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.