The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Plug-in Hybrid is Great for Camping – and Daily Driving [Video] Op/Ed

Camping out in the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Several months back, while reviewing the 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, I witnessed a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) powering an outdoor display. Video equipment, lights and sound were all powered but the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV’s 1,500-watt outlet. Impressive. I wanted to test this system (along with the whole driving experience) as soon as one came to the Rocky Mountains.

I’m happy to say that, in both driving and camping, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV impressed.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV interior
Powered by two electric motors and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine (that also works as a generator for the 12 kW Lithium-ion battery), each electric motor, one for the front wheels, one for the rear, produces 60 kW (80 hp) and maximum range is; depending on your driving style, about 22 miles. Combined muscle is rated at 197 hp. The transmission is a single speed, fixed reduction gear that performs like a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and works the same with EV, hybrid and all gas modes.

How does the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV drive?

Honestly, the extra weight and electric additions take the Outlander from a bargain crossover to a slightly more premium feel. It’s smoother, quieter and it feels like it was assembled better than the regular Outlander. This is coming from personal experience as I owned one.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV front 3/4
Handling is slightly better than the four-cylinder, but less sporty than the Outlander GT V6. Steering feel is nonexistent; however, the steering wheel weight is ideal for regular driving. The brakes are a tad touchy at first and, despite being regenerating brakes, they work aggressively on any surface.

In EV Drive Mode (electric only): The front and rear motors power the vehicle using electricity from the battery. Maximum speed in EV mode is 75 mph, but the engine will fire-up to assist if you’re aggressive with the accelerator. If you’re careful, you can take care of local errands in EV mode and use little to no gasoline.

Charging it up

I recharged a few times at home (120w) and a few times at Charge Point charges while shopping. Altogether, I drove about 50 miles in town for only a few cents. Even in deep snow, I simply engaged the Twin Motor 4WD system (there’s a button south of the gear leaver) and powered through using electricity. One issue: the recharging input for the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is located in the back of the vehicle, opposite the fuel door. This necessitated backing in to each charger.

Driving in “Series Hybrid Mode” basically means electric power plus engine assistance. According to Mitsubishi, “The motors power the vehicle using engine-generated electricity. The engine generates electricity when the battery level is low and to increase power when accelerating rapidly or climbing hills.”

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV rear 3/4
Driving in “Parallel Hybrid Mode” allows gas engine power plus electric motor assistance to power the vehicle at highway speeds, when the gas engine is working at its most efficient. It’s also the least efficient driving environment for the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Fuel economy while driving was in the mid 20s.

The EPA rating for the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is 74 MPGe.

If you are wondering about price, one with no options will cost you $40,295. Ours was priced at $41,930.

As for camping? Check out the video above!