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Mitsubishi Improves 2021 Outlander PHEV With Added Range More Power - Will It Rival RAV4 Prime?

Mitsubishi's Outlander plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle (PHEV) is refreshed for 2022. Will these changes sway some RAV4 Prime shoppers? You be the judge.

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The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) crossover has just been revealed. The 2021 Outlander PHEV is substantially upgraded for the current model year, and features a significantly revised powertrain, an enlarged battery pack offering extended all-electric range, and increased performance from a new, more efficient, 2.4 liter inline-four cylinder engine and a higher-output rear electric motor.

2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV- Range, MPG, and Power Improvements
The 2021 Outlander PHEV is equipped with a more powerful and efficient 2.4L internal combustion engine rated at 126 hp and 148 lb.-ft. of torque, and the previous 60kW rear-axle-mounted electric motor has been replaced with a more powerful 70kW unit. The combined output is increased to 221 hp, up 31 hp from the previous model.

The Outlander PHEV sees an increase of all-electric range from 22 to 24 miles due to the main drive battery capacity growing from 12.0 kW/h to 13.8 kW/h. This helps increase the top speed of all-electric operation from 79 mph to 83 mph.The 2021 Outlander PHEV's powertrain also receives updated software for an improved synchronization between battery and engine, and improvements that reduce overall noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

For 2021 there are new Sport and Snow driving modes, which offer enhanced driver confidence and control in all driving situations. Like the RAV4 Prime, every Outlander PHEV is AWD. The 2021 Outlander PHEV is equipped with Mitsubishi's unique Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system.

The 2021 Outlander PHEV achieves a combined 74 MPGe and 26 MPG. A bit lower than the benchmark RAV4 Prime's 94 MPGe and 38 MPG in HV mode.

2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Pricing:
The 2021 Outlander PHEV is available at Mitsubishi dealers now. Starting MSRP remains the same as the 2020 model, just $37,490 before available state and federal tax incentives. The Outlander PHEV's new, larger-capacity battery pack makes it eligible for additional federal tax incentives for 2021. Outlander PHEV is now eligible for $6,587 in federal tax credits, an increase of $751 compared to the 2020 model year.

Here are the trim-level prices for the three trims for 2021 including destination charges:
SEL S-AWC $37,490
LE S-AWC $39,190
GT S-AWC $43,190

Will the new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV draw buyers off of Toyota lots who were hoping to find a RAV4 Prime? You be the judge.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin

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Bill (not verified)    March 6, 2021 - 3:36AM

John, it appears the US 2021 is actually the EU 2019 version with the 2.4 larger battery and rear electric motor
The 2022 redesign appears to have a PHEV version in R&D as shown in some videos powering a mountain cabin
Do u have any news on the 2022 phev?
I’m thinking of getting a used 18/19 and eventually a 2022 but still the 22 Tucson and RAV4 Prime are contenders