After being available in Europe and reaching status as the best-selling hybrid plug-in electric vehicle in Europe, Mitsubishi has high hopes that the 2017 Outlander PHEV will build the much needed momentum for the automaker in the U.S.

The automaker has said that the future of Mitsubishi cars will be electric and crossover vehicles. Of course, Mitsubishi is not new to the electric-car space, the company was among the EV pioneers with the tiny iMiev. And like the iMiev, the Outlander PHEV has benefitted from heavy government incentives for EVs in some European markets.

Mitsubishi’s all-wheel control system, backed by two electric motors, distribute full-time electric power between the front and rear wheels. In addition, a 2.0-liter gas engine augments the electric drive and ensures the 12 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is always charged to a minimum level. The PHEV system automatically selects the most efficient drive mode for the given road conditions. Those modes can make the Outlander function in a full electric mode or as a hybrid.


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2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV interior

Thanks to the power-generating engine, this system mitigates range anxiety commonly associated with purely electric vehicles, akin to the extended-range Chevrolet Volt. Actual mileage has yet to be announced. The electric-only range is expected to be about half of that of the Volt, putting it around 25 miles.

For buyers attracted to the Outlander for its passenger count, it is important to note that the third-row is absent from the PHEV version, so it’s strictly a five-passenger vehicle. Like the regular Outlander, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is built in. Safety features available include a surround-view camera, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, and forward-collision warning with automatic-emergency braking and pedestrian detection.

The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is expected to be in dealerships in fall 2016. Pricing is expected to be in the mid $40,000s before federal tax incentives.

Read our complete Mitsubishi Outlander road test.

2017 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV rear