Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, also known as plug-in hybrids and PHEVs, are making a lot of headway in the auto industry. Two automakers found here at Miami Lakes Automall, Kia Motors and Mitsubishi Motors, are really getting into the plug-in hybrid segment. With both automakers making alternative fuel vehicles, especially Kia, and new models planned for the future (hybrid SUVs by Mitsubishi Motors and the Kia Telluride), we thought we’d take a look at all the two offer. Prior to 2018, Kia Motors only had one plug-in hybrid – the Optima PHEV. Now that the Kia Niro PHEV is a out, a plug-in hybrid crossover, let’s compare both plug-ins with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
We already covered the Kia Niro PHEV and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, so feel free to review it for a bite-size version of all we will be covering here.
All three vehicles being covered today have a plug-in hybrid system running the unit. Kia Motors has a name for its hybrid system, called a “Full Parallel Hybrid System” with the gasoline engine size as its prefix. For example, all 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrids are run by a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine and Full Parallel Hybrid System. One part of the powertrain is a 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine, optimized via dual continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) and gasoline direct injection (GDI). The 1.6L engine generates 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque. The other part of the powertrain is an AC synchronous permanent magnet motor that generates 60 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, powered by an 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. When both parts of the powertrain work together, they can generate up to 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
Powered by a similar setup is the Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid. The gasoline engine is optimized by the same design systems (GDI, CVVT, and DOHC) but is a little larger, being a 2.0-liter engine that can generate 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. The electric part of the PHEV powertrain is an interior-permanent magnet synchronous motor that generates 66 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, powered by a 9.8 kwh lithium polymer battery. Together, the system can generate 202 horsepower and 276 lb-ft of torque.
Then there’s the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. The Outlander PHEV is made up of a 2.0-liter DOHC engine optimized with MIVEC, Mitsubishi’s brand name of VVT. The gasoline engine portion can generate 117 horsepower and 137 lb-ft of torque. Making up the rest of the PHEV powertrain is a twin AC synchronous permanent magnetic motor, or two electric motors (one in the front and one in the back). The front motor has an output of 80 horsepower and 101 lb-ft of torque; the rear motor has an output of the same horsepower, but can generate 143 lb-ft of torque.
Going the Distance
Depending on why the consumer is getting a plug-in hybrid might determine whether they get one of the Kia Motors PHEVs or the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Here’s why – when it comes to driving long distances, the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid gets around 105 MPGe, an electric-only driving distance of 26 miles and a total driving distance of 560 miles, not including possible charging from regenerative braking. The Kia Optima Plug-in Hybrid has similar numbers, with an MPGe of 103 and an electric-only range of up to 29 miles, but comes out on top with a total driving range of 610 miles! That shedding of the crossover weight really adds a lot, eh?
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is great for the day-to-day errands as it averages 74 MPGe, can travel up to 22 miles when driven purely on electricity, and it has a total driving range of 310 miles. There’s a bit of a difference, but nothing groundbreaking for the daily driver. If looking for savings, keep in mind the federal tax credit plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are eligible for, and the savings one can get by driving on electricity. All three cars cost less than $2 to get enough charge for 25 miles of electric-only driving distance, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
So are you looking for long drives this summer or interested in a plug-in hybrid while staying local? We have all kinds of alternative fuel vehicles at Miami Lakes Automall.
Photo Source/Copyright: Kia.com and MitsubishiCars.com
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