Updated Outlander Sport offers good value
The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport starts at $19,470, and ranges as high as $23,995, making it one of the best values in the compact crossover class. It holds five passengers, while its larger brother, the Outlander, seats seven.
For the 2013 model year, Mitsubishi moved production of the five passenger Outlander Sport from Japan to Normal, Illinois.
Now in its third year, the popular compact crossover (currently the best selling car in Mitsubishi’s North American lineup) received some major upgrades for 2013, including several new design features and styling improvements for a more refined image.
There are two vehicles that carry the Outlander name; one,
cards against humanity card list?, simply called Outlander,
against humanity card game, is larger and has room for up to seven people. The Outlander Sport is a bit shorter, and has room for only five, and it’s the vehicle I tested for this report.
For 2014, Outlander Sport prices range from $19,470 $23,995 (plus $825 freight), which a include slight price increase from 2013.
My test vehicle was the entry level 2013 ES model with front wheel drive and a five speed manual gearbox. Its base price was $19,170 (plus freight), and had no options, so total price was $19,995, including freight. That model would be $20,295 for 2014. The continuously variable automatic transmission is available for an additional $1,200.
The new front bumper includes a black lower section and more prominent fog lights,
free cards against humanity, housed in black. The rear bumper is also new, with a black lower section, matching the new black side sills.
Grille styling was new for 2013, as well, and 18 inch alloy wheels with all season tires are now standard on all trims.
Front fenders are now plastic polymer for lighter weight. Two new exterior colors were added White Pearl and Quick Silver joined Laguna Blue, Labrador Black, Mercury Gray and Rally Red.
Higher grade insulation materials helped reduce cabin noise, and new high performance speakers improved the sound from the four speaker, 140 watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system. The FUSE Hands free Link System, included in the audio system, allows voice activated operation of an iPod and a cell phone.
Ride comfort and handling were improved by revisions to the rear multi link suspension, and steering feel from the electric power steering system was improved.
The Outlander Sport received the prestigious “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS one of only two small SUVs out of 13 candidates.
The Outlander Sport ES has a black fabric interior, and includes air conditioning with micron filter; cruise control; power windows, mirrors, tailgate and door locks; and a leather wrapped steering wheel. There are four two wheel drive models and three all wheel drive, and even the models with the automatic have paddle shifters for manual shifting without a clutch. The Outlander Sport ES is now available with four wheel drive.
My Sport ES in White Pearl with black fabric interior was well equipped with air conditioning with micron filter; cruise control; power windows, mirrors, tailgate and door locks; intermittent rear wiper/washer; LED combination taillights; leather wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob; anti theft system; and high contrast gauge meters in a color LCD multi information display with trip computer, maintenance reminder, ambient temperature and audio system information.
The standard audio system included a digital signal processor, equalization control and speed compensated volume.
In addition to electric power steering, all 2013 Outlander Sport models include a helpful gear shift indicator light (manual transmission equipped cars) or an Eco indicator (CVT equipped vehicles) light; a higher efficiency alternator; and a wind tunnel tested body design for wind cheating aerodynamic performance. All are designed to improve fuel efficiency.
My front drive Outlander, with a 148 horsepower, 2.0 liter inline four cylinder MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control) engine and the manual transmission, was EPA rated at 24 mpg city/30 highway.
The shift light was helpful in determining shift points, especially for this driver who isn’t very fond of vehicles with manual transmissions. The clutch was a little stiff, too.
Brake energy regeneration is another feature designed to help reduce fuel consumption, by recharging the battery using energy captured during deceleration, totally unnoticed by the driver.
My Outlander was comfortable and roomy, although not fancy, with good visibility all around. The front buckets with active headrests were manually adjusted; the 60/40 split folding rear bench had height adjustable headrests, and the seatbacks reclined slightly.
All three positions had LATCH connections for child seats. There were plenty of cup and bottle holders, two 12 volt outlets, a pass through in the middle seatback, several tie downs in the cargo area, and heater vents on the floor.
The center stack was simple and easy to see and use, with “old school” buttons and knobs for both climate and audio functions. The tilt telescopic steering wheel also had controls for audio and cruise.
The Outlander Sport Limited Edition, a dynamic looking version of the compact crossover, commemorates Mitsubishi Motor’s 30 plus years in America and features blackout side mirrors, center bumper, wheel arch trim, roof rails, chrome alloy wheels,
cards against humanity online version, power driver’s seat, “Limited Edition” badging and available two tone gray and black leather seating.
While my tester was very basic, several options are available from body side moldings to roof rail cross bars. There is even an advanced Premium Package with adjustable LED mood lighting, 710 watt Rockford Fosgate audio system and rearview camera system.
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