The Mitsubishi Outlander’s front bumper reminds us of something that might print documents or handle faxes at the office but look past its Xerox-inspired face and you’ll find an SUV with an elegant cabin with a comfortable ride. While the Outlander is essentially a three-row version of the Nissan Rogue—the two share the same platform—its tightly-packed rearmost seats are mostly there as decoration as they provide little to no legroom for adults. The smaller two-row Outlander Sport is reviewed separately. The Outlander’s power comes from a 181-hp four-cylinder, and a CVT with front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional. A plug-in hybrid is also available and makes a combined 248 horsepower from an all-wheel drive powertrain that consists of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors.
What’s New for 2023?
Mitsubishi has added a plug-in hybrid powertrain to the three-row Outlander lineup for 2023. The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV features Mitsubishi’s Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system and acts as the company’s next step in its commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.
With a base price of just over $29,000, the Outlander is a little pricier than other compact crossovers, including the Rogue. Despite a variety of desirable features, the top SEL trim has questionable value since it costs about as much as a top-of-the-line Mazda CX-5, which has won our 10Best award multiple times. So, we’d recommend the mid-level SEL model. It comes with intricate 20-inch wheels, a 9.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, a hands-free power liftgate, wireless charging, and driver assists such as adaptive cruise and lane-keeping assist. We’d also select the Tech package that adds a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a Bose audio system, and a panoramic sunroof.
Also read : 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, EV Full Reviews
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander standard engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that makes 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. It pairs exclusively with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is the standard configuration, but all-wheel drive is optional. Although the Outlander’s acceleration times are competitive with other compact crossovers (excluding speedsters such as the turbocharged CX-5 and Kia Sportage), it feels less responsive and lazier at highway speeds, which is exacerbated by its gearless CVT. Otherwise, the Outlander drives with agility and composure. Its steering is nicely weighted, its body motions are controlled, and its ride is taut. We did notice a lack of isolation that allowed a lot of road noise to enter the cabin on all but the smoothest roads, and our test vehicle’s large 20-inch wheels with limited sidewall cushioning didn’t help the situation. The Outlander we drove also had a soft-feeling brake pedal, but the stoppers hauled the SUV down from 70 mph in a class-competitive 172 feet. The plug-in hybrid model is more powerful and we estimate it will deliver slightly brisker acceleration. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is assisted by a pair of electric motors for a combined 248 horsepower and in our first test drive, we noted that the Outlander PHEV felt perkier, especially in urban driving.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
With a 20.0-kWh battery pack onboard, the Outlander PHEV is good for a claimed 38 miles of electric-only driving range per charge. That puts it slightly ahead of other PHEV versions of the Hyundai Tucson and the Ford Escape, but behind the Toyota RAV4 Prime, which beats the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander slightly with a 42-mile driving range. Unfortunately, the Outlander PHEV suffers from a fairly slow onboard charging system, which means charging at home will take roughly 6.5 hours if the battery is entirely dead. Luckily, a DC fast-charging system is optional, but it uses an outdated CHAdeMO charging port that may not be easy to find at fast charging stations in your area.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The all-wheel-drive Outlander earns an EPA-rated 24 mpg city and 30 highway. Front-wheel drive Outlanders see a marginal improvement of 24 city and 31 mpg on the highway. During our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route—part of our extensive testing regimen—the all-wheel-drive Mitsubishi‘s real-world result of 26 mpg fell short of its EPA estimate. The Outlander PHEV is rated for 25 mpg city and 27 mpg highway when running on gasoline, but by the government’s yardstick, it’s good for 64 MPGe combined when accounting for its electric driving range. For more information about the Outlander’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The new Outlander has significantly nicer cabin materials compared with its predecessor, which was marred by subpar plastics and chintzy trim pieces. Not only are the interior accents and surfaces of higher quality, but the design finally qualifies as modern. Likewise, there’s an assortment of contemporary content that includes an available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a head-up display. While passengers in the first two rows enjoy more hip room and legroom than in the last-gen Outlander, its third row has very limited legroom for adults. The only other compact crossover with seating for seven is the Volkswagen Tiguan, but, unlike the Outlander, its extra set of seats is limited to front-drive models. Cargo space also increases on the new Outlander, with 1 cubic foot added to the total volume behind the second and third rows.
Also read : 2021 Mitsubishi Pajero, Hybrid Full Review
Infotainment and Connectivity
On the infotainment front, the new Outlander offers either an 8.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim. Both units have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but only the latter allows users to connect their iPhones wirelessly. Along with charging ports at the bottom of the center stack, the system features hard buttons and physical knobs for volume and tuning. Additional available infotainment features include a 10-speaker Bose audio system, wireless device charging, and access to the subscription-based Mitsubishi Connect app that provides remote services.
2023 Outlander Hybrid
Fully redesigned for the 2022 model year, the Mitsubishi Outlander is back with wild styling and a seven-seat layout. Although the Outlander’s sizing is more like that of a compact crossover, its three rows of seats put it into competition against midsize and even larger SUVs as well. The Outlander is based on the Nissan Rogue, but the two vehicles share little in terms of how they look, function, and drive. In particular, the 2023 Outlander Hybrid plug-in brings all-electric driving capability to the lineup, which the Rogue does not currently offer.
The 2023 Outlander PHEV’s powertrain, is based on a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder gas engine and two electric motors. The brand states that the electric motors are now 40 percent more powerful, and battery capacity has increased from 13.8 kWh to 20 kWh. It’s able to provide up to 38 miles of range in North American EPA testing. The new 2023 Outlander Hybrid‘s gas tank capacity also increases, which improves total driving range. In our testing, the Outlander PHEV accelerated to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.
One-pedal driving capability is a welcome addition. The new powertrain is said to be able to stay in EV mode under heavier acceleration load before switching on the gas engine to supplement power output.
Safety Ratings and Features
Although the 2023 Outlander Hybrid has not been specifically tested, the IIHS gave the standard Outlander 2021 Top Safety Pick+ designation, the highest possible rating.
We expect standard driver assist and active safety tech to include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front and rear automatic emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams.
Cargo Space and Interior Room
The Outlander is a segment splitter. Like some midsize SUVs, it has three rows of seats, but its overall size is closer to that of a compact crossover. If the Outlander Hybrid matches its standard counterpart, here’s how its interior measurements will compare to vehicles on either side.
The 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Hybrid should come equipped with tech features that are reserved for higher-end trims of the standard Outlander. That means a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen could be standard, which includes wireless Apple CarPlay but wired Android Auto. More expensive trim levels should get a 12.3-inch all-digital gauge display to replace the basic 7.0-inch unit. Expect USB ports in the first two rows of seats, as well as a wireless charger. Premium technology options should include a head-up display, 360-degree camera system, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system to replace the standard six-speaker setup.