Subaru Crosstrek PHEV vs Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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jjeff

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
2,860
Location
MSP MN
Looking into these 2 vehicles for a friend that would like to have the ability to go around 20 miles of EV range(they currently have a 15 mile RT commute) and then decent MPG for road trips. They also want an SUV(AWD) for our MN winters and a vehicle with a little more ground clearance than a typical car, mostly for snow. They like the looks of the Crosstrek PHEV but I also want them to look into the Outlander PHEV. I'll list a few pros and cons I see of both vehicles and maybe people can come up with more one way or the other. Note they want more a midsized SUV which kind of eliminates the Kona or Niro and I believe only of those have AWD anyway with probably limited ground clearance of both.

+ of the Crosstrek PHEV

1. Much better ICE mileage. This really surprises me as I've never really thought of Subaru as being a leader in MPG but it's combined EPA 35MPG blows the Outlanders 25MPG out of the water. Does anyone see anything wrong with those 2 numbers, would the Crosstrek really deliver that much better MPG on a long road trip(where they'd probably not be plugging in)?

2. Looks, they like the look of the Crosstrek but I'd think they could come around to the Outlander if it had advantages in other important areas.

3. Subaru name, I believe Subaru has a pretty good reputation for reliability.

- of the Crosstrek

1. Relatively tiny battery, basically the same battery used in the much smaller Prius Prime and range reflects this(17 miles EV range vs 25 miles in the Prime) or 22 miles in the Outlander's 12kWh battery.


+ of the Outlander PHEV

1. Larger battery(12kWh vs 8.8kWh for the Outlander) but note that doesn't buy all that much more range in the Outlander(22 miles vs 18 miles for the Crosstrek).

2. Cost. Going off retail the Outlander PHEV is more expensive but due to heavy discounts, I believe it would end up being cheaper, also due to it's larger battery it gets a larger tax rebate(something they would be able to take advantage of).

- of the Outlander

1. On paper significantly less MPG in ICE mode......

2. Mitsubishi name? Mitsubishi hasn't always been known as a quality brand, they've made their share of stinkers over the years, both reliability wise(rust etc.) and general quality. Now maybe the Outlander PHEV is different, I just don't know but as they plan on keeping this car for 10?? years, reliability would be a big plus in their decision making.

3. Relatively short total range, 310 miles (EV plus full tank gas) vs 480 miles for the Crosstrek(neither in the league of the Prime's 640 miles or Ionic PHEVs 630 but again they really want an SUV and are willing to live with its trade-offs).


I have a few questions that I don't know the answers to and might help tip the scale one way or the other for them.

1. Does either vehicle have a heat pump heater? I know the Prime does but not sure about these SUVs. With such small batteries and the fact that we use a heater quite a bit in our climate, I think a heat pump would be a real advantage in moderately cool temps.
2. Do both vehicles have the ability to run in EV mode(in single digit temps) and also give decent heat? Of course, this will decrease range but that's understandable, I just don't want them to be stuck with a vehicle(like the early Volts) that were only really an EV 6 months/year due to the cold weather in our state. A heated steering wheel is a really nice feature of my Leafs, I'm guessing they'd also like that feature.
3. Does anyone know if either vehicle has liquid or air cooling for the battery? While it's generally cool in our state we do get 90+ summers where my '13 Leaf has lost 1 almost 2 battery bars which as I generally only charge it to 80% and never really QC, I'm guessing summer heat and no battery cooling may be the cause of the degradation.
4. And maybe this is just me but do both vehicles have a SOC% display for the battery? Having both a '12 Leaf(that had no factory SOC%) and '13 that did, I can say for a fact that I personally wouldn't like to purchase an EV without a SOC% meter. IMO GOMs suck, I really never look at them, I think much better in SOC%. Of course with a PHEV the SOC% might not be as big a deal, like it is with our battery only Leafs, but still I personally would want a SOC% meter and believe it or not I've seen several newer EV/PHEVs that lack this basic feature. I mean Leaf learned their lesson with the '11s and '12s, people must want SOC%, I find it amazing other mfgs. didn't learn from Nissan's early mistake of not having a SOC% option.
 
1. Much better ICE mileage. This really surprises me as I've never really thought of Subaru as being a leader in MPG but it's combined EPA 35MPG blows the Outlanders 25MPG out of the water. Does anyone see anything wrong with those 2 numbers, would the Crosstrek really deliver that much better MPG on a long road trip(where they'd probably not be plugging in)?

You seem to know that it uses the Prime's drivetrain, at least upstream of the AWD. The PHEV Priuses have always gotten amazing fuel economy even when not plugged in. It's likely because the engine used has been designed as an Atkinson cycle emulator since Gen I, rather than being a modified production car four cycle engine, and the electric drive is designed to use part of the battery, always reserved for Hybrid mode, extensively even when there is no EV range left.

As for the Outlander having a heat pump: I just read 6 pages of fighting in the Mitsubishi forum, and the answer is NO!, YESS!!! and maybe. Likely not.
 
LeftieBiker said:
1. Much better ICE mileage. This really surprises me as I've never really thought of Subaru as being a leader in MPG but it's combined EPA 35MPG blows the Outlanders 25MPG out of the water. Does anyone see anything wrong with those 2 numbers, would the Crosstrek really deliver that much better MPG on a long road trip(where they'd probably not be plugging in)?

You seem to know that it uses the Prime's drivetrain, at least upstream of the AWD. The PHEV Priuses have always gotten amazing fuel economy even when not plugged in. It's likely because the engine used has been designed as an Atkinson cycle emulator since Gen I, rather than being a modified production car four cycle engine, and the electric drive is designed to use part of the battery, always reserved for Hybrid mode, extensively even when there is no EV range left.

As for the Outlander having a heat pump: I just read 6 pages of fighting in the Mitsubishi forum, and the answer is NO!, YESS!!! and maybe. Likely not.
Yes it seems rather hard to find out if a particular EV/PHEV has a heat pump heater :( Although the Prime(and even top trim Leafs) do seem to like to point it out, so maybe by omission of talking about it, one can safely assume a particular vehicle doesn't have it unless they say.....
 
The Honda Clarity has a heat pump. I remember reading about in the manual of the section that talks about preheating the car. I do not believe it said anything about the heat pump in the car description.
 
Well it looks like with the Subaru one must purchase a $2500 package that includes a sunroof(which I personally dislike) and a Harmon Kardon stereo(which I rarely turn on) all to get a simple steering wheel heater :x Heated wheel is standard on the more expensive Mitsui trim but not available on the cheaper trim. Looks like front heated seats are standard on both vehicles but rear isn't available on either(and to think it all came with my lowly "S" model Leaf back in '13 :cool:
The Subaru has a fair amount better ground clearance(8.7" vs the Mitsui's 7.3) and neither have an Atkinson or particularly efficiently tuned ICE. It doesn't seem either have a heat pump heater and you're forced to get a leather interior with both cars in all trims.
Neither mentions L2 charge rate but I believe it may be 16a max, the Outlander lacks any QC, the Mitsui comes standard with the QC standard our Leafs use.
I personally really like front and rear heated seats and think a heated steering wheel is almost a must in my climate
 
The most convincing argument I saw in the Mitsubishi forum was a conversation that someone (allegedly) had with a Mitsu engineer. Said engineer explained that it is much easier to mate a PTC heater to an existing ICE car's climate control system than it is to add a heat pump. This also strongly implies that the Outlander uses hot coolant heat, not direct to air, when in EV mode...
 
Looking into these 2 vehicles for a friend that would like to have the ability to go around 20 miles of EV range(they currently have a 15 mile RT commute) and then decent MPG for road trips. They also want an SUV(AWD) for our MN winters and a vehicle with a little more ground clearance than a typical car, mostly for snow. They like the looks of the Crosstrek PHEV but I also want them to look into the Outlander PHEV. I'll list a few pros and cons I see of both vehicles and maybe people can come up with more one way or the other. Note they want more a midsized SUV which kind of eliminates the Kona or Niro and I believe only of those have AWD anyway with probably limited ground clearance of both.

+ of the Crosstrek PHEV

1. Much better ICE mileage. This really surprises me as I've never really thought of Subaru as being a leader in MPG but it's combined EPA 35MPG blows the Outlanders 25MPG out of the water. Does anyone see anything wrong with those 2 numbers, would the Crosstrek really deliver that much better MPG on a long road trip(where they'd probably not be plugging in)?

2. Looks, they like the look of the Crosstrek but I'd think they could come around to the Outlander if it had advantages in other important areas.

3. Subaru name, I believe Subaru has a pretty good reputation for reliability.

- of the Crosstrek

1. Relatively tiny battery, basically the same battery used in the much smaller Prius Prime and range reflects this(17 miles EV range vs 25 miles in the Prime) or 22 miles in the Outlander's 12kWh battery.


+ of the Outlander PHEV

1. Larger battery(12kWh vs 8.8kWh for the Outlander) but note that doesn't buy all that much more range in the Outlander(22 miles vs 18 miles for the Crosstrek).

2. Cost. Going off retail the Outlander PHEV is more expensive but due to heavy discounts, I believe it would end up being cheaper, also due to it's larger battery it gets a larger tax rebate(something they would be able to take advantage of).

- of the Outlander

1. On paper significantly less MPG in ICE mode......

2. Mitsubishi name? Mitsubishi hasn't always been known as a quality brand, they've made their share of stinkers over the years, both reliability wise(rust etc.) and general quality. Now maybe the Outlander PHEV is different, I just don't know but as they plan on keeping this car for 10?? years, reliability would be a big plus in their decision making.

3. Relatively short total range, 310 miles (EV plus full tank gas) vs 480 miles for the Crosstrek(neither in the league of the Prime's 640 miles or Ionic PHEVs 630 but again they really want an SUV and are willing to live with its trade-offs).


I have a few questions that I don't know the answers to and might help tip the scale one way or the other for them.

1. Does either vehicle have a heat pump heater? I know the Prime does but not sure about these SUVs. With such small batteries and the fact that we use a heater quite a bit in our climate, I think a heat pump would be a real advantage in moderately cool temps.
2. Do both vehicles have the ability to run in EV mode(in single digit temps) and also give decent heat? Of course, this will decrease range but that's understandable, I just don't want them to be stuck with a vehicle(like the early Volts) that were only really an EV 6 months/year due to the cold weather in our state. A heated steering wheel is a really nice feature of my Leafs, I'm guessing they'd also like that feature.
3. Does anyone know if either vehicle has liquid or air cooling for the battery? While it's generally cool in our state we do get 90+ summers where my '13 Leaf has lost 1 almost 2 battery bars which as I generally only charge it to 80% and never really QC, I'm guessing summer heat and no battery cooling may be the cause of the degradation.
4. And maybe this is just me but do both vehicles have a SOC% display for the battery? Having both a '12 Leaf(that had no factory SOC%) and '13 that did, I can say for a fact that I personally wouldn't like to purchase an EV without a SOC% meter. IMO GOMs suck, I really never look at them, I think much better in SOC%. Of course with a PHEV the SOC% might not be as big a deal, like it is with our battery only Leafs, but still I personally would want a SOC% meter and believe it or not I've seen several newer EV/PHEVs that lack this basic feature. I mean Leaf learned their lesson with the '11s and '12s, people must want SOC%, I find it amazing other mfgs. didn't learn from Nissan's early mistake of not having a SOC% option.
I, for one, actually prefer a smaller car for ease of parking. I want a car that I can drive around town on electric, but that can handle a drive from the SF Bay Area to Tahoe, including passing chain controls. I wanted to buy the 2019 Subaru, but needed a car in January and the Subaru didn’t come out until the summer. I’m driving a Volt now and its 40 ev miles is great around town and it parks easily and fits in my small garage, but it’s terrible in the snow. The Outlander is too big for me. All the small SUVs keep increasing in size and no new small models have come out to replace them in the PHEV lineup. Subaru is the last holdout with possibly something coming soon from Audi. Since I only have one car, full electric won’t work for me. Not interested in stopping for a charge on the way to Tahoe.
 
My mom last year bought the new Outlander phev. I spite of the small size of the 3rd row, having it is very handy. The ev range is good enough for most around town trips.
 
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