2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review
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First Drive: 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review

When the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV first went on sale in Canada in 2018 it was seen as a plug-in hybrid trailblazer in the mid-size SUV segment. As the second generation arrives for 2023 with better performance and lots more style, electrification is rapidly becoming the norm.

Key Features:

  • Clever AWD technology
  • Much-improved electric range
  • Third-row seating

Direct Competitors:

If you’re shopping for a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV or crossover, also take a look at our top 7 SUV picks here

2023 Outlander PHEV Canadian pricing and trims

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

  • ES S-AWC: $46,538 
  • LE S-AWC: $51,238
  • SEL S-AWC: $54,048
  • GT S-AWC: $56,348
  • GT-Premium S-AWC: $57,048

(All prices are MSRP. Each Outlander PHEV retails for around $14,000 more than its gas-only equivalent)

Inside Mitsubishi’s mid-size hybrid SUV

Every Outlander PHEV comes with the S-AWC AWD system as standard, as well as a 12.3in, configurable digital instrument panel (SEL-and-up on gas Outlanders), Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, seven seats, a 120V/1,500W electrical outlet, a suite of driver assistance systems and a DC fast-charging port.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

As the price-jump indicates, the LE adds plenty of equipment to the ES, including a panoramic sunroof, 9in smartphone link display with embedded navigation, power liftgate, 360° camera, heated steering wheel, power driver’s seat and a 24-month trial subscription to the Mitsubishi Connect telematics service. Moving up again, the SEL has leather seats and 20in wheels, while GT brings additional safety systems and Bose premium audio.

At the Canadian press launch, we drove the range-topping GT-Premium, which layers supple, semi-aniline leather seats and a front-seat massage function on top of the GT trim. The car was finished in white with a black roof, an option available to both the Premium and the regular GT for an extra $900.

3-row SUV with a sliding rear bench

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

Inside, the Outlander is spacious front and rear, with the added bonus of a sliding rear bench to maximize passenger or cargo space as needed, or open up third-row legroom. Unusually for the class, Mitsubishi now offers seven seats in the PHEV as well, even if the third row is best suited to occasional use by children.

The digital instrument panel is high-tech and helpful for monitoring your driving style and energy consumption when trying to maximize the electric-only range. We did find it easy to get lost in the many available menus and functions, however.

The GT-Premium’s quilted leather upholstery and diamond-stitched trim are upscale touches. Elsewhere the plastics used universally look the part, even if closer inspection reveals them to be a little harder than you might expect on a $57,000 vehicle.

Improved horsepower, performance and range for 2023

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

We like the cabin, but it’s not the interior amenities that will differentiate the Outlander PHEV from most other mid-size SUVs. The signature plug-in hybrid powertrain incorporates major changes from the previous generation. The electric motors increase in power from 80 HP front and 94 HP rear to 114 HP and 134 HP.

The larger rear motor is especially important, Mitsubishi’s engineers say, because it now enables them to realize the ideal front-rear torque split through the S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) AWD system. S-AWC is designed to provide traction when it’s slippery, handling stability and cornering safety.

We discuss more about how plug-in hybrid vehicles work in this article

Larger battery pack offers more electric-only range 

With a larger battery pack than before – 20kWh vs 13.8kWh – the electric-only range climbs to a claimed 61km. We managed 40km on a hilly route on a cold day, so that seems attainable. A heat pump should help preserve plenty of range in the depths of winter, and Mitsubishi proved the car’s performance in the extreme conditions of Thompson, Manitoba, as part of the test program.

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

Unusually for a PHEV in this class, the new Outlander can be recharged by a DC fast charging station using the CHAdeMO connector, rather than relying on a slower, Level 2 AC charger. It’ll theoretically recharge at 50kW but when tested during the launch (admittedly in cold weather) the rate dropped off quickly to around 20kW. We put 54% charge in the battery in 19 minutes for an indicated 39km of range.

New Outlander PHEV’s overall range increases significantly

Perhaps just as important as the extra EV range is an increase in overall range to 626km from 463km (NRC figures), thanks to a larger gas tank (56L vs 42L previously) and efficiency improvements to the 2.4-litre combustion engine. The overall combined consumption is officially 3.6L/100km, up a little on the previous model. We recorded 5.2L/100km on a mixed city and highway route.

The ‘Innovative Pedal’ provides EV-style, one-pedal operation, although we found its aggressive regenerative braking a challenge to manage. To adjust the regen you’ll need to switch off one-pedal mode and use the steering-wheel paddles to select your favourite from five available regen levels.

Verdict: is the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV worth it?

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Photo: Mitsubishi 

Mitsubishi no longer has the mid-size PHEV SUV market to itself, but the Outlander’s pre-orders indicate that there’s more than enough market demand to accommodate multiple players, even at a higher price than some rivals. 

Useful upgrades to the specification and performance contribute to a more attractive overall package than before – one that can compete with the class best.

Ready to buy a used hybrid-powered SUV?

View our current inventory of pre-owned hybrid and plug-in hybrid SUVs here. Every vehicle from Canada Drives has completed a 150 Point Inspection, comes with a no-charge 30 Day / 1,500 km warranty, and is covered by our 7-Day money back return policy.

Here’s our guide to buying a hybrid and what to look for.


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