2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
When it comes to subcompact crossovers and SUVs, Mitsubishi makes one that satisfies customers a lot. In fact, more returning customers trade in for another one than any vehicle in its class.
That vehicle is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
Why do its owners trade in for a newer one than any other vehicle in its class? The Outlander Sport has been with us since 2011 and have undergone various improvements and updates to keep it fresh. For 2020, Mitsubishi underwent another round of updates to match its corporate design language and to improve the drivability of the Outlander Sport.
How well did Mitsubishi succeed in their latest update on the Outlander Sport?
New for 2020 is a new front end that features the global Dynamic Shield design language. The grille is bolder and angled, along with a new set of LED headlamps and bumper trim. They also included a new lamp area for turn signals and fog lamps, if equipped. The rear end receives a new set of tail lamps that appears to be larger and more three-dimensional than before. The rear bumper adds a more prominent diffuser at the bottom.
Everything else remains the same. The doors open big for easy access and exit. Ground clearance is at 8.5 inches, high enough to clear many obstacles that would stop mere automobiles. Still, the Outlander Sport is a distinctive small SUV to stand out in a crowd.
Over the years, Mitsubishi has worked on adding more value inside of the Outlander Sport. For 2020, the infotainment touchscreen now dominates the center stack – measuring at a maximum 8 inches diagonally. The rest of the Outlander Sport’s instrument panel remains the same, familiar and quite good.
The seats now feature new fabrics and upholstery across all trims. Our GT tester offered a suede-like patterned upholstery that is more comfortable than before. The front seats are big and offer plenty of adjustment to get comfortable. Room for five is possible, as rear seat comfort is very good overall. Cargo space is generous, starting at 21.7 cubic feet with all seats up, expanding to 49.5 cubic feet all the way to the front seats. In all, it is a tall and wide space to load up for the journey.
You have two engines available on the Outlander Sport. You can get a 2.0-liter engine for the ES and SE models. However, the pick of the range is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder MIVEC engine in our GT tester. With 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque, this is the engine you need for every situation, such as snow, ice, and heading down a gravel road. Mitsubishi connected this engine to a vastly improved Continuously Variable Transmission, with better throttle response and shifts. Customers can choose between front-wheel drive and All-Wheel Control across all trim levels. In terms of fuel economy, we averaged 25.7 MPG.
When driving the Outlander Sport, you will appreciate how well it goes about its business. There had been improvements on ride quality thanks to an approach toward a balanced ride that absorbs bumps and potholes extremely well, even with an 8.5-inch ground clearance. That ground clearance also yields softer corners with controlled lean and roll through the turns.
The steering wheel is perfectly weighted for better control and on-center feel, yet it adequately provides enough effort in turning. It has a tight turning radius, which makes getting out of tight situations easier. Brakes are very good with good power on normal and panic stops.
Pricing for the Outlander Sport starts at $22,495 for an ES 2.0 model with front-wheel drive.. Our GT 2.4 tester with AWC came with a sticker price of $28,790.
Since the first Outlander Sport was introduced, the entire segment has grown exponentially. Competitors include the Chevrolet Trax, Ford EcoSport, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks, Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, and Kia Soul.
The Outlander Sport could be considered the elder statesman of the subcompact SUV/CUV pack. However, the refresh for 2020 makes it even more competitive in its segment. That is good news for Mitsubishi - and for you.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors