intended purpose soon.

Date: April 2024Mileage: 25,000

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve already spent 10 months with our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV; and there’s still some time left in its MotorWeek tenure, but here’s all the latest.

Getting the empirical evidence out of the way first, our overall efficiency has slightly dipped again, now down to 29.1 mpg on regular fuel. That average includes another 3,100 miles of road, bringing our total to 25,000.

I know… we keep saying we’ll get the numbers back up, and this Outlander PHEV is very capable of doing so, as we’ve previously observed efficiency in the low 30s. The plug-in system really is great, but it works best when you actually plug it in.

Still, we can’t discount the fact that 29 mpg is decent for a small three-row utility. The small dip may be attributed to our recent mounting of Bridgestone winter tires. Winter tires are made of softer rubber— great for gaining traction in colder conditions, but can lead to a small loss in fuel economy. Still, the peace of mind was worth it during the Mid-Atlantic freezes.

And the on-road experience still gets top-marks.

We’ve mentioned before how this Outlander PHEV has many of the benefits of a full EV, and to me, one of the overlooked benefits is the ability to control the amount of regenerative braking. So, on the highway I’ll dial it back so that I can coast when letting off the throttle, but around town I’ll add some regen back for the comfort of not having to go back and forth between the pedals as often.

Date: May 2024Mileage: 27,000

Spring has sprung. That means longer days, taller grass and happier drives in our Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

That’s not to say winter driving was miserable because the heated seats and steering wheel kept us cozy; even our coldest days had only moderate effects on EV range, and the “Super-All Wheel Control” system always kept us on course. We’d expect nothing less from an all-wheel drive layout from the same engineer who was behind the legendary S-AWC in the Lancer Evo. The Outlander design may be different, using electric motors to deliver all-wheel drive, but the ethos remains, much to our delight.

Still, we’ll take warm weather cruising any day. Windows down and music cranked high. In fact, the only fresh comment logged in this 2,000-mile stint comes from our videographer, who says, quote: “The Dave approved of the sound system.” Rock on, Dave.

Truthfully, this three-row utility has become a real work horse for us, from camera hauling, to people moving and family cruising.

The phrase “family friendly” is typically associated with large SUVs and minivans, but this compact Outlander PHEV qualifies for that moniker in my eyes. It’s not so much the space, but the features that it offers. Like the second row sunshades in our SEL grade. They’re great not just for little kids, but anyone who’s trying to sleep while that early morning sun blasts in during a road trip.

And with all the praise comes some more good news, as we’re looking at an overall average of 29.2 mpg. That is better than our last observed 29.1.

See? Told you MPGs would go up. Every tenth counts! And with the warmer weather, we expect that to continue climbing, as will the odometer, now at 27,000 MotorWeek miles.

Date: June 2024Mileage: 29,000

With spring comes the promise of warmer weather; that, along with the prospect of long drives in our 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, is enough to coax us out of our winter dens.

With a recent Northeast road trip under its belt, we’ve added another 2,000 miles to the odometer. And we’ve seen fuel economy climb again, now at an average 29.3 mpg.

Like all PHEVs, this Outlander shows off its sophisticated powertrain most during daily trips around town. As long as the battery pack has a charge, we barely hear from the gas engine unless there’s a need for full power. In that scenario, some of the sophistication is lost with the inherent drone of the continuously variable transmission. But once you’re up to speed, it’s right back to being comfortable and quiet.

One newer complaint is that we wish the reverse camera was a little more high-res. On the contrast, one newish rave of ours is the head-up display. It is a tad simple, but sharply visible and quite handy.