|✓ Fresh look||☓ Rear seat comfort|
|✓ Versatile size||☓ Marginal name recognition|
|✓ Decent performance|
|✓ Good handling, AWD system|
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport compact SUV is often overlooked in favor of more popular models, but the top-line Sport 2.4 GT AWC (All-Wheel Control) version is certainly worth consideration, as it offers especially good value for the money.
For 2020, the Outlander Sport has a sportier looking front end, with top-end “GT” models sporting special black and silver accents, exterior body touches such as power body colored (retractable) side mirrors, GT badging, a rear spoiler and LED taillights. Mitsubishi based the new styling on the ASX concept unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, shown below.
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 GT has a smooth 168-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Lower-cost base model Outlanders, on the other hand, have a more economical but lackluster 2.0-liter 148 horsepower four. That’s an okay choice, if you do most of your driving in town. The larger 2.4 engine does a better job in town and on highways, working with a smooth CVT automatic transmission.
A driver can normally use just front-wheel drive for slightly greater economy but can switch via a console button to four-wheel drive to deliver power to all wheels as needed for improved traction and safety in slippery driving conditions. You can also set it to Lock, which is similar to the 4WD setting. It routes power to all four wheels but distributes 60 percent of the available power to the rear wheels, while sending the other 40 percent to the front.
My test Outlander Sport 2.4 GT AWC has noticeably firm but quick electric power steering. It also features a supple ride with an all-independent suspension and good handling, thanks to such items as front/rear stabilizer bars, active stability control and an improved all-wheel-drive system. The brake pedal has a firm, reassuring feel, and the anti-lock brakes have a have electronic brake force distribution and and a brake assist feature.
Fuel economy with the 2.4 is is an estimated 23 mpg in the city and 28 on highways on regular gasoline. Decent, but lower economy than the similarly sized Nissan Rogue Sport.
Comfort and Convenience
The interior of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 GT features push button start, a tilt-and-telescopic wheel, power folding side mirrors, heated front seats and manually adjustable cruise control. The 7.0-inch infotainment display supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the system also includes SiriusXM with six speakers, Bluetooth wireless technology and 12-volt power outlets.
Four tall adults fit, but the rear seat is rather small and stiff and the middle section is best suited for the fold-own armrest with cupholders. The upgraded interior has attractive red stitching and a fair amount of soft-touch materials. A large speedometer and tachometer can be quickly read, and there’s a larger, easily used touchscreen. Large dashboard redundant manual controls for such things as the climate control system are handy if you don’t want to use the screen.
Cargo room is just adequate with a wide opening. It provides 21.7 cubic feet of cargo room, but split-folding rear seat backs, which sit flat, enlarge the cargo area to 49.5 cubic feet.
There are numerous safety items, including forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot warning with lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, advanced dual-stage front air bags and side-curtain airbags.
The Sport 2.4 GT AWC is the best of the Outlander line. For starters, this SUV, which shouldn’t be confused with the larger less sporty Outlander model, has a versatile size and tight turning circle. The new styling helps keep it fresh, although the powertrains remain the same as before.
Mitsubishi has plans to offer a larger number of competitive, attractively priced vehicles, so the Outlander Sport’s resale value may benefit from such an action. As it sits, this Outlander Sport 2.4 GT AWC comes with a 5-year, 60,0000-mile limited warranty, a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 7-year/100,00-mile corrosion warranty.
2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Specifications
|Price as tested||$26,895|
|Engine||2.4-liter inline four-cylinder|
|Power||168 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||167 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm|
|Transmission||Continuously variable transmission|
|Curb weight||3,285 lbs|
|Fuel Economy (EPA)||23 / 28 / 25 (city/hwy/combined)|
|Ground Clearance||8.5 inches|
|Length x Width x Height||171.9 x 71.3 x 64.8 inches|
|Cargo Volume behind 2nd row||21.7 cubic feet|
|Max Cargo Volume||49.5 cubic feet|
|Warranty||5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty|
10-year/100,000 mile powertrain