2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GT Review: Plug It In, Plug It In
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV marks the future of the three-diamond brand. No longer defined by performance vehicles such as the Lancer Evolution or Eclipse sports coupe and convertible, the Japanese automaker is seeking to carve out a niche for itself as a leader in next-generation powertrain technologies, and the Outlander PHEV commands this charge.
Not quite as cutting edge as the electric Chevrolet Bolt EV or the hydrogen-powered Hyundai Nexo, the Outlander PHEV earns its keep as the sole plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle available in the compact crossover segment. While competitors such as Nissan and Toyota offer CUVs with gasoline-electric hybrid powertrains, only Mitsubishi sells a model capable of traveling any appreciable distance on electricity alone.
Although the Outlander PHEV’s trick powertrain certainly helps it stand out from the crowd, its middling interior, ergonomic challenges, and lackluster dynamics ultimately overshadow the crossover’s technological achievements.
As the sole plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle in its class, the $34,595 Outlander PHEV’s inherent value primarily comes down to individual consumer needs. For instance, those willing to sacrifice the Mitsubishi’s EPA-rated 22 miles of electric-only driving range will want to consider...