Coming up with an unused name for your new vehicle can be hard, and without brand name recognition, selling it can be even harder. That’s why Mitsubishi can’t be faulted for reusing its Outlander moniker on its new CUV, and adding “Sport” to a smaller version of a vehicle is a time-honored tradition. But unlike most, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earns its name by ditching almost all the faux off-roader gingerbread that’s fashionable in the segment these days in favor of a taut, sports-car look more befitting the brand that built the beatified Evo line.
What's New for 2018
There are many changes afoot for Mitsubishi’s 2018 Outlander Sport. Styling-related changes include a revised grille, paint color changes, a new rear fascia with chrome trim on the tailgate, and a new center console design. There's also a new generation continuously variable transmission (CVT) for the 2.4-liter engine. Various standard equipment is different across the range, while SEL models get a new Touring Package. Prices have risen by $700 over 2017 Outlander Sports, and the GT trim level is gone while a new Limited Edition trim debuts.
Choosing Your Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The first step in picking an Outlander Sport trim is choosing which engine suits best. As their names suggest, the first two trim levels – ES 2.0 and LE 2.0 – come equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. SE 2.4 and SEL 2.4 trims get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 168 hp and 167 lb-ft.
EPA ratings on the 2.0 are 24 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined, while the 2.4 isn’t far behind at 23 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined. All-wheel drive – called All-Wheel Control or AWC by Mitsubishi – adds $1,500 to all trim levels equipped with the CVT, which is all of them save the base ES 2.0 that gets a five-speed manual (adding the CVT to it runs $1,200). Fuel economy drops one mpg on the highway on any model with AWD.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has four available trims:
Of all the Outlander Sport trims, only the LE sets itself apart with unique trim and badging. If you're happy with the 2.0-liter engine and want your Outlander Sport to have some “personality,” it’s the way to go regardless of its number of driven wheels. Those looking to get the 2.4-liter motor have a choice: either get an SE and save $1,500 or go all-in for the SEL’s leather, panoramic glass roof, and access to the Touring Package.