2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Thoroughly Competent Peace of Mind [Review]


2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
[Photo: Mitsubishi]

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is more competent than you might think, and it has a great powertrain warranty.

It’s a shame many Americans likely will overlook the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. That’s a shame, because this outfit has made major competition-event winning cars and trucks. Mitsubishi is trying hard to make a comeback in this country. There are vehicles like the upcoming Eclipse Cross. Then there’s this – the all-wheel drive 2018 Outlander Sport SEL 2.4 AWC. The Outlander “Sport” shouldn’t be confused with the regular Outlander, which is larger and, per the omission in its name, less sporty. Not that the Outlander Sport offers a dynamic experience either, because it’s rather heavy for its size. Adding to that, a 2.4-liter,  168 horsepower 167 lb-ft torque engine just isn’t enough. If it had around 200 horsepower, that would be another thing. However, fuel economy would then dip below the Outlander Sport’s current estimated 23 City/28 Highway MPG.

Performance and Safety

Still, this Mitsubishi has good in-town punch and an adequate 65-75 highway passing time. Moreover, the engine is reasonably quiet during hard acceleration and works well with a smooth continuously variable transmission. Handling is above-average with such items as a four-wheel independent suspension with stabilizer bars and Mitsubishi’s All Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive system. Traction and stability control also help. I found that the Outlander Sport stayed mostly flat when taking freeway on- and off-ramps at above-average speeds. However, the electric power steering felt a little vague in the on-center position, although it’s fast enough and the Outlander Sport easily slides into tight parking spots. Strong brakes stop it quickly and surely, with nice pedal feel.

Safety items for the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, traction control, stability control, hill-start assist, front- and side-curtain air bags and the above-mentioned traction and stability controls.

Comfort and Convenience

Entering the Outlander Sport’s takes a little extra effort thanks to its moderately high sills. The interior is quiet and reasonably attractive, despite some hard dashboard plastic. It still doesn’t look like a place where passengers would break out expensive champagne. While the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport technically seats five, only four adults fit with reasonable comfort. Long-legged rear occupants could use a little more knee room. Front seats are comfortable and supportive, but rear seatbacks are flat and should provide more under-thigh support. A fifth rear occupant will have to put up with the backseat’s stiff center, which is best left to a fold-down armrest that contains cupholders. The opening for the fairly large cargo area is wide but rather high for quick, easy loading of heavy objects. However, rear seatbacks fold flat to significantly enlarge the cargo area.

Gauges can be quickly read and controls, including the center stack touchscreen, are easy to use. Redundant sound system controls can be handy. And the front console has nicely placed cupholders and a deep, covered storage compartment. Sun visors have lighted mirrors.


The Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC is reasonably priced at $25,895 (excluding destination fees), especially considering it’s got lots of standard Items. They include keyless entry and start, automatic climate control, power driver’s seat, heated leather front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt/telescopic wheel, AM/FM audio stereo with six speakers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control and a rearview camera. The Sport is dressed up with items including a roof spoiler, silver front bumper under garnish, color-keyed outside door handles, chrome belt line molding, wheel arch moldings and color-keyed heated folding power sideview mirrors with turn indicators. My test Outlander had an optional Touring Package that contained forward collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, Rockford Fosgate premium audio system with 9 speakers and a panoramic sunroof. That put the Outlander’s final price with destination at $29,110.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 7-year/100,000-mile corrosion warranty. It’s nice to know that Outlander Sport owners need not fear vehicle rust in harsher areas of the country.

TFLcar’s Take

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport still, even in top-spec form, still lags behind the competition in terms of equipment and interior ambiance. The performance is only so-so, and it’s not the most user-friendly crossover out there. However, it rings in at a thoroughly reasonable price, offers better-than-average handling and offers a long powertrain warranty. For those seeking an affordable crossover that carries some peace of mind, this one is worth some consideration.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $20,295
Price as Tested: $25,895
Engine:  2.4-liter MIVEC inline-4 cylinder
Drivetrain (Layout): Front-engine, all-wheel drive
Horsepower: 168 hp @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 167 lb-ft @ 4,100 RPM
Transmission: Sportronic CVT w/ paddle shifters
Suspension: Front:  MacPherson strut w/ stabilizer bar

Rear: Multi-link w/ stabilizer bar

Brakes: Front: 11.6-inch ventilated discs

Rear: 11.9-inch solid discs

Tires: Nexen N Priz RH7 P225/55 R18 all-seasons
Fuel capacity: 16.6 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 23 City/29 Highway/25 Combined MPG


Wheelbase: 105.1 inches
Length:  171.9 inches
Width: 71.3 inches
Height:  64.8 inches
Turning Circle: 34.8 feet
Curb Weight: 3,142 pounds