Trucks & SUVs

It’s A Miracle: New Mitsubishi Outlander Coming For 2021

We haven’t seen much activity from Mitsubishi recently because it seems that in the US it’s on life support. Plus, if you have ever been inside of most any Mitsubishi dealership it can be a bit dingy. Still, we welcome the opportunity to reward those Mitsu followers with the news that the 2021 Outlander PHEV will have a twofer; a larger gas engine and a more gas-free range. There’s a lot more news about the Outlander, but let’s pause to ponder this miracle; a new Outlander is coming. Life is good.

The new Outlander is a midsize crossover that is the first Mitsu to take advantage of the alliance with Renault and Nissan. It will be based on the next Nissan Rogue platform. In Europe, the current Outlander PHEV is the best-selling plug-in hybrid which is a bit surprising to us. It also happens to be the only plug-in hybrid that Mitsubishi makes.

If Mitsubishi doesn’t adopt any of the styling features found on its 2019 Engelberg Tourer SUV concept it might keep its standing in Europe. If it takes cues from it, especially that curious front end, we predict sales will plummet. It’s not a good look from any angle. Being different isn’t always good but maybe Mitsu looks to polarizing as a means toward sales? We beg to differ.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander gets larger on many fronts

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi-0
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi

While the current Outlander has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, 2021 will receive a 2.4-liter banger. Horsepower increases from 117 hp to 126 hp. The battery pack gets kicked up from 12 kWh to 13.8 kWh which will improve the current Outlander’s 22-mile range. 

The rear motor is larger too, up from 80 hp to 93 hp. These may seem incremental but every increase helps, right? It should also increase in overall size from the current Outlander.

The current Outlander has been around for quite a long time

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi-0
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi

Speaking of the current Outlander, it’s been around for a long time. Though the US got it in 2014, it has been sold in Europe and Japan in its current form since 2012. As SUVs are the hottest-selling vehicles these days we expected a refresh a couple of years ago. We’re still waiting.

While the Outlander’s overall sales dropped ever so slightly in 2019, the PHEV version dropped by a third. However, sales have steadily increased over the years with the last two years hitting over 40,000 units. That should be a good sign to Mitsu to give the Outlander some love, and now it will happen. 

Though anecdotal, we just never have any Outlander sightings on the highways and freeways of Los Angeles and the OC. Through those byways, we’re exposed to thousands of vehicles a day. So we’re somewhat surprised that it sells over 40,000 Outlanders a year.   

The Outlander is a good seller for Mitsubishi both here and in Europe

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi-0
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi

In Europe, sales are steadily well over 100,000 units a year. Some years have seen it top 200,000. So overall the Outlander is a good-seller for Mitsubishi both here and in other environs. 

We look forward to test-driving the new Outlander once it arrives here and we’ll give you our summary when we do.