Adding Electric Vibes - 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Practicality In Mind:
Power outlet which can run a small TV, blender or space heather, check. Lot's of storage cubbies, check. Power liftgate (which opens wayyyy to slow) check. The Outlander is a practical and inexpensive option starting at just 25k (for the gas version or 35,795 for the PHEV), but dealers consistently offer steep discounts to get these off their lots, sometimes as much as 5k off sticker.
No Lack of Safety Features Here:
Key accident avoidance features include forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. You don't often get all of these advanced features at this price point. It's also worth noting the Outlander also received outstanding crash test results from the NHTSA.
On the back roads, the Outlander isn't exactly a dream to drive. A numb steering feel combined with very noticeable body roll isn't a winning combination. The ride is moderately stiff which makes rolling over bumpy surfaces most unpleasant. That's also met with a significant amount of road noise which get's annoying quickly.
It's Slow Even For a Hybrid:
Rolling around town, the Outlander PHEV has enough power to get out of its own way. Unfortunately, highway driving is a different story. You'll find your pedal meet the floor every time you need even a modest amount of acceleration at highway speeds. Once you call up all available power, you'll also need to turn up the stereo because the CVT whine combined with the engine noise is very obnoxious. It's 0-60 time is 9.8 seconds which I don't have to tell you is very slow. Hopefully, in the future, Mitisbushi can add some power to the Outlander PHEV. It would go a long way.
The Stereo Is Impressive:
The optional Rockford Fosgate sound system really is quite impressive. I would even argue it's this vehicles best feature. It has a high-output DSP amplifier, including 710W of power; 8 speaker channels, each individually tuned, and 9 premium speakers to fill the cabin plus a 10" dual voice-coil subwoofer provides crisp powerful bass as the foundation. I've been in many vehicles with very expensive sound systems and this one can still keep up with even the most premium ones in Audi's and BMW's.
Interior Isn't Up To Par:
The interior is made up of hard plastics and lacks refinement. Even the door panels are hard and make cracking noises as you roll up the window. On the bright side, the new steering wheel is a major imporvment it features soft leather and easy to use controls. The multi-media system is also an improvement and features Android and Apple Car Play.
It's Not a Bad Choice For The Price:
When you boil everything down, you're getting a 7-passenger SUV with AWD and a great safety rating for under 30k brand new which is pretty much unheard of in this day and age. If your goals are strictly value based and you need some space then the Outlander isn't a bad option. Just be prepared to deal with interior quality issues and a lack of refinement.