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2023 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid Rated IIHS Top Safety Pick

mitsubishi outlander phev 2023 exterior front angle oem scaled jpg 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV | Manufacturer image

We’ve gained a new appreciation for the Mitsubishi Outlander following its recent redesign. Now riding on the same architecture as the Nissan Rogue, the compact three-row SUV boasts a newfound refinement and sense of style. To top it all off, the plug-in hybrid version now boasts a Top Safety Pick ribbon from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Related: 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Review: Quicker, Heavier, Pricier

IIHS awards two tiers of safety honors, Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+. For 2023, the Institute toughened criteria for both: Vehicles must earn good ratings in three frontal crash tests and a revised side crash test in which the barrier striking the vehicle is heavier and traveling faster than previous iterations of the test. (IIHS rates crash-test performance on a scale of good, acceptable, marginal and poor.) In the side test, an acceptable rating is, well, acceptable for TSP selection.

Additionally, headlights must rate at least acceptable on all trim levels — simplifying selection for vehicles where upper trims are fitted with upgraded headlights — and the vehicle must pass a daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian crash-prevention test with one of the two top ratings. (IIHS rates active systems such as crash prevention on a scale of superior, advanced and basic.)

Outlander Plug-in Hybrids (now formally spelled out, per Mitsubishi) built after May qualify for the TSP award as the brand made several updates to the SUV, among them changes to the front driver-side torso airbag. The 2023 Outlander Plug-in Hybrid also comes with a standard front crash prevention system that earns a superior rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian test and a good rating for its LED headlights across all trim levels.

To qualify for the TSP+ rating, a vehicle needs to record a good or acceptable performance in a nighttime version of the pedestrian test, which IIHS has not yet conducted. The gas-only Outlander earned TSP+ honors in 2022, but that was before the criteria were tightened. IIHS told via email that it will be performing additional testing later, so the PHEV could get a status update then.

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