Mitsubishi has rolled out a raft of changes to its Outlander PHEV range, including a new variant, more standard safety and the ability to use the car to power your home on to return energy to the grid.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV medium SUV has gained a new GSR variant that bridges the gap between the ES and Exceed.
Aesthetically, the GSR stands out from the other versions, with black touches including the roof, roof-rail, front- and rear bumper skid plates and door mirrors, while the grille, front diffusers and tailgate garnish are trimmed with black chrome.
A set of Bilstein shocks also adds substance to the GSR's style.
The Outlander PHEV GSR also features 18-inch black/machined two-tone alloy wheels and LED self-levelling headlights and front fog lamps.
Black is also a theme inside, as seen on the gear-shifter knob, roof-lining and A-pillar trim, along with while glossy piano black surfaces.
The GSR also features microsuede seats with faux-leather bolsters and four-way driver’s seat adjustment, a powered tailgate and eight-speaker premium audio.
These and a few additional active safety features attract a $4500 premium over the entry-level Outlander PHEV ES, which now comes with Mitsubishi’s Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) as standard.
This brings entry-level pricing up by $1000 to $47,990, with the extra cost bringing adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, auto-on/off headlights, auto high-beam, and power-folding door mirrors.
Plug-in hybrid powertrain
The key change for the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the deployment of the company's Vehicle-To-Grid (V2G) and Vehicle-To-Home (V2H) capability. While it's been a feature of overseas-market Outlander PHEVs since 2017, it's the first time that the technology will feature on Australian-spec cars.
V2H and V2G simply means that the energy stored in the Outlander PHEV's battery can be used to either power a household, or to be fed back into the grid.
For example, the Outlander PHEV could be programmed to feed energy into the grid when energy prices - which can fluctuate by the minute - are higher, and recharge when costs fall.
There are no performance changes to the 2021 Outlander PHEV, which received a significant upgrade for the 2020 model.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain features a 94kW/211 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with two electric motors (one on each axle) for a combined power rating of 157kW/332Nm to all four wheels.
Its 13.8kW battery offers a potential all-electric driving range of 54km, more than enough for the average daily commute.
The Outlander PHEV features a clever regenerative braking system that allows the driver to select the level of retardation - the rate at which the car slows when you lift off the accelerator but aren't on the brake - by using repurposed shifter paddles behind the steering wheel.
The higher the level of retardation, the less you need to use the brakes, and the greater the amount of charge returned to the battery.
The battery can be charged fully charged in around seven hours from a normal 240-volt socket (known as Level 1 charging) to fill the Outlander PHEV's 3.7kW battery to 100 percent.
Charging times decrease dramatically when the Outlander PHEV is plugged into a commercial charger – it takes three hours and thirty minutes with a 16-amp Level 2 charger, and just 15 minutes with a 50kW DC fast charger.
Starting a journey with the battery fully charged achieves fuel economy as low as a claimed 1.9L/100km, depending on the length of the journey.
Outlander PHEV features
As mentioned above the range starts at $47,990 for the Outlander PHEV ES grade which comes with:
- 8.0-inch touchscreen
- AppleCarPlay/Android Auto smartphone pairing, Bluetooth connectivity with voice control and AM/FM/Digital radio.
- Reversing camera and reverse parking sensors.
- Autonomous emergency braking.
- ADAS (see above).
- LED daytime running lights.
- Reverse parking sensors.
- Auto-dimming rear-view mirror.
- Seven airbags.
- Hills Start Assist.
- 18-inch alloy wheels.
- Black cloth seat trim.
- Dual-zone air-conditioning.
- Rear-seat air-conditioning vents, and 2xUSB ports.
Paying $52,490 for the Outlander PHEV GSR adds Bilstein suspension and aforementioned trim enhancements plus:
- Blind-sport warning.
- Lane keeping assist.
- Rear cross-traffic alert.
- Electric tailgate.
- LED headlights with auto levelling.
The range-topping Outlander PHEV Exceed remains unchanged from the MY20 model, with its $56,490 price bringing the GSR’s extra safety features and electric tailgate plus:
- 360-degree surround-view monitor.
- Satellite navigation and speed limit info
- Ultrasonic Misacceleration System (UMS), which prevents parking mishaps should a driver accidentally pressing the accelerator.
- Electric sunroof.
- Headlight washers.
- LED front fog lamps.
- Leather seats with synthetic leather bolsters.
- Silver roof rails.
- Scuff plates.
- Electric heater.
- EV remote app that lets you set a charge schedule, activate the air-conditioning, control headlights and parking lamps, and monitor your PHEV statistics.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV retail/drive-away pricing
- Outlander PHEV ES - $47,990 / $51,990
- Outlander PHEV GSR - $52,490 / $56,490
- Outlander PHEV Exceed - $56,490 - $60,990