The junior crossover in the Mitsubishi lineup, the five-passenger Outlander Sport woos buyers with its easy price and muscular styling. Like most entries in this class, it delivers a mix of economy and versatility that's just right for family life.
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2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Overview
What's New for 2016
The Outlander Sport gets a new grilled along with minor equipment updates. An upscale SEL trim level debuts.
Choosing Your Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Not to be confused with the regular Outlander, the Outlander Sport is shorter, weighs less, and comes standard with meaty 18-inch wheels. Maximum cargo space comes in at 49.5 cubic feet, which puts the Sport closer to the subcompact crossover class.
The standard 2-liter four-cylinder puts out 148 horsepower and comes with your choice of a five-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Most models are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, which puts out 168 horsepower and comes only with the CVT. All-wheel drive is available with both engines, but requires an upgrade to the CVT with the 2-liter.
The Outlander Sport now comes in four trim levels:
Major individual options include navigation, remote start, and front and rear parking sensors.
Unless you must have a manual transmission, upgrading to the SE is money well spent. It carries almost everything buyers want in this class. Whether to splurge on the SEL or GT depends on how much luxury you're willing to pay for.
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review
Mitsubishi's entry-level crossover, the Outlander Sport sets out to deliver plenty of features and youthful looks at an economical price. It certainly succeeds in that regard, even if it isn't as sophisticated as newer rivals.
Pricing and Equipment
The high-content SEL trim level joins the lineup this year, bring the number of available models to four:
- For $19,595, the base ES gives you features like heated mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a four-speaker sound system, and a split-folding rear seat.
- The SE ($22,495) adds some nice features for the price, including keyless ignition, heated front seats, a rearview camera, satellite and HD radio, and a standard automatic transmission.
- The $23,995 SEL
- At the top of line, the GT throws in xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, ambient interior lighting, and a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system for $25,995.
Individual options for all models include navigation ($1,800), remote start ($595), and rear parking sensors ($395).
The Outlander Sport starts out with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine good for 148 horsepower, matched to a five-speed manual transmission. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional on the base ES ($1,200) and standard everywhere else. The SEL and GT receive a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 168 horsepower.
All models are eligible for all-wheel drive ($1,400), which requires the CVT.
Performance highlights includes:
- Fuel Efficiency: Expect about 28 mpg in combined city and highway driving with base engine, or 25 mpg with the 2.4-liter. The optional all-wheel drive system reduces efficiency by 1-2 mpg.
- Steering/Handling: We found the the Outlander Sport to be quick and nimble in urban traffic, very much like a small passenger car.
- Acceleration: The 2.4-liter makes this a swift little crossover, even with the extra weight of all-wheel drive.
- The base 2-liter feels rather harsh compared to more contemporary engines in this class.
- The CVT is designed to draw out maximum power, so it often feels as though you're flogging the engine to death.
- There's more room inside than you would expect in the smallest class of crossover, including up to 50 cubic feet of cargo space.
- The relatively low floor makes it easy to load kids and cargo.
- The interior is all about function, not style. The quality of materials is merely acceptable.
- The Outlander Sport is really a four-seater in our view. Three can fit in the back only if they're all small children.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
You can throw in every option imaginable, and the MSRP still stays comfortably under $30,000.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Accident-avoidance technology is seriously lacking. The most you can get is a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.
The Bottom Line
The Outlander Sport remains a solid choice for couples and small families whose top priority is economy.
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