There’s a lot of choices in the compact crossover/SUV segment for consumers, but Mitsubishi comes with the Outlander Sport that offers exceptional value for urban dwellers. It's one of the least expensive crossover SUVs available, yet Mitsubishi has managed to pack it with most of the features you'll likely want. The Japanese auto maker also offers warranty coverage on the Sport model that is better than most.
This week we drive the top trim 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC model.
What’s new for 2018?
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport receives updated styling front and rear, interior enhancements, and changes to reduce cabin noise. Every Outlander Sport now comes with a touchscreen display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration is included on most trim levels. There's also a new option package for the SEL trim level that includes advanced driver safety aids.
Features and options
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC ($25,895) comes standard with a host of features including 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, remote locking/unlocking, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a driver information display, 60/40-split folding rear seat backs, Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, and a four-speaker audio system with a USB port. This tester came with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
The 2.4 SEL AWC trim also comes with xenon headlights with LED running lights, fog lights, special exterior and interior styling details, heated front seats, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio and an extra USB port. SEL trim also adds power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather upholstery and a power-adjustable driver seat.
The Touring package option for the SEL ($2,000) added a panoramic glass sunroof, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights. Total MSRP including destination: $29,110.
The Outlander Sport is built for function over comfort and style. It is well built with good trim and fit, but quality of materials is not as good as the competition, but there is soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, door trim and center console. We thought the cabin felt tight with no rattles and noises from the outside, and seems to be better than the outgoing model.
Six footers may feel cramped inside the cabin, as this is a compact crossover SUV but average size adults won’t have an issue. With the eight-way power seats and an adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the range of adjustability allowed us to find the perfect driving position for the week.
The heated seats came in handy this week with the cold temperatures in the morning and the rear view camera helped as we pulled out of the city parking spot. Out back, passengers won’t find as much room as the front, but there’s ample room to haul two adults comfortably for shorter distances.
The Outlander Sport excels in its cargo carrying ability. It features a low loading floor and more than 20 cubic feet of space behind the rear seat. With the 60/40 rear seats folded, it offers up 50 cubic feet of cargo-carrying ability, which is impressive considering its small outside dimensions. If you need to carry longer items, a pass-through door in the rear seat can fit skis or lumber, while still carrying a couple of passengers.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL trim is powered by a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 168 horsepower and 167 lb. ft of torque. This tester comes mated to a Sportronic continuously variable automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels via the all-wheel-control system. Fuel mile estimates come in at EPA/DOT 23/28 city/highway mpg and 25 combined mpg.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a good commuter for urban dwellers. Its compact size makes it easy to park in tight spots and is easily maneuverable in city traffic. This compact vehicle won’t be the a luxury cruiser for long distance driving, but in urban environments, it shines. Add in all the optional safety driving aids, and you’ve got a vehicle you’ll feel safe in.
Outlander Sport SEL AWC comes with the more powerful 2.4-liter engine and we appreciated its extra power this week as we test vehicles at high altitudes in Colorado. Mitsubishi says there’s little change in fuel economy compared to the less powerful 2.0-liter engine found on the ES and LE trim levels.
The Outlander Sport 2.4 has enough power for all city driving situations but struggled heading west into the mountains at the high altitudes. But most commuters won’t have an issue unless its loaded with cargo and people. This tester comes with Mitsubishi’s excellent All-Wheel-Control (AWC) developed in the world's toughest environments, and is a must for those living in cold, snowy and icy climates.
Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL handles well for a crossover its size. The body is fairly well controlled, and the electric power steering is dialed in. Rearward visibility is generally good despite thick rear roof pillars.
The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 SEL AWC offers lots of value for urban commuters. It comes standard with plenty of features and the latest high-tech integration. It is a compact-sized SUV with a reliable engine, a good warranty, all-weather capability and safety conscious.