The Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) enters 2020 with new standard safety equipment, a restyled dashboard and updated option and trim packages that increase the value, safety and overall aesthetic of the world’s best-selling PHEV.
The Outlander PHEV is a perfect culmination of Mitsubishi’s 100-plus-year history of automotive excellence: over 50 years of electromobility and four-wheel drive technology that goes back to 1937 when the company built Japan’s first four-wheel-drive vehicle, and subsequently honed on the international rally circuit. Featuring a highly efficient 2.0-liter gasoline engine coupled with two high-performance electric motors, along with Mitsubishi’s advanced Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) system, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV delivers SUV capabilities and EV efficiency.
The Outlander PHEV represents a fusion of the EV technologies developed by Mitsubishi for models such as the i-MiEV, a strong understanding of the S-AWC system from the Lancer Evolution, and SUV know-how gained from the Montero.
What’s New for 2020
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV introduces new standard safety equipment and optional luxury upgrades that help elevate the driving experience.
SEL models now feature standard Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Automatic High Beams (AHB). These important safety features provide an extra layer of security when behind the wheel.
Updates for 2020 continue inside with a new eight-inch, second-generation Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) system. The new SDA system features a standard eight-inch touchscreen with redesigned graphics and standard Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability. Below the new screen, redesigned HVAC knobs take the place of the previous buttons, resulting in more intuitive climate control functionality for drivers and passengers alike.
The driver’s seat on all models now features newly standard power-adjustable lumbar support.
Rear seat passengers also enjoy a new seatback design that improves comfort on longer trips. A second rear USB charging port is also now available on SEL trims.
A new Premium Interior package is available on GT trims for $400, which adds a diamond-quilted leather pattern to the already-sleek interior, lending a more upscale appearance to the 2020 PHEV.
Rounding out interior upgrades, a new Mitsubishi Power Sound System (MPSS) replaces the previous Rockford-Fosgate® audio unit on GT trims. The new sound system consists of eight speakers produces clearer, more natural and more accurate sound throughout the cabin. Moreover, the hatch-mounted subwoofer of the previous system is eliminated, helping to maximize cargo space.
Three Drive System Modes
Thanks to its unique drivetrain, which combines a front electric motor, rear electric motor, and front-mounted gasoline-powered 2.0-liter engine with integrated generator, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is able to operate in one of three unique drivetrain modes for optimal performance and efficiency:
EV Drive Mode (Twin Motor S-AWC EV)
In EV Drive Mode, the vehicle is driven by the two electric motors, with energy being supplied exclusively by the lithium-ion battery pack. With the EV mode button, the driver can select this driving mode when they desire 100% electric-powered, zero-emission driving, for up to 22 miles.
Series Hybrid Mode (Twin Motor S-AWC EV with Internal Combustion Generator)
When the energy level remaining in the lithium-ion battery pack is low, the two electric motors are powered by the battery pack and the gasoline-powered generator.
In this configuration, the gasoline-powered generator helps:
1) Charge the lithium-ion drive battery pack
2) Provide power to the twin electric motors
Parallel Hybrid Mode (Gasoline-Powered Engine Supported by Twin Motor S-AWC)
In this drive mode, the Outlander PHEV uses its full complement of available resources:
1) The 2.0-liter gasoline engine drives the front wheels; the front axle features a built-in clutch that switches the system to Parallel Drive Mode mainly for engine-powered travel at high speeds/steady-state cruise.
2) The two electric motors operate seamlessly when additional power is required, such as driving uphill.
3) The gasoline-powered engine/generator – while operating the vehicle at sufficient speed – will feed any excess energy (electricity) back into the lithium-ion battery pack.
The Parallel Hybrid mode is most commonly engaged when the Outlander PHEV is being driven in a long-haul/high-speed steady-state cruise manner, such as on the open road or interstate, where this drivetrain configuration is most efficient.
Driver Selected Modes
The Outlander PHEV features a driver-activated “ECO Mode” switch that reduces both fuel andelectricity usage for increased efficiency simply with the touch of the button in the center of the dash.
Battery Save Mode
In this driver-activated mode, the Outlander PHEV automatically conserves the energy within the lithium-ion drive battery pack by operating the vehicle in hybrid mode (note: Battery Save Mode will only operate once the lithium-ion drive battery pack’s energy level falls below 90 percent full). For example, engaging the Battery Save Mode would allow the vehicle to be driven in urban traffic with the engine/generator on to maintain a higher level of battery charge; it could then be deactivated, allowing the vehicle to be driven through a neighborhood silently at an appropriate speed in EV Drive Mode.
Battery Charge Mode
When activating the Battery Charge Mode – whether the vehicle is in motion or at a standstill – the engine will generate electricity to be fed into the lithium-ion battery pack (essentially forcing the vehicle to operate in Series Hybrid Mode). For example, if the engine is idling and the vehicle is not moving, selecting the Battery Charge Mode will replenish a low energy level within the lithium-ion drive battery pack back up to 80% fully charged in approximately 40 minutes.
The advantage to the Battery Charge Mode is that it ensures a reserve of additional power when necessary, such as for hill-climbing or towing.
PHEV System with Twin Electric Motor All-Wheel Control
With two full-time, high-output electric motors separately mounted at the front and rear axles to instantly supply torque on demand to all four wheels, the Outlander PHEV offers incredibly responsive performance. The front electric motor is positioned transaxle-style on the left side of the gas engine and has an output of 60 kW. The front motor is a higher output enhanced version of the permanent magnet synchronous electric motor used in the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
The front-mounted generator converts mechanical power to electricity and continuously charges the drive battery, while a Power Drive Unit (PDU) helps to convert the electric power and send it to the front motor.
The rear 60 kW motor and Electric Motor Control Unit (EMCU) are mounted beneath the rear cargo area subfloor. Both the front PDU and rear EMCU are intelligent control units that contribute to heightened energy efficiency and optimal motor control.
Electricity for the drive motors is stored and supplied by a high-capacity lithium-ion battery pack developed specifically for the PHEV system. The battery pack consists of 80 cells configured in a series, with a total voltage measuring 300V and a total storage capacity of 12kWh. The battery is located in a dust-proof and waterproof casing positioned beneath the passenger compartment subfloor and between the front and rear axles, and does not intrude into the passenger compartment whatsoever.
Regenerative braking is also used to generate electricity for the system. During deceleration (braking), the front and rear electric motors function as generators so that electricity can be generated and fed back into the lithium-ion drive battery pack. Regenerative braking occurs when the vehicle is in motion while the accelerator pedal is not being pressed (coasting) or when the driver engages the brakes by pressing the brake pedal. Five levels of regenerative braking can be selected by the driver at any time using the standard steering wheel paddle-shifters.
S-AWC Produces Smooth Linear Response
The Outlander PHEV comes standard with Mitsubishi’s proprietary S-AWC. The S-AWC system found on the Outlander PHEV is a specialized application of the Lancer Evolution-derived Super All-Wheel Control, but in this case, developed specifically for the Outlander PHEV’s unique twin electric motor configuration. It provides maximum performance, efficiency, tractability and safety.
By optimally managing Active Yaw Control (AYC), Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL) — which now offers enhanced traction on all road conditions — the integrated control system brings out the full potential of Twin Motor S-AWC without compromising safety, comfort or fuel efficiency. When desired, the driver can manually engage the Twin-Motor 4WD LOCK button to simulate locking of a center differential and optimally distribute torque to all four wheels to maximize traction.
Easy Charging with Standard DC Fast-Charging Capability
Charging the Outlander PHEV is simple, with three different methods to choose from depending on location and/or needs. The vehicle’s drive battery can be charged with a standard 120V (full charge in eight hours) power outlet at home with the supplied charging cable, or with a public or residential 240V (full charge in less than four hours) charging station.
Outlander PHEV also comes standard with DC Fast-Charging capability and is the only Plug-in Hybrid SUV on the market offering this feature. Using this system at commercial charging facilities, the vehicle will charge up to 80 percent capacity in as little as 25 minutes. Charging status is conveniently displayed on the instrument panel.
Spacious Comfort and New Refinement
Inside, the Outlander PHEV is an oasis of comfort and refinement where driving pleasure is enhanced by generous legroom, deluxe amenities and a supremely quiet ride.
The seats are trimmed with standard-equipment premium soft leather and the rear seatbacks can be folded to allow for many different adventures. A special PHEV meter cluster design indicates to the driver the energy usage by pointing the needle toward the Power, Eco or Charge zone, and the center display screen can be used to monitor energy flow and efficiency through a variety of settings.
Technology for All Around Safety
Available advanced safety technology supports safer, more confident driving — on the road and in parking lots, day and night. From intelligent sensors that track the vehicle’s surroundings and warn of danger to available active driving assistance and solid passive protection, the Outlander PHEV delivers.
Blind Spot Warning (BSW) – This standard safety feature uses radar sensors in the rear bumper to detect vehicles in rear blind spots, on the right and left sides. An indicator appears in the door mirror when BSW is active and the turn signals are off. When a vehicle is detected and the turn signals are on, an indicator blinks in the door mirror on that side.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) – Standard on all Outlander PHEV trims for 2020, an indicator appears in the combination meter display when RCTA is active. If radar sensors in the rear bumper detect an approaching vehicle nearby while reverse gear is engaged, a warning message appears in the multi-information display, an audible alert sounds and an indicator blinks in both exterior door mirrors.
Forward Collision Mitigation (FCM) – Standard on all Outlander PHEV trims for 2020, FCM helps prevent a frontal collision or reduce the severity of that collision if it becomes unavoidable.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – The Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system uses an onboard camera to monitor lane position in front of the vehicle audibly and visually, alerting the driver if it detects the vehicle leaving its lane unintentionally. (Standard on GT trim.)
Automatic High Beam (AHB) – Standard on all Outlander PHEV trims for 2020, the high beams automatically switch to low beams when vehicles are detected ahead and automatically switch back to high beams, so the driver doesn’t have to remove their hand from the steering wheel to switch the beams manually.
Multi-View Camera System – The views from cameras mounted on the front, rear and sides of the vehicle (including a bird’s-eye view) can be displayed in various combinations to help reveal what is in blind spots and help you park. (Standard on GT trim.)
Adaptive Cruise Control System (ACC) – Optional feature that maintains a selected distance between the vehicle and the car ahead via radar for greater safety and peace of mind. (Standard on GT trim)
MITSUBISHI Remote Control
Using a smartphone remote control app, the Outlander PHEV and wireless device communicate directly without need of Wi-Fi. Once set up, the owner can use the wireless device for many functions:
- Charging Schedule – Turn on/off the charging timer and/or schedule charging.
- Remote Climate Control – Control cooling, heating and defrosting remotely, setting heat or air conditioning to run while connected to grid power without any impact to vehicle efficiency or range.
- Monitor Vehicle Status – Remotely monitor various vehicle conditions, including open/closed door or hood, headlights on/off, driving battery state of charge and more.
- Vehicle Control – Remotely turn on/off headlights and parking lights.
- Settings – Remotely adjust MITSUBISHI REMOTE CONTROL settings, such as change/cancel SSID, customize vehicle settings, and check theft alarm operation history.
Ultimate Outdoor Vehicle
Standard on the Outlander PHEV GT trim are two AC power outlets located in the rear seat and cargo area. The plugs are standard North American 120V plugs and do not require an adapter to use. The plugs draw directly from the drive battery and provide 1,500 watts of electric power, enough to power nearly any portable household appliance, for camping (e.g., toaster, spotlight, electric grill, coffee maker) or tailgating (e.g., television, blender, game console, mini-fridge, speakers) or any other activity.
Pricing, Models and Warranty
The 2020 Outlander PHEV is offered in two distinct yet individual trim levels. Buyers who opt for the introductory SEL trim will find standard safety and convenience features throughout the vehicle, including FCM, LDW and AHB safety systems, an all-new second-generation SDA infotainment interface, redesigned HVAC controls and 22 miles of all-electric driving range.
Stepping up to the top line GT trim, buyers are greeted with standard luxurious and convenience touches, including LED headlights, Adaptive Cruise Control, a multi-view backup camera and two 120-volt household-style outlets in the second row and cargo area that can power your favorite household and entertainment accessories, meaning that the ultimate tailgating or camping experience is just a plug away.
The 2020 Outlander PHEV comes with one of the industry’s leading warranties8 – a fully transferable 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, as well as a fully transferable 10-year /100,000-mile warranty on PHEV components and the Main Drive Lithium-ion battery. These warranties are in addition to a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty to the original retail purchaser and a 7-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty. In addition, the Outlander PHEV comes with a 5-year/unlimited miles Roadside Assistance benefits.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Quick Takes | TestDriveNow.com
AS SHOWN GT S-AWC ALLOY SILVER METALLIC/BLACK TOTAL MSRP $43,205