There's a brand new Mitsubishi Outlander for the 2022 model year, and we've been told that a plug-in hybrid version is on the way. But before that happens, Mitsubishi has given the current Outlander PHEV an under-the-skin refresh for 2021 that brings more power, more range and a new trim level. Despite the upgrades, the starting price hasn't budged.
The Outlander PHEV gets a new 2.4-liter engine rated at 126 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque that replaces the previous 2.0-liter engine. A rear-axle-mounted electric motor adds 70kW of electric power, up 10kW over the old version. Add it all up and the powertrain spins out a total of 221 hp, up 31 ponies from the previous model. Updated software is said to improve "synchronization between battery and engine," which Mitsubishi says yields reductions in noise, vibration and harshness. All Outlander PHEVs are equipped with Mitsubishi's Super All-Wheel Control all-wheel drive system, and the 2021 edition gains Sport and Snow driving modes.
Along with the power boost, the Outlander PHEV's battery capacity increases from 12.0 kW/h to 13.8 kW/h. That adds two additional miles of all-electric range for a total of up to 24 miles. Mitsubishi also says the top speed under electric power with no assistance from the gasoline engine rises from 79 mph to 83 mph. According to the EPA, the 2021 Outlander PHEV scores a combined 74 MPGe while running in hybrid electric mode and 26 MPG combined once the battery is depleted. That's an improvement of one mile per gallon.
In addition to last year's SEL and GT trim levels, the 2021 Outlander PHEV gains an LE edition. The new trim adds a blacked-out grille, dark chrome dual spoke 18-inch alloy wheels and a blackout design for the front and rear bumpers. Also standard on the LE are a sunroof and upgraded audio system.
Despite the significant upgrades for 2021, the Outlander PHEV SEL starts at the same $37,490 asking price as before. The LE costs $39,190 and the top-spec GT lists at $43,190. Buyers are eligible for $6,587 in federal tax credits, which is up $751 compared to the 2020 model year due to the increase in battery capacity. The 2021 Outlander PHEV is available at Mitsubishi dealerships now.