I had used the 1st gen Outlander PHEV as a loaner car during our OBC replacement and was quite impressed, so eager to see if the redesigned ‘23 with seven seats had improved the rear row in comparison to the jump seats in the back of a previous generation gas Outlander. The answer is no.
Perhaps my memories are rose-colored, but this ride was quite a disappointment. Even though battery state of charge was at 70% during my drive, the engine came to life every time I touched the accelerator with more than a feather, and regen was proportionally weak compared to an i, though was able to decelerate in keeping with normal traffic and appeared that it would be able to fully stop at most red lights. The engine seem to come back on and be used for compression braking frequently. The flappy paddle shifter did not bring on stronger regen in all the settings I tried, or the the operation was not intuitive.
I expected that the third row seats would be tight, but they are useless for anyone much over 5 foot. If the styling had been more practical with a vertical rear hatch rather than pulled forward, that very thick rear roof beam would not be obstructing third row headroom. The cargo cover is an unwieldy obstruction, especially when removed.
It was nice to see the PHEV finally rated for more towing capacity (2400 pounds IIRC), but I’d still classify this as a five seater with two emergency jump seats, and very little cargo capacity when those seats are deployed. Our 2000 Honda Odyssey with 275,000 miles will remain the reigning utility vehicle and people mover.