The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: a high content, low price compact SUV
The Mitsubishi brand has seen better days in the US market but the company has put a tremendous amount of R&D (and stock) in their current sport utility vehicle lineup and that is a point illustrated well by the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. While the Outlander Sport may be overshadowed by stronger selling models like the Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V, the fact that fully loaded Outlander Sport costs only slightly more than the entry level 4WD Escape and slightly less than the entry level 4WD CR-V while also achieving similar fuel economy should be reason enough for new SUV shoppers to check out the Outlander Sport. Our loaded up 2012 Outlander Sport carried a sticker price of $28,155 which includes the top of the line SE AWC package, a CVT transmission, the premium package and the navigation package. This loaded price of the Outlander Sport is similar to the pricing of the mid-level Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, before you add any options to those two models.
On the outside, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers a design that is very similar to the larger Outlander and the sporty Lancer lineup. This includes a headlight design that gives the Outlander Sport a scowling, aggressive look with heavily chromed out bezels around the projection headlight system. Like the Lancer and Outlander, the Outlander Sport has a large central grille opening that runs from the hood to the lower fascia and widens as it gets to the bottom of the vehicle – with a chrome trim piece running around the perimeter of the cooling opening with a body colored strip dividing the upper and lower portions. The lower portion of the front fascia carries a set of chrome fog light housing in black bezels with a collection of air openings scattered across the front end. While the overall shape of the Outlander Sport does a fine job of wearing the “sport” designation – the front end is a big part of the sporty attitude of this small SUV.
Along the side, the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a design with lines that rise as the near the rear end, including the upper body line and the lower defining line of the side windows. The way that these lines run up towards the downward tapering roofline gives the Outlander Sport a sleek look while also forgoing the bulky feel that you get with many SUVs. The wheel wells have a slight flare to them with a contrasting flat face against the curvy body with 18” aluminum wheels filling those wheel openings. Most importantly, while the Outlander Sport does not sit high in the air like many SUVs, it still has plenty of ground clearance for conquering the urban jungle. The shortish roof line combined with the blackened B and C pillars almost give the Outlander Sport a coupe look at certain angles – furthering the “bigger than I look” design.