Video Review: The New 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the Biggest SHOCKER of the Year!

It's one of the few seven-seat plug-in hybrids around, and this one is far better than its predecessor

(Images: TFL Studios)

If you consider the sheer amount of innovation and content, this car might change the Mitsubishi’s image going forward.

The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV may show that Mitsubishi has finally turned a corner. Previously, their brand was known for building the least expensive vehicles in their segment. Value is a noble ambition, but that generally doesn’t build an inspirational brand reputation.

Before that turn, the Japanese automaker built its identity on innovative, visceral cars. Many of those cars came with outstanding all-wheel drive systems. Hell, they won the Dakar more than any automaker with their Pajero SUV. Do I need to go into detail on the Lancer Evolution, too?

With that in mind, we at TFL Studios are delighted to say that some of that past penchant for innovation has returned. The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is absolutely packed with modern technology. On top of that, this is one of the only vehicles that offers seven seats in a plug-in hybrid package. Sure, that third row is usually best suited for children rather than full-sized adults, but at least it’s more usable this time around.

What is the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV?

Equipped with three electric motors, and one gas engine, the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander can run 38 miles on a single charge with a 20-kWh, liquid-cooled battery. With a 65 MPGe rating, the Outlander PHEV has a maximum rating of 420-mile range combined. I wish the 3.3-kW onboard charger was a faster 6-kW or more, for faster charging times. Still, if you get the SEL or higher trim, you get one of the only PHEVs available with a CHAdeMO-spec DC fast charger.

Power comes from a 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle inline four-cylinder, as part of a system with three electric motors. Combined, the power is an impressive 249 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. The gas engine powers through an electric motor which works like a direct-drive transmission. This car does not use a continuously variable transmission (CVT) like the standard gas-powered Outlander.

Along with the gas engine, an 85 kW motor feeds the front wheels, and a 100 kW motor powers the rear wheels exclusively. If called on, the Outlander will run on all-electric power, and the gas engine will shut down completely for zero-emissions driving.

Mitsubishi says that it’s always running in AWD, meaning you never have to wait on the S-AWC system to kick in from a front-wheel drive mode. Still, there are a bunch of different drive and terrain modes to tailor the experience to your needs. The paddle shifters also allow for a variety of different regeneration modes.

Innovative pedal mode which gives you an almost one-pedal-drive experience, by lightly triggering the brakes. As such, it is no more efficient than the most aggressive re-gen mode, but it mimics one-pedal driving.

Interior setup

The big news is the standard seating for seven, unlike the previous Outlander PHEV. Right now, they have the only vehicle in its class that offers seven seats, PHEV and optional fast charging capability.

An interesting note about that third-row seat: it’s based on old tech. Unlike the regular Outlander which has a flip-forward third row, this flip-and-fold third row is different. Similar to the second and third generation Outlander origami-like folding third row seats, this folding rear seat is compact. Best of all, its design actually allows for more storage behind the third row than the non-hybrid Outlander.

The second row is pretty comfortable, and it slides. This gives the passengers the ability to slide and pack bodies as needed. Also, rear passengers get access to a 1,500-watt rear power outlet.

The rest of the interior design is similar to the gasoline Outlander we reviewed last year. That is to say: similar to the Nissan Rogue is shares a lot of components with, it’s outstanding. On the higher-level versions, the level of quality, feel and overall design is class leading. We do wish the panoramic sunroof didn’t intrude into the headroom as much as it does.

(Image: Mitsubishi)

Bottom line

There is a lot more to unpack with this new, innovative vehicle. You can check that out in the video below.

In my estimation, the bottom line is that it’s a hell of a lot of car for the money. Compared with the previous Outlander PHEV, this new one is more powerful, more efficient, far more luxurious and it holds more people. Prices are supposed to start at $41,190 and peak at approximately $50,000, fully loaded.

Orders begin on October 12, with deliveries slated to happen later on, in November 2022.