Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Global Sales Top 33,000 Long Before U.S. Launch

It might not even be on sale in the U.S. yet, but Mitsubishi’s Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is proving a massive hit with buyers in Europe and its native market of Japan.

The European and Japanese-spec Outlander PHEV is proving popular with buyers -- but U.S. customers will get a complete redesign for next year's launch there.

The European and Japanese-spec Outlander PHEV is proving popular with buyers — but U.S. customers will get a complete redesign for next year’s launch there.

What’s more, the four-wheel drive plug-in crossover SUV has just topped more than 33,000 sales since it was launched in Japan last year.

That’s according to Autobloggreen, which says that Mitsubishi North America executives announced the milestone at this week’s Plug In 2014 conference in San Jose, California.

Powered by a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine driving the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and two, not one 30 kilowatt electric motors — one for each axle — the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV can operate in either all-electric or blended modes for maximum versatility.

In all-electric mode, the Outlander PHEV can operate at speeds of up to 70mph with a real-world range of between 20 and 30 miles per charge of its 12 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, depending on driving style and speed.

Where the Outlander PHEV differs from other plug-in hybrids on the market however is its ability to charge from a CHAdeMO DC quick charging station. This makes it possible to recharge its onboard battery pack from empty to 80 per cent full in around 30 minutes.

With 33,000 now sold, the Outlander PHEV is proving extremely popular.

With 33,000 now sold, the Outlander PHEV is proving extremely popular.

This, combined with its rugged SUV practicality, large cargo carrying capabilities, ability to tow, and a price point on par with Mitsubishi’s diesel Outlander have made it an instant success. While the plug-in SUV has managed to reach 15,000 sales in its domestic market of Japan in since it went on sale there in January 2013, it is proving most popular in Europe.

Despite making its European debut just a year ago — and its UK debut even more recently — Mitsubishi has already sold 18,000 Outlander PHEV models throughout Europe, with the highest sales occurring in Northern European countries the Netherlands and Sweden.

Sadly, U.S. fans of the Outlander will have to wait a little longer for a chance to sample the Outlander plug-in hybrid. As we reported earlier this month however, the wait will be worth it as U.S. buyers will be getting a completely refreshed model for the car’s debut in 2016.

While Mitsubishi hasn’t decided what the U.S. spec will be of this important plug-in, we’re hoping it keeps the CHAdeMO DC quick charging capabilities that makes it such a versatile all-round car.

In preparing this article, we asked our followers on Twitter to tell us why they thought the Outlander Plug-in Hybrid was selling so well in Europe. Here’s some of the things they said. Let us know if you agree in the Comments below.

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  • Esl1999 .

    Mitsubishi has always been a let down, at least in the US, because of its poor reliability. This is the reason why their sales numbers have never been substantial in my country. Personally, I’m surprised they’re still selling cars in the US. We weren’t as forgiving to all the French cars and all the affordable Italian and British cars. Hey, what about Suzuki, Isuzu, Daihatsu… gone. Rental companies and the might of the Mitsubishi Corporation is the only reason they are still here. Mazda deserves to stay but not Mitsubishi.

    • mookie2

      With all due respect your impressions are based upon old information. Recent Outlander models have much better than average reliability as per consumer reports magazine. Mitsubishi recently increased warranty lengths to industry best. I just bought an Outlander Sport after owning an Infiniti and BMW and am quite impressed. I truly believe Mitsubishi deserves another look!

      • Esl1999 .

        I decided to look into the recent efforts of Mitsubishi

      • Esl1999 .

        I have found that the Lancer was below average in reliability and the Mirage was average as well as the Outlander. They are still not up to the level of Toyota or Honda. Then I checked into comparison tests which was hard to due because Outlanders were rarely included. The good news was that they weren’t the worst but still did not win over the testers. Audi and Hyundai came back from the dead in this country, maybe, Mitsubishi can do the same. Time will tell.