Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV gets more power, range and capabilities
30 August 2018 - Autoblog
We're hoping these updates for Japan make it here soon
We've driven the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV a couple of times now, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Even though it's the same version that's been kicking around other markets in its current form for a while now, it was efficient, pleasant to drive, and offers something that is pretty rare right now: a relatively affordable plug-in hybrid midsize crossover. Now, in its home market of Japan, the 2019 Outlander PHEV is getting some significant updates, including more electric power and a bigger gas engine, a bigger battery, improved suspension, two new drive modes and some design tweaks.
To start, the PHEV's battery capacity increases from 12 kWh to 13.8 kWh. That boosts its all-electric driving range from 37.8 miles to 40.4 (under Japan's testing cycle). The rear electric motor/generator also gets a slight boost in power. The gas engine increases its displacement from 2.0 to 2.4 liters. The vehicle now offers Sport and Snow modes, and its 4WD Lock mode has been adjusted to better handle poor road surfaces.
To improve its ride and handling, Mitsubishi added larger front and rear dampers with a new type of damper valve to the Outlander PHEV. A faster steering ratio and retuned electric power steering control promise better steering feel and response. Mitsubishi has also increased the structural rigidity in parts of the body.
Design-wise, the updated Outlander PHEV gets full LED headlights and an updated grille up front. In the rear, there's a new spoiler that improves aerodynamics and gives it a sportier look. Inside, the leather seating gets a new diamond-quilt pattern, along with the door trim. The front seats are also reshaped for more support.
The new updates seem like they'll make the Outlander PHEV even more attractive both in terms of performance and design. We doubt that Mitsubishi would choose not offer these improvements in other markets, including the U.S. We've reached out to Mitsubishi to see if and when we can hope to see the improved versions stateside, and we'll update if we hear back.