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Mitsubishi Outlander or Outlander PHEV: Which one to choose?



As an automotive journalist, I am often asked which versions to choose for a vehicle, and where people who ask me this question seem the most indecisive is with vehicles that are available in both regular gasoline versions and plug-in hybrid versions, also called PHEV.


Those who have never asked themselves the question cannot really understand how difficult it can be to choose between a gasoline-powered vehicle and a plug-in hybrid vehicle, because unlike a hybrid vehicle, it requires some adaptation. Finally, this is the case if you want to make the most of your electrified vehicle's capabilities.



The Price

The first thing buyers usually look at is the price. However, it is clearly not a fair fight when comparing a plug-in hybrid vehicle and a gasoline-powered vehicle. In fact, what needs to be compared is not the manufacturer's suggested retail price, but rather the price that appears at the bottom of the bill when payment is made.


Let's start with the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander in its regular form since this is the simplest equation. It has a starting price of $32,698, which is quite competitive for an SUV in this category. In the case of the Outlander, things are even simpler since the regular version offers the same level of equipment in their base model. Thus, in either case, it's an ES S-AWC version that we're dealing with. So, to come back to the calculation, we need to add the shipping and preparation fees and then the taxes, which brings us to a total of $41,073.33 using Quebec taxes. There are also interest rates and monthly promotions to consider, but for now, we'll stick to the vehicle price.


Now, let's talk about the Outlander PHEV since its starting price is $46,538, which is significantly higher than that of the gasoline version. Once we add all the fees and Quebec taxes, the bill comes to $56,985. However, it should not be forgotten that the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is eligible for several subsidy programs, which is particularly advantageous in Quebec. In the case of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, we're talking about discounts totalling up to $10,000, which seriously changes the game since the final price of the Japanese manufacturer's SUV drops to $46,985. The price difference between the gasoline version and the base PHEV version is therefore just under $6,000.



Fuel Economy

The regular version of the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission that sends power to all 4 wheels, as standard. According to the Japanese manufacturer, this combination allows for a fuel consumption of 8.9L/100km, which is in the good average range. As for the PHEV version, it's a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with two electric motors. The gasoline engine produces 131 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. As for the electric motors, the one at the front produces 114 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque, while the one at the rear produces 134 horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. In the end, this combination allows the Japanese manufacturer's SUV to achieve an average fuel consumption of 3.6L/100km. However, this is an average, and this figure can vary considerably from one person to another. Nevertheless, we're talking about a remarkable saving compared to the gasoline version. Not to mention that the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can travel up to 61 kilometers in 100% electric mode.



A Matter of Habit

In the end, I believe there are two factors that determine whether you are hesitating between the gasoline-powered Mitsubishi Outlander and the PHEV version. First, there is the choice of trim levels. The gasoline version simply offers more options. However, if the level of equipment that interests you is the same from one model to another, what can make the difference is how you plan to use your vehicle. If you make the majority of your trips on the highway and your daily journeys are over 61 kilometers, the regular gasoline version is clearly preferable.


However, if you drive more in the city and your daily trips are less than 60 kilometers, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a much more advantageous option. Plug-in hybrid vehicles are much more efficient when making frequent stops, and this is even better on small mountain roads. This is where energy recovery is at its peak. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is also much more enjoyable to drive at low speeds. So, in the end, everything is a matter of situation and needs.


Jean-Sébastien Poudrier

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