2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review: When the disadvantages outweigh the advantages – road show

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2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport OGI2

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport OGI2

The front of this commercial vehicle doesn't look too shabby. What do you think?

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Who doesn't love an outsider? The little guy who prevails against a stronger opponent or an impossible chance is the stuff legends are made of. Whether it is David who is against Goliath, the Royal Air Force against Hitler's Air Force during the air battle over Britain or even against the so-called "Miracle on Ice", in which the US ice hockey team is the most favored Soviet at the 1980 Winter Olympics defeated defeat or otherwise disregarded, winning is inspiring.

Unfortunately, the story of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is not so victorious. In fact, testing this car feels like I'm being punished. Less than 5 minutes behind the wheel were all I needed to be emptied like a pageant on Thanksgiving Day on Black Friday. After a test week, my consensus is clear: The Outlander Sport gets a hard pass from me.

To like

  • Spotty acceleration
  • Generous guarantee
  • Appealing styling

I do not like it

  • Terrible driving dynamics
  • Cheap interior elements
  • Excessive prices
  • Outdated technology
  • Inside loud

At least it's attractive

Mitsubishi is working on redesigning or significantly refreshing the entire North American product range over the next year. A prominent part of this soup-to-nut renaissance is the updated Outlander Sport, which was the automaker's second-best-selling nameplate in 2019 and ran a few thousand units after the slightly larger Outlander in the annual delivery derby.

Since its arrival in the United States around 2011, this vehicle has been updated several times, as if you were repeatedly warming up a sandwich until the bread became too hard to chew. It can be warmer, but it is certainly not better. There are few changes this year. The most important is the bold new front-end design. It is aggressive and distinctive without being over the top. This updated grille, as well as redesigned taillights, a new rear bumper and a few other changes make the Outlander Sport a handsome subcompact crossover. Still, nothing can hide its age, even if a handful of minor interior changes and three fresh exterior colors are added to the palette.

An explosion from the past

The interior of this vehicle is made from a typical hard plastic mix, although the dashboard and front door are covered with some mushy polymers that actually look quite high quality. Nevertheless, many buttons and switches on the Outlander Sport remain cheap. The turn signal and wiper control levers in particular feel incredibly cheap. The doors are also suspiciously light and make a hollow, metallic-sounding bang, even if they're carefully closed.

In the front, the fabric seats in this GT test model are reasonably comfortable and surprisingly cozy – and hey, they're even heated. The aft accommodations are not particularly inviting. The legroom is economical, although the headroom is satisfactory despite the uncomfortably upright backrest.

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It's pretty clear here.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

My test device is also equipped with a smartphone link display audio system with an 8-inch screen. This infotainment system seems to be inspired by Windows XP and contains block-like symbols and scroll bars. The user interface is complicated, but with a little practice you can easily find out. This whole setup looks absolutely ancient, but its performance isn't too shabby. With normal use, it is unexpectedly snappy Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported, and there are two USB ports in the front.

Equipment and features

The Outlander Sport is available in four trim levels: ES, SP, SE and GT. Full LED lighting is standard throughout the range. Both the low and high beams use this lighting technology, as do the daytime running lights.

SE models and higher have an automatically dimming rear-view mirror and rain wiper. The forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection and lane departure warning is also included, as well as for automatic high beam, which unfortunately is the least responsive of anyone I've seen recently. Apparently they are unable to recognize the taillights of other vehicles and let oncoming traffic come dangerously close before switching to low beam. Monitoring of the blind spot with lane change assistant and reversing warning is also available.

An attractive feature that increases the versatility of this vehicle is an all-wheel drive system that can be selected by the driver – that is the all-wheel drive in Mitsubishi parlance. It is offered in every trim level for an additional, apparently reasonable, $ 1,500. It can shift in no time at all, works in 2WD mode for efficient everyday driving and transfers torque to all four wheels to improve traction in slippery conditions. In addition to these two settings, there is a locking mode that distributes 60% of the available torque to the rear wheels, which is said to give a sportier feel.

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The all-wheel drive system of this vehicle has three different settings.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Sport only in names

Unfortunately, this crossover has absolutely nothing to offer even with a fancy all-wheel drive system. The chassis feels like it's made of wood, and I don't mean like an 18th century Chippendale cabinet made from Honduran mahogany. Put everything in motion and the Outlander Sport is reminiscent of a shaky piece of rustic furniture, such as those made from tree branches with an intact bark.

The driving quality is rough and the steering of this vehicle is terrifyingly bad. It offers no feedback, absolutely nothing. The tiller is completely dead in the middle, but turning it a few degrees to the left or right will completely synthesize it. Keeping this vehicle in the middle of its lane is almost a challenge as you have no idea what the front tires are doing and how much steering correction is required to stay on course. Every mile driven in this Mitsubishi seems to lower my mood and credit rating.

Turning these wheels is one of two motors. The basic equipment is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with an output of 148 hp and a torque of 145 pound-feet. It is part of the standard equipment of the ES, SP and SE models. In addition, the GT variants offer a 2.4-liter I4, which delivers a remarkable 168 hp and 167 lb-ft twist. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard equipment regardless of the engine and maximizes acceleration and efficiency.

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The performance of this 2.4-liter four-cylinder is surprisingly good.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Thanks to the small dimensions and the supposedly low curb weight, the acceleration of the Outlander Sport GT is quite good. It scoots far better than I ever expected and shows most of its competitors its taillight in brake light races. And while the larger 2.4-liter engine is not afraid to be heard, it at least sounds a bit sporty and generates a breakneck rumble. It is also somewhat supple and starts to feel a bit rough in the upper limits of its operating range.

It doesn't matter whether you are arming around town or making up for lost time on the highway, the interior of the Outlander Sport is rough. Wind and tire noises are constant companions when the vehicle is driving faster than in the parking lot.

The fuel consumption is also not particularly impressive. In the GT equipment with all-wheel drive and the 2.4-liter engine, you can expect 23 miles per gallon of city, 28 freeway and 25 MPG combined.

An important feather in this Mitsubishi cap is its generous guarantee. Buyers are protected by a 5-year / 60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty, a 10-year / 100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and five years of free, unlimited mileage breakdown services. No matter how you cut it, that's excellent coverage.

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Attention buyers …

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Only not …

It may be a fashion these days to focus on Mitsubishi, but after a long time with the Outlander Sport, I honestly don't recommend anyone to buy it. Simply put, this vehicle left me cold and icy than the looks a couple had exchanged at a divorce court.

I could change my run-down tune if this crossover were good value, for example, starting at $ 15,000, but that's not the case. Before discounts from Outlander Sport occurs from almost 24 giants. The GT model that I tested was checked out for $ 28,720, including $ 1,095 in target fees. At this price, it's definitely no.

If you're looking for a small crossover on the market, check out one of Mitsubishi's competitors, the Nissan kicks or Honda HR-V, Toyota & # 39; s C-HR or the Kia Soul. They are all superior decisions. Even the absolutely matt shine Ford EcoSport Leagues is ahead of Outlander Sport.

For Mitsubishi, who pioneered the use of balancer shafts in modern engines, the Outlander Sport decades ago was the first to mass-produce automotive engines with computer-controlled direct fuel injection and even an adaptive suspension technology developed a colossal case out of grace. It's cute, but that's about it.