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Need advice on a mid-size PHEV

4190 Views 104 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  VW TECHNICIAN
Those who hate PHEV, please don't post in this thread. No reason to.

I need a mid-size PHEV available in the US that I can drive in town on electric only drivetrain but that can be used as a regular gasoline vehicle for long road trips without having to plan my route ahead of time and having to exclude certain scenic drives due to the lack of charging infrastructure along the way. I need the electric-only range to be at least 40 miles.

My ideal vehicle is the Li L9, but, of course, it's not available in the US. I need the cargo space to have at least 45 cubic feet behind the second row seats. I don't care about the 3rd row either way.

Is there anything remotely close to what I'm looking for? I've run out of options. One vehicle I stumbled upon the other day was the Lincoln Aviator PHEV, but the trim I would consider costs north of $85,000, which is not something I'm prepared to pay for a PHEV with rather short EV-only range at this time. However, it's torque is pretty good, allowing it to do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, which is very respectable for a gasoline vehicle of that size. I think the Kia Telluride PHEV could fit the bill (price-wise), but it doesn't exist (yet).

Kia Sorento PHEV could be a candidate, but the electric-only range is kind of short (around 32 miles) and it seems kind of anemic to accelerate 0-60. So, I'm still looking.
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A used Chevy Volt would be my choice - Anything newer than mid 2017 can be had with most of the features you'd want - Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane keep assist and so on, Find a NICE one with less than 20 or 25K on it and you'll be all set for $20K or less. I had one for 3 years and if a PHEV is your thing, IMO it's one of the best out there . . . . for a reasonable price. The chassis is all set up to be a proper EV and the way they integrate the gas engine into the mix is revolutionary, to say the least. 40 MPG+ at 70 MPH on gas from a 4,500 pound car. Cadillac had models using the same drive train for several years, but they're a little harder to find
I need the cargo space to have at least 45 cubic feet behind the second row seats. I don't care about the 3rd row either way.
Is the Passat PHEV available in your market?
Don’t know, but I need an SUV.
If you want on the more manageable size side - there is the Kia Niro PHEV (2023) packed full of utility and tech. There is also the Sportage PHEV and the Sorento PHEV...going up in sizes. All have pretty decent EV only range, packed full of tech, 2 are made in the U.S. and super long warranties. We have a 330e and an ID.4 - IMHO its the best blend for a garage - my commute is pretty predictable and fits within the ID.4 range and I know when I have to be in the office a day before, my husbands can be last minute and is a stretch for the ID.4, so the 330e works perfectly for that use case as well.
I need the cargo space to have at least 45 cubic feet behind the second row seats. I don't care about the 3rd row either way.

This pretty much rules out everything KIA besides the Sorento PHEV. However, its electric range is barely usable for my use case. I’d like something with over 40 miles of electric range at a mimimim.
In that case XC90 PHEV is good (I assume that is available in your market).
I’ll look into it. Thanks.

Edit: XC90 PHEV electric range is about 20 miles. Useless to my use case.
This is what I want:

I wish they offered diesel engine with this hybrid would be absolute king of miles per gallon of diesel
They do on Kia Sportage PHEV in Australia.
I have small property in Australia but for vacation time.
The question is are you willing to move there to get this type of vehicle.
The trunk space is too small. I need at least 45 cubic feet.
I don’t think anything exists today. 45 cubic feet of cargo room rules out any 2-row SUV.
Kia Sorento PHEV has 45 cubic feet of trunk space behind the second row of seats.
If you can live with 33 cu ft of cargo space the RAV 4 Prime fits all your other criteria, and it is a rocket.
I need 45 cubic feet at a minimum.
Outlander PHEV is on its way.
I need 45 cubic feet of cargo area behind the second row of seats.
That is funny! We had the Outlander PHEV was marketed in the UK from 2014-2021 now the US are getting it…
We are getting a new generation one with double the battery. We’ve had the previous generation for years now.

Unfortunately, this new generation comes with CHAdeMO because it’s highly influenced by Nissan. What an asinine decision.
Then I guess your decision is made. (y)
It doesn’t have enough electric range.
Hmmmm... then I guess there's really no suitable PHEV given all constraints (esp. including price point).

Although again I don't hate PHEV's this is one of the reasons I consider them a "stop-gap" technology.
The PHEVs that are for sale here in the US are definitely all lacking in either size or range (or both). However, the Li L9 and Li One are exactly the PHEVs that would make a tremendous amount of sense. They are fully electric EVs with about 80 miles of real-life electric range and an onboard engine used purely as a generator to charge the battery. The drivetrain of Li vehicles is purely electric. With 80 miles of all electric range, virtually 100% of everyday driving can be completely electric. Only on road trips would gasoline be used, which removes the biggest obstacle to EV ownership because one could use this type of vehicle as a purely gasoline vehicle during road tips.
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They were very reliable. Bit of an oddball from a charging perspective.

Here is the Chronology:
  • Nissan launched the LEAF with Type-1 connector (same one you guys use in the US) for AC charging at 3.6-6kW and ChaDeMo for DC charging at 50kW.
  • Renault launched the Zoe with a Type-2 connector for AC charging between 3.6-43kW. Yes you read it correctly Renault went down a "AC rapid-charging" route.
  • Chargers were installed along major routes with both Type-2 AC and ChaDeMo charging cables.
  • Tesla came along with their own proprietary charging connector and "walled garden" charging facilities.
  • By 2013 Type-2 and CCS had won the "format war" and over the next few years: Tesla, Nissan, and everyone else, switched to Type-2 CCS.
  • However long after everyone else had switched to Type-2 CCS, Mitsubishi were selling a PHEV fitted with the now-defunct Type-1 and ChaDeMo connectors. Great if you'd had an old LEAF so had a hardwired Type-1 charging point at home. And originally there was still some public charging infrastructure with the old connectors, but it was no-longer maintained so unlikely to work.
The 2023 Outlander PHEV coming to Mitsubishi dealerships any day now are outfitted with CHAdeMo for DC charging and J1772 for AC charging. Why would they put CHAdeMo in a brand new PHEV for the 2023 MY is inexplicable. Did anyone at Mitsubishi ask the product manager what the hell he was thinking? CHAdeMO charging infrastructure is on its way out. Yes, it still exists, but 10 years from now it will be a defunct DC charging standard in North America. I know that Circuit Électrique (subsidiary of Hydro Quebec, owned by the Government of Quebec) is still installing (or has recently been installing) 50 kW DC chargers with a CHAdeMO handle, but in the US, this is a dying standard. I think in other Canadian provinces, CHAdeMO is also on its way out.

How can there be such an obvious oversight?
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If Tesla, Nissan, and everyone else can switch to CCS, Why can't Mitsubishi?
Nissan’s 2023 Leafs are still on CHAdeMO in NA.
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Does it really matter what kind of DCFC port a PHEV has? Why would anyone be fast charging them? With 40 miles of range, wouldn’t you just be charging at home with Level 1 or 2? Surely you wouldn’t go on a road trip and want to fast charge every 40 miles.
Then, why put a DC charging port on it an all?
Tesla still uses their proprietary connector in NA too.

Beautiful analogy. Were you like a debate champion at one point?
I've found a dealership that is getting an 2023 Outlander PHEV SEL (unspoken for) in a week. This is an expensive vehicle in the SEL trim. I would need it to have the Premium package, which makes it around $50,000. On the other hand, it gets $7,500 in federal tax credit if sold before January 1, 2023.

I've done some more reading and watching on the 2023 Outlander PHEV, and it seems to be a pretty decent cargo space (33.5 cubic feet behind the second-row seats): 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander 3rd Row Seating & Cargo | Mitsubishi Motors

ID.4 has 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, while Model Y has 30.2 cubic feet behind the second-row seats (but Model Y has 4 cubic feet of space in the frunk). So, the total amount of cargo space in the Model Y (with the second-row seats up) is 34.2 cubic feet, whereas the 2023 Outlander PHEV has 33.5 cubic feet of space). Because this space is all in the same area in the 2023 Outlander PHEV, this cargo space can probably be used more efficiently than in the Model Y, so I would say the Model Y and the 2023 Outlander PHEV have the same amount of cargo space.

Additionally, it appears that the 2023 Outlander PHEV has a fully electric drivetrain with two electric motors (one on each axle). It's a permanent AWD. There is a 4-cylinder gasoline engine that can be used in two modes: one is as a pure generator for the 20 kW battery; the other as a direct drive for the front axel. There is not a lot of information on this vehicle yet, so I'm not sure if it's possible to select whether to use the gasoline engine as in a generator-only mode; however, it appears that the gasoline engine doesn't come in unless the battery is near empty, at which point there may (or may not) be a way to select how the gasoline engine would be used.

Personally, I would prefer driving this vehicle as a pure EV in town (as long as I'm staying within the battery range, which is 38 miles) and then use the gasoline engine as a generator only (while driving in town if I've exceeded the battery range). However, when going on a road trip, I would prefer allowing the engine to drive the front axle directly (maybe) because I've heard somewhere that it's more efficient when driving the front axle instead of being used as a generator. The details as to how the gasoline engine is used in the 2023 Outlander PHEV are very scarce at the moment.

I would probably get 97% of driving in the 2023 Outlander PHEV on electric battery only, which is excellent. The battery charges at 3.5 kW on J1772, which is slow, but it will charge to 100% in less than 6 hours, so it can be recharged every night to get another 38 miles. I could probably even charge it to 80% and still stay daily within the battery range (but it will be close). The SEL trim gets the CHAdeMO DC charging capability at up to 50 kW. I it charges 0 to 80% in about 38 minutes, which is a questionable feature.

This is getting closer to the concept of the Li L9, but we are still a long way off. I would need to have 80-miles of real-time battery range and 45-50 cubic feet of cargo space behind second row to consider it a perfect vehicle for my needs.
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There are some great mild hybrids on the market now and some plug in hybrids that don't deliver what you need.
Spent half a day yesterday calling every Ford dealer (about 15), every Lincoln dealer, and every Kia dealer in my metro area. Ford Explorer hybrid is not available anywhere in my metro area. There were only a few sold in the past year. US Southeast doesn't get much allocation for hybrids, according to Ford. Lincoln Aviator PHEV (really too expensive) is not available anywhere in my metro area. The wait time to get either one on a pre-order is 4-6 months best case scenario. Kia Sorento PHEV isn't available anywhere in the US Southeast at this time. There is no pre-order with Kia, but they will happily charge you $10,000 over MSRP to try to get one for you. Kia Sportage PHEV hasn't yet been seen anywhere in the Southeast. I know RAV4 PHEV is impossible to get either and the wait time is like 8-12 months on it.

So, it's not so easy to get a hybrid or a PHEV. Every dealer I've called so far has told me that the supply of hybrids and PHEVs is basically non-existing in the Southeast.
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