For 2021, the 5-seat AWD Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has been given a slightly larger battery pack, going from 12.0 kWh to 13.8 kWH, which increases its pure electric miles from 22 to 24. Its rear electric motor – one of two – now generates 70 kilowatts, compared to 60 kilowatts, helping to provide a total system output of 221HP – an increase of 31HP. In Electric Mode, the car can now achieve 83 MPH, compared to its previous 79 MPH.
Despite the battery pack’s slight power increase, the 2021 PHEV gets the same 74MPGe rating from the EPA as the 2020 model, and has an MPG rating of 26. One of the more important advantages this plug-in has over its competitors is its fast-charging capability; with a Level 3 CHAdeMO fast charger it goes from empty to 80% in around 25 minutes.
The 2021 Outlander PHEV's powertrain has received updated software for improved synchronization between battery and engine, and improvements that reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Also new for 2021 are Sport and Snow driving modes, which offer enhanced driver confidence and control in all driving situations.
The only other change for the 2021 Outlander Plug-In is a new trim level – LE – which sets up between the SEL and GT trims. The SEL trim has an MSRP of $36,295. The new LE trim has an MSRP of $37,995. The GT trim has an MSRP of $41,995. All three trims are eligible for a $6,587 Federal Tax Credit, an increase of $751 from the 2020 model.
Awards for this crossover have been numerous. In 2018, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV received the prestigious Best 5 All-Around Performance award from the Automotive Science Group (ASG) in their Automotive performance Index (API) study. In 2019, it was named the New England Motor Press Association’s Best Green Vehicle Hybrid/PHEV, and it received the Green Car Journal’s Green SUV of the Year Award. In 2020, Kelley Blue Book gave the PHEV its Best 5-Year Cost To Own Award, for the second year in a row. Meaning the car is inexpensive to operate and own; thousands of dollars less than many of its competitors. And considering it comes standard with AWD, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and lots of driver assistance features, it’s a decent crossover SUV PHEV for the money. For budget-constrained families, this is a car that hits the bullseye.
From October 2016 onwards, Mitsubishi has been 34% owned by Nissan, and is thus a part of the Renault-Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance. Mitsubishi is not a well-known automotive brand in the United States. And yet, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, a global automobile company based in Tokyo, Japan, has created a competitive edge in SUVs and pickup trucks, electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles worldwide. Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Outlander PHEV are especially popular in Europe and Canada.
Mitsubishi has pledged a 40% reduction of CO2 from its new cars and is aiming for a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050. Raising its proportion of electric vehicles in total sales to 50% by 2030 will help it do that. Parent company Nissan has the same goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050.
Believe it or not, Outlander PHEV has been one of the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid SUVs up to now. Roughly 270,000 of these plug-ins have been sold globally (in over 60 countries) since 2013 (insideevs.com). In 2020, the Outlander PHEV was the best-selling plug-in hybrid in Europe.
With the PHEV SUV market taking off like a rocket, that’s going to change. Models like the Toyota RAV4 Prime, the Kia Niro plug-in, the Jeep Wrangler 4xe and the Volvo XC60 Recharge are vying for dominance (to name a few). The Outlander PHEV will lose marketshare. Take the RAV4 Prime; it’s $4,000 pricier, but offers more than the Outlander PHEV in almost all key areas. More power, more pure EV miles (42), and quicker acceleration. Prime is a more comfortable ride and provides more cargo space. And its styling, inside and out, is far superior to the Outlander PHEV. Right now, Prime is the gold standard for crossover SUV PHEVs.
But when you do the math, the Outlander PHEV becomes appealing to a large niche of consumers looking for an SUV PHEV right under or at $30,000. The $6,587 Federal Tax Credit gets this EV to that number, which many will consider a bargain.
Says automotive world.com: “The Outlander PHEV can be used as an EV in daily life and as a hybrid vehicle for long trips, allowing drivers to enjoy motor driving without worrying about recharging. The twin-motor 4WD combined with S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) system enables handling with peace of mind in various weather and road conditions. The vehicle delivers a quiet, smooth yet powerful acceleration unique to electric vehicles with eco-friendly technologies.”
The 2021 Outlander SEL model comes standard with features including: DC Fast Charging capability, Heated power side mirrors, an 8-way power adjustable driver seat, an 8-way power adjustable passenger seat, a 8.0" Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA), Twin Motor Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC), FAST-Key entry system, and Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) with Pedestrian Detection.
The LE model adds: Black side window moldings, Black chrome grille accents, Black side mirrors with turn indicators, a Power sunroof, Gloss black roof rails, 18-inch multi-spoke dark chrome alloy wheels, Synthetic suede seating surfaces with red stitching, and a Mitsubishi Power Sound System (MPSS).
The GT model adds: a Power sunroof, LED low and high beam headlights, LED fog lights, Leather appointed seating surfaces with diamond quilted pattern, a Heated steering wheel, a Multi-view camera system, a 1500W AC power supply with 2 outlets, Auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and Homelink, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
The Outlander PHEV has a solid safety record. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given it a 5-Star safety rating.
This 2021 Mitsubishi plug-in is covered by impressive warranties which include:
• A Limited powertrain warranty: 10 year / 100,000 miles
• A PHEV components warranty: 10 year / 100,000 miles
• A Main Battery Drive warranty: 10 year / 100,000 miles
REVISED MAY 2021
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.