Mitsubishi first announced that the plug-in hybrid version of its popular mid-size crossover would be coming to the US in January of last year, and though it hasn’t debuted in the US just yet, first-drive reviews of the 2017 model are rolling in. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is set to go on sale in the States sometime this summer.
The Outlander PHEV has been a smash hit in Europe and Australia, ranking as the best-selling electric car in Europe since its release in 2013. Recently released in Australia, the new Outlander PHEV has received a big styling refresh as well as engineering updates for better fuel economy and performance.
First drive reviews report that the Outlander PHEV comes with plenty of standard features on its base LS trim, including a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry and start, and more. The luxurious Exceed trim offers features like heated seats and a power liftgate.
The 2017 Outlander PHEV adds fast-charging as well as an EV mode, whereas previously it was only available in a hybrid drive mode. The all-electric mode is nearly silent, according to reviewers, and it brings in gasoline power when needed for big bursts of speed or as the battery power gets low.
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The Mitsubishi Outlander has had a great year. The SUV, along with its Sport variant, have lead most sales for Mitsubishi, causing the brand to revise its strategy entirely for the next five years and focus more heavily on the crossover and SUV segment. However, there is one member of the Outlander lineup that, despite debuting internationally as far back as three years ago, never made it to North American shores. However, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV US launch is finally scheduled for this fall.
The announcement came at the recent New York International Auto Show, where Mitsubishi displayed the Outlander PHEV in America for the first time. Though the first US version will be branded a 2017 model year, the Outlander PHEV will still closely resemble to model already sold worldwide, with most of the styling carried over from the standard Outlander. However, a few changes will be made for the American market, with the most notable difference being the removal of CHAdeMO charging, due to the lack of US support for the system.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV will also offer three different drive modes, and the vehicle will switch between them depending on which is the most appropriate to the situation. These modes include EV or electric-only, series hybrid or electric power with generator operation, and parallel hybrid or engine power with assistance from the electric motor.
The Outlander PHEV US launch was originally scheduled for 2014, but after a series of repeated delays, the incredibly successful plug-in hybrid—which typically tops its segment in countries where it’s sold—has been pushed back a few years. Pricing has not yet been announced, but more information is expected to be forthcoming as the Outlander PHEV’s fall release date comes up.