• 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.