Oh, how I love to get my hands on new rides. I recently had the pleasure to add the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV to my portfolio of experiences and I intend to tell you just about everything I took from it. Mitsubishi Motors is a global legend in the auto industry but a newer one to the Canadian marketplace. Like many, Mitsubishi Motors to me was always a brand I connected with grit and unwavering reliability. I mean, 10 years of warranty on every model you purchase!
The truth is, while the Outlander PHEV is loaded with a lot of features and stories to tell, it’s plug-in hybrid technology is what is destined for the marquee. It is Canada’s ONLY plug-in hybrid SUV with four wheel drive capability in 100 % electric mode. That means the vehicle will perform like the SUV you need to be without sacrificing the electric power you truly want. If you’re going to go green, you might as well really go green right? Without compromising the utility you crave.
Now let’s talk style. I found the design of the Outlander PHEV to be quite attractive yet subtle. In the world of creating sharper lines and pushing the envelope on design, Mitsubishi Motors found a really sound balance of modernity with a tasteful silhouette that isn’t overly trendy or susceptible to getting dated fast. There is well placed portions of chrome finish on the front grill and the rear bumper, sporty alloy rims and a great stance that is the perfect height for city driving. Under the hood you’ll find 117 horsepower comprised of a 2.o litre gas engine, two electric engines rated at 80 horsepower each and a generator. The 12 kWh lithium-ion battery supplies the electric power that can garner up to 35km of just electric driven power. 7 km more than its Volvo XC60 competition.
Okay so the whole electric powered vehicle thing is obviously an upcoming and coming system. I’ll be honest, it always felt like an out of the box luxury for me. Now more than ever, the concept is very much obtainable. What is really unique with the Outlander PHEV is the 3 driving modes and regenerative braking system. The latter is a technology that harvests energy when decelerating to sustain the electric battery range. The driving modes are EV, Series and Parallel. EV being 100% electric, Series which allows the gas engine to produce energy to support the battery which in turn powers the electric motors, and Parallel which essentially is driving with the gas engine while the electric motors are supporting when needed, which is most useful during higher speed driving like on highways.
The cabin was something I was really impressed with. In the car is where you spend your time so it’s always the most important piece of the puzzle when buying a vehicle. The Outlander PHEV has a generous touchscreen and all of your meters and battery gauges are easily found within it. You can truly see the vehicle’s power sources levels and helps direct which mode is best to drive in.
Ok so the car drives great and is comfortable and stylish, now how do I charge the darn thing? This process was new to me and it was fun to get a first-hand glimpse into it. There are a few ways, with a standard 120V outlet at home which takes as little as 8 hours, at a 240V charging station which takes less than 4 hours or at a DC Fast Charging station which can power the battery up to 80 percent capacity in less than half an hour. The Outlander PHEV is the only plug-in hybrid SUV that is able to fast charge.
After taking a little time to learn the ins and outs of the SUV, I teamed up with my close bud Alexander Liang to get it on the road. We charged up downtown, packed our camera gear and headed out up the 400 for a cruise. Usually a snow storm is a pain but it was perfect time in my opinion to test out the capability of the vehicle and crush the snow with the 4WD. It felt like ages since I’ve escaped the city so it was nice to surround ourselves amongst untouched snow and sprawling tree lines. The first thing I noticed driving was how smooth (and quiet) the drive is. Like, it’s deafeningly quiet. It’s like the entire world is put on pause and all you can hear is the steam rising from your morning coffee. Definitely a great feature for the morning commuter who wants to relax and enjoy a peaceful drive. We managed to find some back roads and open fields to tackle and of course took the time to get some shots of the landscape. Yes, even from atop the Outlander.
All in all, the experience was terrific. It’s no surprise to hear that the Outlander PHEV is the world’s top-selling plug-in hybrid SUV. It’s got tasteful style, undebatable green technology and a plethora of cool features like the app you can download to monitor and even charge your battery. Car shopping? I recommend taking this baby for a test drive.