2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV First Look: Return of the Plug-In

Mitsubishi released some additional details on the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s powertrain, although there’s much left to the imagination. Mitsubishi promises that both the front and rear electric motors make 40 percent more power. If accurate, that puts the front motor at 112 hp, and the rear motor at 132 hp, but the total system output isn’t clear. Battery capacity has also increased, from 13.8 kWh in the old PHEV to 20 kWh in the new one. On the WLTP cycle, the range improves from 28 miles to 54 miles … that’s a whopping 93 percent increase in EV-only range. On the EPA cycle, the old PHEV got 24 miles, so doing the math we can guesstimate that the 2023 PHEV could achieve an EV-only range of 46 miles.

The 2023 Outlander PHEV’s gas tank capacity is also increased, which improves total range, although neither figure is given. And a new pedal mode means true one-pedal driving is possible. Seven drive modes are available, which provide the expected slippery condition modes and both an Eco and Power mode.

We hope for full details and specs, particularly U.S.-market ones, in the near future.

There’s no denying the aging Mitsubishi Outlander was due for a refresh, and the 2022 model certainly is that. The older Outlander, in both plug-in and conventional guises, suffered from an ancient and low-rent interior. The 2022 Outlander fixes that, moving onto the Nissan Rouge’s platform and adopting very modern interior and exterior styling—not that it isn’t without issues, like a third-row seat that makes it unique from its Rogue sibling but is comically cramped. But there are few plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the consumer-grade compact SUV segment, and that’s always been one of the Outlander PHEV’s strong suits.

With its revised styling, new interior, and standard third-row seat, the 2023 Outlander PHEV certainly has a lot to offer compared to the previous generation. What it won’t have is significant visual differentiation from the gas-only Outlander, retaining the same basic “Bold Stride” design language and the “Dynamic Shield” front end. PHEV badging and a black roof (at least on some of the versions shown) seem, at the moment, to be the main difference. Perhaps more unique details will be detailed when Mitsubishi drops more information about the North American version of the Outlander PHEV.

We don’t know anything about the powertrain as of yet, but we’d bet on a modest improvement over the 2022 Outlander PHEV, which manages a peak of 221 hp and 24 miles of electric-only driving range. It should continue to be more powerful than the gas version; the 2022 gas model makes a square 181 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque from its Nissan-sourced 2.5-liter I-4. The regular Outlander is already a bit portly, so we’ll be interested to put the PHEV on our scales.

Mitsubishi will start selling the PHEV in Japan in December, and in the U.S. in mid-2022. We’ll get more details later this month during the full reveal of the PHEV model.

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