We’re excited to start the new year with a hotly anticipated car to test drive for you, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
Finally, The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Arrives In The US!
How long has the wait been? About 5 years. Mitsubishi has been selling a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of its Outlander for many years overseas, but it has just been talking about doing so in the US — with many target launch dates coming and going. In the meantime, the company went through an almost complete breakdown (part of the reason for the delays) only to be saved by the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
I remember having had fantastic talks with senior officers about what a US version of the Outlander PHEV could look like as far as back as 2013. And the end result is pretty close to the original idea of a plug-in hybrid SUV that lets you choose what drive mode you want when you want.
Our particular Outlander PHEV is very new, with only 250 miles on it. In fact, it is so brand new that we had to crack open the charging plug’s plastic bag container. And the Outlander still smells like a brand new car, or reeks of it, depending on how you feel about that.
So far, we like the car a lot. For an SUV, it doesn’t feel bloated. The electric motor is surprisingly zesty and moves it along nicely. Although our first-day drive was spent in electric ECO mode, we feel the estimated 27 miles on electricity might be wishful thinking. We’ll see as the week progresses and we put on more miles before using its very quiet gasoline engine. We do like the CHAdeMo charging option, as those chargers are plentiful around the Los Angeles area.
The inside feels very comfortable and spacious. It’s not an outrageous SUV. It’s not over the top. It feels good without screaming luxury, and this is something we like about how Mitsubishi executes its cars. The back seats are comfortable, just as in the regular version. The trunk does sacrifice some cargo space, but nothing out of the ordinary, and there’s a ton of space back there — being an SUV and all.
Next, we’re pairing phones, digging into the manuals, and seeing just exactly what else the Outlander PHEV has to offer.
Stay tuned next week as we give you the results of our extended test drive of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.