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Driven: Mitsubishi powers up Outlander PHEV

Bigger engine and battery ups performance, refinement for Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

5 Dec 2019

MITSUBISHI Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) has applied drivetrain, interior and equipment upgrades to the Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which now starts from $46,990 plus on-road costs.


Price increases of between $500 and $2000 depending on variant mean the petrol-electric SUV range now opens $1000 higher for the ES, while the flagship Exceed is now $2000 pricier at $55,990 plus on-roads.


Customers can add the popular advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS) option pack to the ES for an extra $1000 (+$500).


First announced way back at the 2018 Geneva motor show, the changes to Outlander PHEV are headlined by upgrading the rear electric motor from 60kW to 70kW and switching the 87kW/186Nm 2.0-litre Otto-cycle petrol engine for a 94kW/199Nm 2.4-litre unit that can switch from the Atkinson cycle at low revs to Otto above 3000rpm.


A bigger 13.8kWh battery pack (previously 12kWh) with steel rather than plastic cover has also been installed and the engine-driven generator that keeps it topped up now has an output of 80kW, up 10kW.


However, claimed electric-only driving range remains at 54km and official combined-cycle fuel consumption is up from 1.7 litres per 100km to 1.9L/100km, reflected in a slight increase in carbon dioxide emissions from 41grams per kilometre to 43g/km.


The battery pack can be recharged from zero to 100 per cent in about seven hours when using a 10-amp household socket.


A Type 2 charger reduces this to three hours and a DC fast-charger will do the job in 25 minutes.


As with the regular model year 2020 Outlander range update announced in August, all PHEV variants gain a new 8.0-inch touchscreen multimedia unit, with native TomTom satellite navigation on the Exceed model gradethat displays the current speed limit and driving directions on the multifunction trip computer in the instrument panel.


Mitsubishi has added a 510-watt, eight-speaker premium sound system to the Exceed, which also now supports bidirectional charging that ensures compatibility for future vehicle-to-grid applications.


Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) has been added to the base ES.The deeper new touchscreen has necessitated a redesign of the dual-zone climate control panel (standard on all PHEV variants), while feedback from fleet customers has resulted in the standard addition of power-adjustable lumbar support on the driver’s seat and reprofiled second-row seats with more sculpted side-bolster support and sturdier cushioning.


ES variants also have new contrast-stitched cloth upholstery fabric with two-stage heating for the front seats, rear passengers now have air-conditioning vents and a pair of USB ports, interior lighting has been upgraded and the interior rearview mirror has gained a self-dimming function.


A redesigned centre console – piano-black on ES and carbon-effect on Exceed – houses a new Sport driving mode button and the upgraded all-wheel-drive system now includes a snow terrain mode in addition to the existing Normal and 4WD Lock settings.


Overhead, Mitsubishi has added a sunglasses holder on ES variants (deleted by the sunroof on the Exceed) as part of a new ceiling console that houses the relocated seatbelt reminder and passenger airbag control.


Mitsubishi’s Red Diamond exterior paint finish that debuted on the Eclipse Cross small SUV has been added to the Outlander PHEV range, joining Starlight, Titanium and Ruby Black.


Carryover standard equipment on Outlander PHEV variants includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, DAB+ digital radio reception, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming with voice commands, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights/wipers, paddle-shift control for regenerative braking intensity, keyless entry/start, a leather-clad multifunction steering wheel, security alarm and immobiliser, rear privacy glass, silver roof rails, 18-inch alloy wheels and a roof spoiler.


The $1000 ADAS pack includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic high beam.


To this, the Exceed adds further driver assist and activesafety tech comprising blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist, unintended acceleration mitigation, 360-degree camera view, self-levelling LED headlights and LED front foglights.


Exceed trim also includes leather upholstery and leatherette door trims, electric driver’s seat adjustment, an electric cabin heater, electric folding/heating for the door mirrors, a power tailgate, sunroof, a remote charging timer override on the key fob, black headlining, an additional map pocket, a cargo blind, and chrome exterior trim on the doorhandles and windowsills.


No PHEV variants come with a spare wheelbut instead use a puncture repair kit.


For the 12 months to October this year, MMAL says it has sold on average 51 Outlander PHEVs per month, representing 3.5 per cent of all Outlander sales.


The ES ADAS is its most popular PHEV variant, followed by the Exceed.Not including Tesla, which does not disclose sales figures, the Outlander PHEV has a 24 per cent market share of electric andplug-in hybrid vehicles sold in Australia that are capable of running on battery alone.


2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV pricing*

ES (a) $46,990 (+$1000)
ES w/ADAS (a) $47,990 (+$500)
Exceed (a) $55,990 (+$2000)

*Excludes on-road costs

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