Brand Comeback: A Focus On Electric Vehicles Raises the Bar for Mitsubishi
The 2020 Outlander gets a refreshed exterior design and earns marks for being well-equipped with excellent warranty coverage.
Mitsubishi Motors is known for SUVs and trucks, and once dominated the growing market, predicting the popularity of this segment before anyone else. But they were awarded some dummy prizes, including being named Japan’s worst automaker in 2016. In 2017, the J.D. Power Dependability Survey ranked Mitsubishi seventh from the bottom with 182 problems per 100 vehicles. But the brand is currently undergoing a reputation renaissance.
The engineering behind Mitsubishi’s Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is one of the reasons why the YouGov BrandIndex 2019 NextGen Word of Mouth U.S. study ranked Mitsubishi as the third most improved brand. In EV Drive Mode, the vehicle is driven by the two 60-kilowatt electric motors, up to 22 miles. When the battery level is low or when the need arises for sudden additional acceleration, a gasoline-powered generator adds a boost to the two electric motors in Series Hybrid Mode. At higher speeds, Parallel Hybrid Mode kicks in with the 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine driving the front wheels while the two electric motors continue to operate, rendering all-wheel drive; excess energy (electricity) is fed back into the lithium-ion battery pack in Parallel Hybrid Mode.
Mitsubishi’s proprietary S-AWC (Super All-Wheel Control) was developed specifically for the Outlander PHEV. By optimally managing Active Yaw Control (AYC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Active Stability Control (ASC) with Traction Control (TCL) the full potential of Twin Motor S-AWC is realized without compromising safety, comfort or fuel efficiency. When desired, the driver can manually engage the twin-motor 4WD LOCK button to simulate locking of a center differential and optimally distribute torque to all four wheels for improved traction and stability, giving this Outlander surprising off-road capabilities, too.
Mitsubishi is part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, the world’s leading plug-in electric vehicle manufacturing group, with global sales since 2010 of over 500,000 electric vehicles.