Roseville, Calif. – A co-worker took a lap around the latest version of the Mitsubishi Outlander that was parked in front of our building and came away quite impressed from a visual standpoint.
There was no disagreement here. The white 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is one sharp-looking compact crossover sport utility vehicle. Up front it resembles the bigger Outlander, a midsize SUV with three rows that seats seven. But the Sport model is smaller, seats five people, and has far less back-seat room and cargo space.
If you’ve seen an Outlander Sport recently, then you know what the latest version looks like because it hasn’t changed since 2011. I’m guessing the decision-makers at Mitsubishi like the look and don’t feel the urge to change it just yet.
There remains some strong competition in the compact SUV class, most notably the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape. There are other “players” in the mix as well and the Outlander Sport is one of them because it’s targeted toward budget-conscious buyers.
Price is a good place to start when looking for a positive regarding the Outlander Sport. It can be purchased for under $21,000. However, take note that a base model comes standard with a manual transmission.
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
* Performance: 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 148 horsepower; 2.4-liter, four-cylinder, 166 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 23-28 mph; 23-28 mph
* Price: $20,700 to $28,600
* Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years, unlimited; corrosion 6 years/100,00
A more upscale Outlook Sport can include automatic transmission and options like leather seating, all-wheel drive, and Rockford Gostate audio system. The price naturally rises as well with these options in the mix. The Sport has a standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
The Outlander Sport comes with a pair of inline-four engines – there is no turbocharged or V6 options in the lineup. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter, four cylinder that produces 148 horsepower and 145-pound-feet of torque. The more powerful second option, test driven here for a week, was the 2.4-liter, four cylinder that generates 168 horsepower and 167-pound-feet of torque. The performance was surprisingly sufficient in the 2.4 engine and is noticeably quicker than the base 2.0-liter.
There are better handling SUVs in this class. The Outlander has a redesigned steering wheel, yet it doesn’t make a difference in the overall handling and the ride can be somewhat choppy. There’s also a drone noise in the cabin during most driving situations.
This year’s Outlander Sport adds a new 6.1-inch audio display and new seat fabrics. But overall the interior remains modest and has its downside. The materials tend to be harder surfaces than most people will like and the SUV comes up lacking in terms of technology.
Driver and passenger have solid room and comfort in the Sport, but the small back seat can get cramped with three occupants. There is 20 cubic feet of space in the small real cargo area that does expand quite a bit when the back seats are folded to the floor.
In recent years, the smaller SUV segment has grown in popularity and every automaker offers one. They are certainly growing in sophistication as well. If you want to purchase a small SUV and don’t want to spend that much money, the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is worthy of consideration.