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Mitsubishi ups the appeal of the Outlander PHEV for 2021 with added battery power

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has been enhanced for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

The plug-in electric vehicle world is getting more competitive. Ahead of its next-gen launch, Mitsubishi has announced the its 2021 Outlander Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) has been significantly upgraded to include a revised powertrain, enlarged battery pack, and better performance. There's a also a new trim level.

This comes as the company has revealed the redesigned 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander will go on sale this spring.

Mitsubishi will sell the Outlander PHEV in three trim levels for 2021: SEL, Limited Edition (LE), and GT. The LE trim is new and adds a standard sunroof, Mitsubishi Power Sound System, black grille, dark chrome dual-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, and black front and rear bumper design to the model.

2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV The Outlander PHEV can be charged to make use of all-electric range or run as a traditional hybrid.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The 2021 version of the Outlander PHEV now comes with a 2.4-liter engine with the ability to achieve 126 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a 70-kilowatt electric motor, upgraded from a 60-kilowatt unit. The total system output has now increased to 221 horsepower, up 31 horsepower from the previous model.

For the new model year, the SUV's main battery drive capacity has grown from 12.0 kilowatts per hour to 13.8 kilowatts per hour, increasing the SUV's all-electric range from 22 to 24 miles. It's all-electric top-speed has increased from 79 mph to 83 mph.

Mitsubishi says that the Outlander PHEV has also received software updates that improve the synchronization between the SUV's battery and engine, which is meant to reduce overall noise, vibration, and harshness.

Every Outlander PHEV comes equipped with all-wheel drive. It now has Sport and Snow driving modes as well.

The Mitsubishi has increased range for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Motors

Efficiency upgrades, combined with the new powertrain, lead the Outlander PHEV to achieve 74 MPGe and 26 mpg. Those are respectable numbers for a three-row SUV.

Forward collision alert with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with assist, and automatic high beam headlights are standard on every Outlander PHEV model.

Mitsubishi backs every Outlander PHEV with a fully transferrable five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, as well as a fully transferable 10-year /100,000-mile limited warranty on PHEV components and the Main Drive Lithium-ion battery. These limited warranties are in addition to a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty to the original retail purchaser and a seven-year/100,000-mile anti-corrosion perforation limited warranty. Every Outlander PHEV also comes standard with a 5-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance program.

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV starts at $36,295. The Outlander PHEV LE is priced at $37,995 while the top-tier Outlander PHEV GT comes in at $41,995.

Outlander PHEV is now eligible for $6,587 in federal tax credits, an increase of $751 compared to the 2020 model year.

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New compact luxury SUV

2022 Lexus NX gets new tech and PHEV drivetrain

The NX is all-new for 2022.

Lexus

The NX may not be Lexus' most popular SUV – that title goes to the RX – but it's got a lot to offer in a compact package. Lexus redesigned the NX for 2022, and the big stories are its new PHEV powertrain, updated tech, and improved safety features.

The 2022 NX 450h+ is Lexus' first plug-in hybrid vehicle. It's expected to deliver 36 miles all-electric range, 84 MPGe combined, a 0-60 mph time of six seconds. It's joined in the NX lineup by the NX 350h hybrid, which uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two high-torque motor-generators that produce a combined output of 239 horsepower. The NX 350h is capable of returning 39 mpg combined and a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds.

2022 Lexus NX New tech and updated safety features are headline changes for 2022.Lexus

A turbocharged gas engine rounds out the NX powertrain selection. It's a 2.4-liter unit that makes 203 horsepower and 184 horsepower. Surprisingly, it's weaker than both of the hybrid powertrains, and is only capable of a 0-60 mph time of 8.2 seconds with front-wheel drive. Fuel economy lands at 28 mpg combined.

The new NX comes standard with a 9.8-inch touchscreen that employs a new Lexus interface to make interactions smoother and easier. A 14-inch touchscreen is optional, and includes a three-year trial for a bundle of connected services. Lexus offers a new connected smartphone feature that allows drivers to store their vehicle profiles in the cloud and take them to other Lexus vehicles equipped with the tech.

2022 Lexus NX The NX gets a PHEV powertrain option for the first time.Lexus

The Lexus Interface also offers advanced voice controls and a new voice assistant feature. The automaker says that it was designed to recognize natural speech, and uses two microphones with noise cancellation, seat detection, and speaker location capabilities. Drivers can ask for the weather, traffic situations, control the audio system, and more with their voice.

The NX's safety features got a boost for 2022 as well. Standard features now include risk avoidance emergency steer assist, left-turn oncoming vehicle detection and braking, right/left turn oncoming pedestrian detection and braking, and dynamic radar cruise control with curve speed management.

2022 Lexus NX F Sport models get sporty interior finishes.Lexus

The 2022 Lexus NX should begin arriving on dealers' lots in December 2021. Pricing for the NX 250 FWD starts at $39,025, which includes a $1,075 destination fee. The range-topping NX 450h+ starts at $56,635.

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The Grand Cherokee gets a plug-in powertrain for the first time.

Jeep

Jeep just announced the all-new fifth-generation 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee, featuring a new exterior and interior, updated tech, and class-leading capabilities from its optional engines. However, the big headline here is the new Grand Cherokee 4xe, a plug-in hybrid SUV that follows the Jeep Wrangler into electrified off-roading.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe The 4xe makes all-electric off-roading possible.Jeep

As it did with the Wrangler, Jeep electrified the Grand Cherokee for the new model year. The new 4xe powertrain is available in the Limited, Trailhawk, Overland, Summit, and Summit Reserve trims. It uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder engine and features an all-electric driving range of 25 miles, fuel economy of 57 MPGe, and a total combined driving range of 440 miles. The powertrain also produces 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe All Grand Cherokee models get a more upscale interior for the 2022 model year.Jeep

With the water and terrain involved in off-roading, an electric motor and plug-in components could be a recipe for disaster, but Jeep took steps to protect sensitive parts of the drivetrain and vehicle. All high-voltage electronics are seats and are waterproof, and Jeep says that the Grand Cherokee 4xe can ford water of up to 24 inches in depth. The battery also comes with its own heating and cooling system to hold it in the ideal temperature range for optimum performance. The powertrain delivers impressive capability, as Jeep says a Grand Cherokee Trailhawk 4xe was able to tackle the Rubicon Trail on electric power only.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe The 2022 Grand Cherokee gets updated tech and safety features.Jeep

The 4xe's charging port is located on the front fender to allow easier charging in tight spots. LED indicators show the charging status and there's an LED battery monitor inside the vehicle on the instrument panel. Three driving modes allow the driver to select the right vehicle and powertrain behavior for the situation. Hybrid mode combines both the electric motor and gas engine, and balances the two for the best fuel efficiency and performance. Electric mode operates on electric power only until the battery's power is depleted. eSave prioritizes the gas engine to preserve battery power. As with all PHEVs, the Grand Cherokee 4xe functions like a traditional hybrid once the battery's power is mostly depleted.


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