Friday, October 11, 2013
2013 Mitsubishi Outlander: Affordable and Versatile
Small SUVs, which offer some of the functionality of their larger counterparts but are cheaper to fuel and easier to drive, remain popular among consumers.
One entrant in this market is Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport, the top seller for this brand, which has been mostly an also-ran for the past few years.
The Outlander Sport seats five and is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 148 horsepower and 145 pounds-feet of torque. The engine is linked to either a five-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission. All-wheel drive is also available.
The test model had the stick shift.
Driving the Outlander Sport is not unpleasant, but don't expect any thrills.
The gear stops in the manual transmission seemed rather vague, and in fifth gear, it really felt like it needed a sixth to reduce strain on the engine.
Noise from the engine is fairly intrusive also, despite the fact that Mitsubishi says it has improved sound insulation.
The manual version gets 24 mpg city, 30 highway, while the CVT with front-wheel drive gets 24 and 31 and the CVT with all-wheel gets 24 and 29.
This year's model has a few exterior design tweaks, and overall, the Outlander Sport is not a bad looking vehicle.
There's a new front and rear bumper with matching side sills, standard 18-inch alloy wheels and a revised grille.
A rear spoiler and heated, power side view mirrors are standard as well.
Two trim levels are offered, ES and SE.
The ES has voice-activated mobile phone and iPod control and audio control buttons on the steering wheel, among other features. The SE includes heated front seats, automatic climate control and smart key with push-button start.
The Outlander Sport starts at around $19,000 and ranges to around $25,000.
If you're looking for a small SUV with a reasonable price tag, the Outlander Sport might be worth a glance.