Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

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Samstain
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Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Samstain »

Looking at a purchasing a used Outlander PHEV as a work/weekend vehicle - would love to go full electric, but there aren't any I am aware of to suit my needs in my price range yet. So a PHEV might have to do for a few years till the market settles down again with all the coming releases.

Currently driving a Suzuki GV - does everything I need (not particularly well, but does it none the less), I need something similar that will comfortably fit 2+2, but be able to squeeze 3 baby/booster seats across the back on the odd occasion we all go somewhere in my car rather than the wife's Estima. Needs to be able to tow (1250kg at least), be able to handle a bit of off road (not full on 4WDing) with the camper, room for the dog and the weekly run to bunnings for hardware etc. The GV has done it all well, but getting rather sick of the fuel bill - $2k per year to do less than 10,000km, and that could easily become $3k per year if fuel prices spike.

I also work in the renewables/power monitoring/EV charging field, and have my home running electric only and very efficient, so burning 30L of fuel a week in the car running around doing short (generally 10 - 15km) trips just doesn't seem right.

I was lucky enough to spend a day in a current outlander PHEV, and an Ioniq recently, would love the Ioniq as a work car, but I think it would be a bit limiting on the weekend - 350km round trips to the parents farm (potentially with out much time to charge), lack of towing capacity, taking the kids MTB'ing etc.

Where as the PHEV would basically slot right in to replace the GV, even a 30km electric range would more than cover my daily running around the vast majority of the time, and I will have access to full rate charging at home, the office, and most of the work sites I visit (plus get the best parks in an EV!).

Is there anything to look out for with a used one? any particular models to avoid or check for issues with?

Have noticed some talk of a BMS issues under estimating range - is this a major issue? or only effecting a few cars? If I am generally only doing 20km trips or less, is it even going to be a major issue?

And the drain plug issues with water which I can keep an eye on.

Is the electric drive line basically the same for all the range up till now - looks like next year they are going to double the battery size?

Would likely be looking at the ES rather than the Aspire or upper end models - unless there is some compelling reason, I prefer my cars simple, (normal cruise control and air bags are great), most stuff after that I can manage myself as I prefer to 'drive' rather than be a 'passenger' relying on all the beeps and lights to tell me that I am about to run in to a tree ;)
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by zzcoopej »

Sounds like a PHEV would fit your requirements quite well. Remember this is 10 year old tech, and soon will be superseded by fully electric BEV, just waiting for the price to come down.
Samstain wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 07:14 Is there anything to look out for with a used one? any particular models to avoid or check for issues with?
Some Aussie PHEV have had pretty aggressive battery degradation, mine was replaced under warranty at 70Kkm as it was down to 72% SOH (about 35 real world km). The replacement battery is better than when we bought ours new, giving us 54km now which is fantastic.
Obviously check the battery SOH, also any damage to exhaust and battery case from off road use. The PHEV cops a bit of criticism for not being very capable off-road, however your usage should be fine. Remember to use the "Charge" button when towing 1250kg as you will get a big surprise when you try to go up a hill on a depleted battery.
Samstain wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 07:14 Is the electric drive line basically the same for all the range up till now - looks like next year they are going to double the battery size?
There was a slight boost in range for MY18/19 which is why my new battery is better than the original.
In 70Kkm on our original battery our overall economy was 3.4l/100km which is pretty great. Since replacing the battery the new figure is currently 2.1l/100km as we have not done any interstate trips yet.

If you can charge at home overnight, charging while out & about is probably a waste of effort unless there happens to be a suitable spot and you have the time. The newer MY18/19 models have CHADEMO port, the original MY13/14 only have a 3.3kW slow charge J1772 connector.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Samstain »

zzcoopej wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 14:03 Some Aussie PHEV have had pretty aggressive battery degradation, mine was replaced under warranty at 70Kkm as it was down to 72% SOH (about 35 real world km).
35km would probably still be enough to cover my 'normal' day - especially if charged at home and work. But no point putting up with a 35km range if I can have 50.

Was it hard to get it replaced (months of pestering)? or was it just a matter of getting them to do a test and them agreeing it was not up to scratch?

Looking for an older one with a suspect battery may actually be a good thing - Assuming I managed to get a new battery fitted under warranty.
zzcoopej wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 14:03 Remember to use the "Charge" button when towing 1250kg as you will get a big surprise when you try to go up a hill on a depleted battery.
I read something about that, but they didn't make it fully clear. I would have thought it would kick in automatically?

When the sales guy took me for a spin before handing over the keys, the ICE kicked in at pretty low speed on a near full battery when he floored it, I assume this was series mode? where the ICE/generator is supplying extra current capacity but no direct tractive effort - I assume this is because the electric motors can pull more amps than the battery alone (even when fully charged) can supply? So full 'electric' acceleration required the ICE to be running to supply enough amps?

Do you have to be doing at least 70k's(?) to go in to parallel mode? where the motor is supplying direct tractive effort as well as generating to supplement the batteries to keep the electric motors going?

Is that one of the issues with towing - to not get stuck in the 50-70km/hr zone where electric torque is tapering off, but the ICE is not yet directly assisting?

zzcoopej wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 14:03 If you can charge at home overnight, charging while out & about is probably a waste of effort unless there happens to be a suitable spot and you have the time. The newer MY18/19 models have CHADEMO port, the original MY13/14 only have a 3.3kW slow charge J1772 connector.
We will have a 22kW AC charger set up at work soon enough - it is currently on the floor of my office undergoing testing, that is part of the reason I am keen to get a BEV/PHEV, testing of control systems is fairly difficult/limited without a suitable vehicle to plug in to.

Most of the sites I visit also have (or are about to have) dedicated EV charging spots - and they are generally the prime spots and unlikely to be occupied.

If I went for the Ioniq, or another mid range BEV, I would likely just be charging at work once a week or so (preferably off our excess solar, or at least when we have a excess of renewable energy here in SA), however with the limit range of the Outlander PHEV, I want to get in the habit of charging when ever possible - while I could do the round trip (home-work-home) on battery alone, I pretty regularly have a detour on the way, or may need to head out again soon after getting to work/home, so would prefer to get there 2/3rds charged, rather than close to empty, so that any short additional trip could also be done on battery.

Whats the best way to get a good reading on the SOH of the battery of a used vehicle, will the display give this information? or do I need to consult the ODB? Or just take it for a 40km test drive and see if it makes it.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by brendon_m »

Samstain wrote: Wed, 13 Nov 2019, 19:44 When the sales guy took me for a spin before handing over the keys, the ICE kicked in at pretty low speed on a near full battery when he floored it, I assume this was series mode? where the ICE/generator is supplying extra current capacity but no direct tractive effort - I assume this is because the electric motors can pull more amps than the battery alone (even when fully charged) can supply? So full 'electric' acceleration required the ICE to be running to supply enough amps?
You're right, the outlander has 2x 60kW electric motors. One on each axle. So max power at the wheels is 120kW but the battery can only supply 60kW worth of energy so if you put your foot down and request more than 60kW then the petrol motor will kick in and spin the attached generator to produce (upto) another 60kW to give you the 120kw total.
Once over 70km/h the engine can link to the wheels but then the engine is no longer free to rev up to warp 9 in order to efficiently use the generator and you may go backwards in battery capacity if demanding a lot of power ie towing up hills.
If that goes on too long, you can end up with a flat battery, a generator that can't spin fast enough to generate enough power and an ICE with a poor gear ratio connected to the wheels :(
Simple solution is to hit the charge button to keep the battery topped up for the power hungry parts of the drive

Otherwise its all pretty seamless but if you have ever driven a car with a CVT it sounds a bit like that.
I generally make it a challenge to put my foot down as hard as possible without letting the engine start. A phev box would make that easier but it's fun to set challenges while driving. I also quite like the "Im not going to disengage the cruise control on this winding road" challenge.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Samstain »

cool thanks, that all makes sense.

Any indication on how MMAL are handling the battery degredation - are those with genuine issues getting theirs replaced without too much fuss?

I have only seen a few complaints on forums, but these days you always get someone grumbling about something, even if there is nothing wrong with the product and they have simply miss-understood its expected performance - apparently one guy bought one expecting the full 500 odd km range in BEV mode, not 50km EV + 450km hybrid.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by zzcoopej »

Samstain wrote: Thu, 14 Nov 2019, 06:47 Any indication on how MMAL are handling the battery degredation - are those with genuine issues getting theirs replaced without too much fuss?
MMAL are quite easy to deal with since plenty of owners (led by uTube "unpluggedEV" and teamPHEV) have paved the way, 3 stern emails and about 3 months waiting is all it took me. You need to refer to the claimed degradation on their original website (now removed) which said no more than 20% "over the life of the vehicle" (life = 10 years according to MMAL).
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by mikedufty »

I had a vague intention to get one once they come down to around $20k, but now they are getting there the stories of battery degradation are a bit off putting.
I've test driven the 2014 and 2018 and the 2018 was much more impressive, seemed to do the transition from battery to engine much better, and I think has a built in EV mode. Might just be that I had lower expectations by the time I got to that one though, and probably need to wait another 5 years for the 2018s to come down to 20k.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Samstain »

yeah, I still need to do more research - probably biggest concern for me at the moment is servicing cost, and the potential for a big bill if something goes wrong.

My petrol hungry GV cost bugger all to service - as I do most of it myself and as it does a limited number of km.

If I get a PHEV, am I still going to be up for the $750 annual service, even if the motor has only run for the equivalent of a few hundred km in that time? Am I better off waiting a bit longer for a suitable BEV to become available and skip all the servicing.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by mikedufty »

I think Tesla are the only EV manufacturer that suggest annual servicing is optional.
Our Delica D:5 (same platform as petrol outlander) is around $300 annual service.
iMiEV (full BEV Mitsubishi) was around $250. Price of oil is the only difference.
(Mitsubishi actually say both need to be serviced every 6 months but I have ignored that).
I think the bigger issue is all EVs being niche vehicles at the moment you can be off the road a long time if something goes wrong.
Took 7 months for a charger fault on our iMiEV, and I think some people have had long waits with the PHEV too.
(to be fair, also happens with ICE vehicles, and Mitsubishi did provide a loan vehicle).
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by rhills »

My experiences with owning our PHEV since 2014 are:
  • Virtually seamless transition between battery/electric drive, engine charging + electric drive, engine direct drive + charging
  • Some pretty complex technology that just works™ (electric drive/charging/engine drive/charging, adaptive cruise control)
  • Long outages if anything serious goes wrong - Mitsubishi dealers seem to know little about troubleshooting/servicing these vehicles
  • If your driving patterns suit the vehicle, as mine do, most daily drives <50km, and/or destination chargers usually available, you can get by on very little petrol.
We've had two long outages due to technical issues, one of which necessitated replacing the traction battery, though fortunately covered by insurance. But despite these major issues, we love this vehicle.

My advice is: finish up your research and just buy one. There is no such thing as the perfect vehicle. If you're hanging out for the EV grin, you won't regret buying an Outlander PHEV.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Rando-M »

Hi folks. I just bought a 2014 Outlander phev third hand with 95,000 on the clock. Beautiful condition, but the battery is down to 34 km (29 if aircon on). I’ve booked it in at the nearest dealer (Bendigo) to get the battery officially measured, and am a bit surprised to learn from the warranty book that the warranty goes with the vehicle....so there’s a possibility of making a claim for another battery. Seems unlikely to me that Mitzu do this willingly, and I’ve learned that I’d need a copy of the old promise that they have since removed evidence of, the ‘no lower than 80% in eight years’. Can anybody help me with that please?
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

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Rando-M wrote: Fri, 24 Jan 2020, 09:06 warranty goes with the vehicle....so there’s a possibility of making a claim for another battery. Seems unlikely to me that Mitzu do this willingly, and I’ve learned that I’d need a copy of the old promise that they have since removed evidence of, the ‘no lower than 80% in eight years’. Can anybody help me with that please?
Yep, you should be fine with a warranty claim. PM me if you want details, however the claim process is pretty well trodden path so you shouldn't have any problems dealing with MMAL, unless the staff we dealt with have since left the company or changed roles.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by Rando-M »

Thanks.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by EVdownUnder »

Dear Outlander PHEV owners,
After a year in my Kona, I am looking to replace my wife’s car with something more logical (green) than our Outback.
95% of her daily trips are below 40km. Once or twice a year she goes off the beaten track for a week or 2 for research and need more ground clearance than my Kona and 4WD. The 24kWh Leaf could be an option if renting for those rare trips, but the more obvious solution would be the Outlander PHEV. But is it? A decent 2014 Leaf is less than $20k, a 2.4L Outlander PHEV goes for about double that. That is a lot of days rent. I am considering the 2.4L only (I think) as I nearly bought the 2.0L a few years ago but after a full weekend test, I decided to go with a Honda CR-V due to a vastly more silent and refined ride, and as I drive an average of 100km a day with frequent 300 to 400km in a day, the maths didn’t compute. (The 1.5L turbo of the Honda is more powerful than the 2.5L Outback and uses about 1.5L less fuel per 100km, and they had a 7 year warranty offer at the time)
Questions:
To preserve the battery long term, can the Outlander be set to stop charging at 80 or 90%?
Could one of you confirm if the difference between the 2.0 and 2.4L is noticeable? Is it a more comfortable (quiet) and capable drive?
Has the battery changed from 12 to 13.8kWh at the same time as the 2.0 to 2.4L ICE?
Is the quoted 54km range achievable if driving gently?
Any other comments/advice/options very welcome.
Thank you in advance.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by rhills »

We've owned an Outlander PHEV since new in 2014 and we love it. We've had the batteries and BMS replaced because of a water ingress issue caused by underbody damage dislodging a silicon plug from the battery module - all detailed elsewhere in this forum, and probably as a result I'm still getting 50km range pretty easily with gentle driving, so I'd imagine it wouldn't be hard to get the claimed 54km from the larger battery.

Our older vehicle doesn't have any built-in option to stop the charge at 80 or 90%. I've not had anything to do with the 2020 model so I can't comment. I can't say I've found the 2.0L engine overly noisy, but my hearing isn't that wonderful and the engine runs very rarely and mostly when at highway speeds when other noise (tyres, wind) tend to compete anyway. I probably feel the engine vibration more than hear it. Overall, I love driving the Outlander still after 6 years of ownership, with the Adaptive Cruise control and adjustable regenerative breaking being standout features for me.

I haven't been off-road much in the Outlander but I'd expect it to be as capable as an Outback. Given our experience with the traction battery module drain plugs, I'd recommend inspecting the underside of the battery module carefully after any underbody scrapes, but one should probably be doing that with any vehicle anyway.

HTH,
Rob Hills
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by zzcoopej »

EVdownUnder wrote: Sun, 01 Nov 2020, 21:12 Questions:
To preserve the battery long term, can the Outlander be set to stop charging at 80 or 90%?
No, however there are top and bottom SOC buffers built into the battery charging to supposedly make this unnecessary.
EVdownUnder wrote: Sun, 01 Nov 2020, 21:12 Has the battery changed from 12 to 13.8kWh at the same time as the 2.0 to 2.4L ICE?
Yes
EVdownUnder wrote: Sun, 01 Nov 2020, 21:12 Could one of you confirm if the difference between the 2.0 and 2.4L is noticeable? Is it a more comfortable (quiet) and capable drive?
I have not personally driven the 2.4, however the 2.0 is only noisy if you let SOC go down to minimum (ie -- range remaining) and then attempt a steep-ish hill. If you don't like that high revving ICE noise, you can simply press "Save" when you have about 5km range remaining, so there is always a few kWh to support the ICE on hills.
EVdownUnder wrote: Sun, 01 Nov 2020, 21:12 Is the quoted 54km range achievable if driving gently?
Yes, when the battery is new, however it will soon come down. Expect around 43km with the old battery after the "honemoon" period, and 49km from the larger battery after the first year.
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Re: Used Outlander PHEV - concerns/risks

Post by EVdownUnder »

Thank you both. You’ve answered all my questions and more.
I would have liked a way to stop at 90% charge as for all the marketing wizardry, the Outlander has had its share of battery issues. All EVs have built-in buffers, but those buffers are still a balance between best range and longevity.
I do love the fact that the Outlander has similar paddle adjustable regen as the Hyundai EVs. After a year in the Kona I would struggle without it.
The way to save charge for a specific time/hill is a great feature, and 45+km range is good enough. And it’s not like there is another 4WD SUV PHEV anyhow...
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Prime would have been a good option but I promised never to buy a Toyota (or Subaru) due to their conscious effort to slow EV progress and their shameful "plug-free" and "self-charging" marketing campaign.
Rob, your average consumption is a testament that for the right usage, a PHEV is a great solution.
For someone driving less than the EV range per day and willing to plug every night, a PHEV is an EV with a backup plan.
Time to go and try one again.
Ceramic blue Kona Highlander - Current stats:
As of 26 October 2020 (13.5 months of ownership)
40'000km at an average speed of 57km/h
126Wh/km from new
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