2020 Audi e-tron Sportback vs. 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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Safety

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The e-tron Sportback’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the e-tron Sportback and Outlander PHEV have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron Sportback has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Outlander PHEV’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The e-tron Sportback’s standard pretensioning seatbelts also sense rear collisions and remove slack from the seatbelts to help protect the occupants from whiplash and other injuries. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron Sportback helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the e-tron Sportback and the Outlander PHEV have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available four-wheel drive.

The Audi e-tron Sportback weighs 1532 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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The e-tron Sportback’s corrosion warranty is 5 years and unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (12/unlimited vs. 7/100,000).

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 22nd in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 6 places higher in reliability than Mitsubishi.

Engine

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The e-tron Sportback’s standard electric motors produce 205 more horsepower (402 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the e-tron Sportback gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running on electricity (76 city/78 hwy vs. 78 city/70 hwy MPGe).

The e-tron Sportback’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 204 miles on a full charge. The Outlander PHEV can only travel about 22 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi e-tron Sportback higher (10 out of 10) than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (7). This means the e-tron Sportback produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Outlander PHEV every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The e-tron Sportback’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the e-tron Sportback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander PHEV:

e-tron Sportback

Outlander PHEV

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

11.9 inches

The e-tron Sportback’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Outlander PHEV are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the e-tron Sportback has larger standard tires than the Outlander PHEV (255/50R20 vs. 225/55R18). The e-tron Sportback’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outlander PHEV (265/45R21 vs. 225/55R18).

The e-tron Sportback’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outlander PHEV’s standard 55 series tires. The e-tron Sportback’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Outlander PHEV’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron Sportback has standard 20-inch wheels. Only 18-inch wheels are available on the Outlander PHEV. The e-tron Sportback offers optional 21-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the e-tron Sportback uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Outlander PHEV, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Outlander PHEV’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The e-tron Sportback has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron Sportback’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The e-tron Sportback has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron Sportback’s wheelbase is 9.9 inches longer than on the Outlander PHEV (115 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the e-tron Sportback is 4.1 inches wider in the front than on the Outlander PHEV.

Chassis

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The front grille of the e-tron Sportback uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The e-tron Sportback has 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outlander PHEV.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the e-tron Sportback’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the e-tron Sportback. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the e-tron Sportback’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is limited to 1500 pounds. The e-tron Sportback offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The e-tron Sportback uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Outlander PHEV uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Mitsubishi. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, Mitsubishi is ranked 12th.

Ergonomics

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The e-tron Sportback has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the e-tron Sportback, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a memory system.

The e-tron Sportback’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The e-tron Sportback Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the e-tron Sportback and the Outlander PHEV have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the e-tron Sportback is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outlander PHEV prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

If the windows are left open on the e-tron Sportback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Outlander PHEV can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the e-tron Sportback has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the e-tron Sportback has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the e-tron Sportback to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

When the e-tron Sportback is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Outlander PHEV’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The e-tron Sportback’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Outlander PHEV has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the e-tron Sportback and the Outlander PHEV have standard heated front seats. The e-tron Sportback Prestige also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the e-tron Sportback keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The e-tron Sportback Prestige has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the e-tron Sportback. The e-tron Sportback’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a navigation system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi e-tron Sportback has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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