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).

Performance Pros

Mitsubishi Lancer

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.

Performance Cons

  • 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.

Interior Pros

Mitsubishi Lancer
  • 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.

Interior Cons

  • 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.