The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid gets a larger battery pack, a bigger engine, and a price that costs less than the 2020 model when factoring in available federal tax credits. The five-seat crossover SUV has an electric range of 24 miles, up from 22 miles, and a 2.4-liter inline-4 replaces the 2.0-liter inline-4, the automaker announced Wednesday.
Unlike the redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV that runs on gas only, the 2021 Outlander PHEV is more of a mid-cycle refresh. Launched for 2018 as the only affordable plug-in hybrid SUV, the Outlander PHEV has since been outdone by the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid and its 42 miles of range and prodigious power. Mitsubishi will look to match that with the Outlander PHEV's redesign expected for 2023.
For now, the uprated engine produces 126 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, and the pair of electric motors led by a larger 70-kw rear motor (compared to 60 kw) boosts total system output to 221 hp, or 31 hp more than the outgoing model. The battery pack increases from 12.0 kwh to 13.8 kwh, which increases the range by 2 miles. The 2021 model is more fuel efficient, too, with an EPA-rated 26 mpg combined that is 1 mpg more than last year. Its combined efficiency is the same 74 MPGe.
Mitsubishi said a software update improves communication between the battery and engine, leading to less cabin noise. The Outlander PHEV comes standard with all-wheel drive.
The base SEL costs $37,490 (including destination), and a new mid-grade LE trim costs $39,190. It adds a sunroof and blacked out elements on the grille, bumpers, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The GT trim tops the lineup at $43,190.
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime starts at $39,275, but strong demand has created a limited supply.
Mitsubishi also noted that the larger battery pack qualifies the 2021 Outlander PHEV for a larger federal EV tax credit, subject to the owner's income level. The eligible credit is $6,587, up $751 from last year.
The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is on sale now.