Mitsubishi Aims to Be a RAV4 Prime Competitor With New Outlander PHEV SUV

It looks like the stakes are being raised in the plug-in hybrid SUV world by an unlikely competitor. Mitsubishi now says that its 2023 PHEV Outlander SUV, which will arrive at the end of the year, will have a better EV range, a smarter four-wheel drive, and more class compared to the previous Outlander. The new Oulander PHEV will be coming this November, but before that reveal, the company is giving us some of the details of the upcoming PHEV SUV that could take on the RAV4 Prime.

Could the Outlander really be a RAV4 Prime competitor?

The new crop of PHEVs is packing serious horsepower, range, and drivability, and none more than the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime. But, the new Outlander will have a range of 38 miles, compared to 42 for the Prime. They both have all-wheel drive. But the Outlander has one trick up its sleeve that the RAV4 can’t match: a third row of seats. Interestingly, the RAV4’s base price is $39,800, while the Mitsubishi’s base price is just $45 more, at $39,845.

The RAV4 Prime is a performer with 302 horsepower combined from its front and rear motors. Mitsubishi says the new outlander will have a combined 248 horsepower from its gas and electric motors which, while not barnstorming power, should be enough. But, the Mitsu has more torque for getting off the line quicky, with 332 lb.-ft, compared to the RAV4’s 288 lb.-ft. The other three-row plug-in hybrid, the Kia Sorento, has 261 horsepower and 258 lb. ft.

Nissan contributed to the Outlander PHEV

A black 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
2023 Outlander PHEV | Mitsubishi

This new tech is coming from an unlikely place. In 2016 Nissan took over Mitsubishi, and the outlander is the fruit of that merger. The 2022 version was closely related to the Nissan Rogue. And, it worked, because the 2022 Outlander is actually the world’s best-selling PHEV SUV.

That tech includes an onboard fast charger, and Mitsu says it can be filled to 80% in 38 minutes. Also, if you use Charge Mode while driving, the gas engine will charge the battery pack, which is a trick that not all PHEV’s offer.

The previous generation Outlander was the best-selling PHEV in the world

A white 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV parked out of a luxury home in the mountains
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi Motors

The Toyota RAV4 and RAV4 Prime are topping sales charts in the U.S., but globally, the Outlander is tops. According to Car and Driver, the Outlander PHEV, which has been on sale across the Atlantic since 2013, has sold about 300,000 copies.

The 2022 Outlander comes in three trim levels

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander in red driving down the road. Consumer Reports is currently testing this model
2022 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi

The new 2023 non-PHEV Outlander will come base ES and upgraded SE and SEL trims. SE models will get electric folding mirrors, rear pull-up sunshades, and for the first time a two-tone paint job with a black roof option.  Mitsubishi will also add a 40th anniversary edition and a sporty Ralliart edition, too. The Black Edition will return, too.

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