Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid to return as three-row SUV

The next Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid will have more range and more seats when it goes in sale in late 2022, the automaker announced last week.

Expected to be a 2023 model, the second-generation PHEV will feature a new powertrain with “improved motor output and increased battery capacity” over the 2021 Outlander hybrid that was just updated. On sale now, the current model uses a 2.4-liter inline-4 supplemented by two motors, with one on each axle for all-wheel drive. A 13.8-kwh battery pack helps provide 24 miles of electric range and 26 mpg when the juice runs out. With a full charge, it has the equivalent of 74 mpg, according to the EPA. 

A gas-only version of the 2022 Outlander crossover SUV launched in April, and shares a platform with the 2022 Nissan Rogue. It’s the first product built under the new Mitsubishi-Nissan partnership. The 2022 Outlander is wider and longer than its predecessor, allowing Mitsubishi to cram in an available third row in back. 

The smaller Outlander Sport is the small brand’s bestseller in the U.S., more than doubling sales of the Outlander so far in 2021.

Teaser for next-generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Yet the Outlander PHEV was the brand’s bestseller in Europe as recently as 2019, and continues to have outsize success in that market. It was the bestselling plug-in hybrid SUV in 2020, and the second bestselling PHEV in total.

The forthcoming Outlander PHEV follows a more American footprint with a new platform and better integrated components to fit seven passengers in three rows, Mitsubishi says. It will still come with a two-motor all-wheel-drive system. 

Though many plug-in hybrid and battery-electric SUVs are coming, the Outlander PHEV will join the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, Volvo XC90 T8, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan as the only plug-in utility vehicles with three rows.  

More details will arrive when Mitsubishi rolls out the Outlander PHEV in Japan later this year. 

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