The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Is Finally Coming to the U.S.

This fills a big gap in the American plug-in crossover market.

byEric Brandt|
Electric Vehicles photo

We’ve been hearing about a Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV since a concept was shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Since then, the Outlander plug-in hybrid has come to fruition, but never for the U.S. until now.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV starts at $35,535. It’s powered by a MIVEC 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine with a 60 kW electric motor at both axles which makes it four-wheel-drive. The total horsepower with all three motors combined is 197. That rear motor takes up a lot of space, so you don't get a third row of seats in the PHEV variant of the Outlander. The electric motors are powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery that can provide between 12 and 20 miles of all-electric range. Charging the battery up to 80 percent takes about four hours with a regular outlet or just a half hour with a fast charger, a class-exclusive.

Mitsubishi has been struggling in the states for some time now, but the brand is quietly making the right moves to gain back some of its relevance. For example, we may not be thrilled about the idea of the Eclipse name coming back on a crossover in the form of the Eclipse Cross, but a fully fleshed-out crossover lineup is quickly becoming mandatory for any volume brand in the U.S.

The addition of a plug-in hybrid Outlander fills a gap in affordable PHEV crossovers that surprisingly isn’t being filled by any other automaker. The next cheapest vehicle in this specific segment is the BMW X5 40e iPerformance and that starts at $63,200. Who knows? Maybe if Mitsubishi makes enough money on these fresh crossovers, it can afford to give us the exciting sports cars we crave.