Mitsubishi is still hanging on the fiercely competitive U.S. market. Their bid to return to profitability has seen the company shift away from less-profitable sedans toward crossovers. To that end, they’ve eliminated once-popular vehicles from their inventory, such as the Lancer. Instead, they’re focusing on maintaining a competitive position with the Outlander and Outlander Sport SUVs. That’s no bad thing, however, since they’ve made their crossovers significantly better in recent years. The Outlander and Outlander Sport offer attractive affordability in a manageable package. The Outlander Sport, in particular, appeals to a wide audience thanks to its lower base price. If you’re feeling flush and wish to improve on the base ES, you can buy an SE or a fully-loaded Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL.
ES models are available in front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, branded All Wheel Control. Mitsubishi fits its base versions with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine connected to a five-speed manual gearbox as standard or optionally to an INVECS-III Sportronic CVT. SE models are also available in either drive configuration, but are powered by a larger 2.4-liter engine solely mated to the CVT transmission. SEL models have the same 2.4-liter engine and CVT as the SE, but feature more creature comforts.
Mitsubishi has worked hard to move their crossovers up into a more premium category. The 2018 Outlander family, including the new Sport, steps up to a higher level of sophistication. They’ve improved the car’s overall quality, driving dynamics, technological offerings and efficiency.
The Outlander Sport is Mitsubishi’s top-selling model, offering both reliability and affordability. 2018 models arrive with new exterior and interior enhancements, and Mitsubishi has added a new optional Touring Package to entice buyers. Mitsubishi freshened up the car’s exterior with a new front and rear bumper design and LED running lights. Inside, they’ve fitted a 7-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a newly designed floor console and a new shift lever. The optional Touring Package comes with a panoramic roof and advanced safety features including Forward Collision Mitigation and Lane Departure Warning. There are also Automatic High Beams and all-around improvements to noise and ride quality. For you audiophiles, the Touring Package also includes a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate Premium Audio System.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Last year’s interior enhancements included a knit headliner and new cloth seat contrast seat stitching. They’ve also freshened up appearance with a new chrome logo, steering wheel accent, and additional center console padding. There was also a new auto headrest fold function, along with a new auto flip-up seat cushion. Mitsubishi has been considerate with their choice of features you get for your money. While, unfortunately, it doesn’t have Blind Spot Monitoring, you do get power-folding mirrors and heated front seats.
My test car was the fully-loaded Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL with All Wheel Control. Mitsubishi finished this particular Outlander Sport in Mercury Gray metallic with a black interior. Pricing for the 2.4 SEL model starts at $25,895. The final tally came to $29,110 after adding the Touring Package, an accessory tonneau cover and carpeted floor mats.
The My Mitsubishi Connect app is available on both Android and Apple devices and offers access to service packages. The Safeguard services package within the app includes Automatic Collision Notification, emergency and roadside assistance, and a mileage tracker. It will also notify you if your car is stolen. The Remote services package includes climate control functions, remote lock/unlock, as well as curfew services like geofencing and speed alerts. The Mitsubishi Connect infotainment system can be paired with both Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, as well as Google Assistant on compatible smartphones, and Google Home.
In base ES models, the 2.0-liter engine produces 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4-liter, as you’d expect, offers up more punch. The more powerful option makes 168 horsepower while developing 167 lb-ft of torque. The compulsory CVT doesn’t help the Outlander Sport make its case for speed. However, it offers up smooth acceleration, and there is a sport feature for a sharper experience.
The Outlander Sport manages to blend pleasing driving dynamics with rugged good looks, functionality and versatility. It’s not only comfortable, but agile as well. Four-wheel drive versions may be operated on-the-fly using a button mounted just ahead of the shift lever.
Fortunately, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is attainable for a wide range of consumers thanks to its broad price range across the model lineup. The available optional features are also reasonably priced, allowing consumers to personally equip their selected Outlander Sport model to best fulfill their requirements and desires. Should you happen to feel the need for a larger crossover, the Outlander delivers more features in a bigger, yet still quite manageable package.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes with a generous warranty program including a 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty and a 7-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty. So, if you’re shopping for a premium compact crossover, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is definitely worthy of serious consideration. Check out the video below of the Sport’s larger brother to see how Mitsubishi’s AWC system performs on Gold Mine Hill. Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for the latest news, views and reviews on your favorite new models!
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC
|Price as Tested:||$29,110|
|Engine:||2.4-liter MIVEC inline four-cylinder|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Transversely-mounted front-engine, all-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||168 hp @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque:||167 lb-ft @ 4,100 RPM|
|Transmission:||INVECS-III CVT Sportronic|
|Suspension:||Front: MacPherson strut w/ stabilizer bar
Rear: Multi-link w/ stabilizer bar
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) w/ ABS, EBD, and Brake Assist|
|Tires:||Nexen N Priz RH7 P225/55 R18 97H|
|Fuel capacity:||15.8 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||23 City/28 Highway/25 Combined MPG|
|Turning Circle:||34.8 feet|
|Curb Weight:||3,285 pounds|