2020 Toyota Prius Prime vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

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Safety

The Prius Prime has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Prius Prime’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Prius Prime has standard Safety Connect™, 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 Prius Prime 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Prius Prime the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 88 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Outlander PHEV has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The Prius Prime’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Prius Prime for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander PHEV.

There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Prius Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 30th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 50 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 20th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Prius Prime gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV:

MPG

Prius Prime

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

145 city/121 hwy

Gasoline

1.8 4-cyl. Hybrid

55 city/53 hwy

Outlander PHEV

Electricity (MPGe)

Electric Motor

78 city/70 hwy

Gasoline

2.0 4-cyl. Hybrid

25 city/26 hwy

The Prius Prime’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 25 miles, 14% further than the Outlander PHEV’s 22-mile range.

Suspension and Handling

The Prius Prime 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 Prius Prime’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Outlander PHEV (106.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Prius Prime’s turning circle is 2.2 feet tighter than the Outlander PHEV’s (33.4 feet vs. 35.6 feet).

Chassis

The Toyota Prius Prime may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 pounds less than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The Prius Prime is 9.4 inches shorter in height than the Outlander PHEV, making the Prius Prime much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The front grille of the Prius Prime 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

The Prius Prime has 2.3 inches more front legroom and .9 inches more front hip room than the Outlander PHEV.

Ergonomics

The Prius Prime Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Prius Prime’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outlander PHEV’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is available on the Prius Prime. The Prius Prime’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.

The Prius Prime Limited’s Intelligent Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Prius Prime, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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