2018 Outlander Sport New Car Test Drive
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a compact SUV that's capable and affordable. Price is its main virtue, and selling point, because it competes against more stylish cars with better powertrains, cabins, handling, and fuel mileage. Among them: Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Chevy Trax, Hyundai Tucson.
It got a full makeover for 2016, so the 2017 Outlander Sport is unchanged for except new fabric upholstery in the lowest-priced model.
Outlander Sport comes with a choice of 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with front- or all-wheel drive. The smaller engine is slow and doesn't get much better fuel mileage than the 2.4 liter. It makes 148 horsepower mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The 2.4-liter engine makes 168 horsepower, same as the least powerful Ford Escape, and comes only with the CVT. With all-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon City, 27 Highway, and 24 Combined. With front-wheel drive, it gets one more mpg. The front-wheel-drive model with the 2.0 engine gets 24/30/27 mpg.
One piece of good news is that Mitsubishi is just about the most experienced carmaker in the world when it comes to all-wheel drive. The Outlander Sport system is called AWC, for all-wheel control, and is proven and sophisticated. Also, the five-year, 60,000-mile comprehensive warranty is very good.
In crashworthiness safety, the NHTSA gives it four stars overall, with four stars for frontal and rollover crash testing. The IIHS gives it mostly Good scores except for the difficult small-overlap front crash test, where it's Acceptable.
Outlander Sport ES ($19,795) comes with the 2.0, manual transmission, front-wheel drive, fabric upholstery, automatic climate controls, Bluetooth, 18-inch wheels. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Outlander Sport SE, SEL, and GT all use the 2.4-liter engine with CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard on SE and SEL. Outlander Sport GT is available with all-wheel drive, called AWC (all-wheel control).
Outlander Sport SE adds fog lights, heated front seats, a 6.1-inch touchscreen, upgraded stereo system, rearview camera, and keyless ignition. SEL adds automatic headlights, power adjustable driver's seat, leather seats, rain-sensing wipers, chrome exterior accents, and paddle shifters for its CVT.
Outlander Sport GT AWC ($27,695) adds a sunroof, nine-speaker sound system, and navigation.
Unlike most of its competitors, the Outlander Sport doesn't offer advanced safety features such as forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, or blind-spot monitors.