What It’s Like to Drive the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi Outlander

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a compact sport-utility vehicle that comes in three trim levels with two engine choices. Depending on the trim level, the Outlander Sport can be powered by a 2.0-liter, 148-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, or a 2.4-liter, 168-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, which was in my test drive vehicle. It comes in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Contingent on the trim level, the Outlander Sport can be equipped with all of the latest safety technology, including forward-collision mitigation, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights and high-intensity discharge automatic headlights.

Driving the Mitsubishi Sport was a mixed bag. The engine performance was just OK; the 168-horsepower engine was not exactly peppy and fuel economy was lower than what I expected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the Outlander Sport at 23 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway. I averaged just 26 mpg in combined driving – a bit lower than other compact SUVs. Handling was surprisingly good: There was very little body roll during turns, and good stability on the highway although the ride was sports car firm. The electronic steering was quite good, with good feedback and control. The all-wheel-drive system can be switched from front-wheel drive to all-wheel drive with a push of a button. There is also a setting to lock the system when the going gets rough.

The interior was reasonably comfortable, with firm and supportive seats. The combination of the seats and the ride height allowed for easy entry and exit. Tall drivers will find enough head and legroom, but rear seating can get a bit tight for tall passengers when the front seats are pushed all the way back. There were a couple of cup holders, a small bin and a decent size center console and glove compartment. The instrument panel and controls are a bit of a mixed bag. Some controls work great but others, like the touch-screen radio controls, were a bit hard to use.

The Outlander Sport by Mitsubishi is a bit of a contradiction. It had features that surprised me, such as push-button start, high-intensity discharge lights, a giant panoramic sunroof and forward-crash mitigation. Then there were some finishes that felt like they came from the bargain bin. Where the Outlander Sport excels is the value it delivers for the money. If you can look past the average fuel economy, so-so ride and performance, the Outlander Sport provides a decent value for the money.

My test car was priced at $29,110. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $25,335.

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