Jump to content
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL

      This Old Crossover

    On the day I was getting the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport for a week-long test, meteorologists were calling for a massive snowstorm in Metro Detroit. Depending on where you lived, snowfall was expected to range from six inches to almost a foot. As I was signing the paperwork and getting the key, the snow was beginning to fall at a heavy rate. It would be an interesting week with one of oldest crossovers on sale.

    The current Outlander Sport has been with us since 2011 and it still stands out from other crossovers in the class. This comes down to an aggressive design and Mitsubishi making a number of changes to the design in the past few years. For 2018, Mitsubishi has updated the Outlander Sport with new bumpers and LED running lights. Up front, Mitsubishi went with a dual grille setup - a narrow one on top and a large mesh one for the bottom. 18-inch wheels come standard on all Outlander Sports and look quite sharp.

    Mitsubishi hasn’t done much to the Outlander Sport’s interior since its launch and it clearly shows. The design is very uninspired with seemingly endless black plastic and almost no brightwork. Most materials used feel brittle and cheap, which is very disappointing when compared to other models such as the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. Mitsubishi does redeem itself a little bit with the dash being covered in soft-touch material. Another plus point to the Outlander Sport’s interior is the control layout. The buttons and knobs are laid out in a logical fashion and are within easy reach.

    Getting comfortable in the front seats is not hard thanks to a decent amount of manual adjustments on offer, along with a tilt-telescoping steering wheel for the driver. Slightly worrying was my test Outlander Sport having a driver’s seat that slightly rocked whenever the vehicle accelerated and stopped. I know this issue isn’t isolated to my test vehicle. Speaking to some who have driven different 2018 Outlander Sports, they have reported the same issue. Mitsubishi really needs to figure out this issue and get a fix out ASAP.

    The rear seat offers a decent amount of headroom, but there is barely enough legroom for taller passengers. Cargo space is quite good with 21.7 cubic feet of space behind the front seats and 49.5 cubic feet when folded.

    For 2018, Mitsubishi has installed a new 7-inch infotainment system on all Outlander Sports. Higher trims like our test SEL add Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability. Compared to Mitsubishi’s previous infotainment systems, the one in the Outlander Sport is excellent. The system is very easy to use with a simple and vibrant interface. Performance is quite good as the system quickly responds to a user’s input.

    Mitsubishi offers two engines for the Outlander Sport. ES and LE models use a 2.0L four-cylinder, while the SE and SEL models feature a larger 2.4L four-cylinder. Our test vehicle had the latter engine which produces 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT and the choice of front- or Mitsubishi's All-Wheel Control (AWC) system. Out of the two engines, the 2.4 is the one to get as is feels noticeably quicker when leaving a stop. But it will run out of steam at higher speeds, making passing or getting onto the freeway a bit difficult. The CVT is somewhat slow to respond whenever you step on the accelerator. 

    The AWC system redeems the Outlander Sport to a point. AWC offers the driver three different modes - 2WD, 4WD Auto, and 4WD Lock. The difference between the two 4WD settings is Auto only sends power to rear wheels if it detects slip where Lock sends power to all wheels. Putting the system into 4WD Lock, the Outlander Sport easily went through roads with close to a foot of snow on the ground with no issue. The system was able to quickly shift power to the wheels with grip to help keep the car moving. I believe if you fit you a set of snow tires to the Sport, you will have a very good winter vehicle.

    Fuel economy figures of 22 City/27 Highway/24 Combined put the Outlander Sport towards the bottom of the class. My average for the week landed around 23.2 mpg.

    For a subcompact crossover, the Outlander Sport’s ride is pleasant. It glides over bumps and other imperfections. Handling is a mixed affair. Drive the Outlander Sport normally around a corner and it feels composed. Begin to push it and there is a fair amount of body roll. Steering has a very rubbery feel and there is a noticeable dead zone when the wheel is centered.

    This might be the first review I have done where I have two verdicts on the Outlander Sport. As a whole, the model really needs to be replaced. In many areas, the Outlander Sport significantly trails competitors. It doesn’t help that the as-tested price was $29,310 which makes the Sport a bit of poor value. I know dealers put a lot of cash on the hoods of Outlander Sports to get them moving, which is likely one reason why it is Mitsubishi’s best selling model. But I would rather put my money into a Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3, the new Hyundai Kona, and others since they are newer and offer so much more.

    But I will admit that the Outlander Sport came at a very opportune time. The snowstorm really brought up some of the Outlander Sport’s best qualities, primarily the AWC system and punchy four-cylinder around town. I remember an auto writer once saying that some of the most memorable vehicles are those that are not the best, but can show some bright spots in a difficult situation. The Outlander Sport for me is one of those vehicles.

    Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander Sport, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Mitsubishi
    Model: Outlander Sport
    Trim: SEL
    Engine: 2.4L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: CVT, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,000 
    Torque @ RPM: 167 @ 4,100
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/28/25
    Curb Weight: N/A
    Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
    Base Price: $25,895
    As Tested Price: $29,310 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Touring Package - $2,000.00
    Diamond White Pearl - $200.00
    Tonneau Cover - $150.00
    Carpeted Floormats and Portfolio - $125.00



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Nice read, like the info about tall people for the back seat being not the best and the experience of how this handled in a snowstorm. Very informative and your right, with a ton of cash on the hood, these auto's should sell and do well till they can update and replace it.

    Thanks Bill, I learned alot about this auto.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I really like this article....love the two ways of thinking here.

     

    I feel the same-but I know a co worker who picked up one of these-and even with those faults-fell in love with it.

    Also helps she got a nice deal on it too...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    i like your writeup, for fairness.

    I've looked at this vehicle several times since it came out and have driven it many times.  Why?  At one time it was to potentially be my inexpensive Cobalt replacement with AWD.  So in that aspect it was a step up.  And the Mitsubishi dealers here are very good and the actual prices you can buy these things at are jaw dropping low if you factor in incentives and discounts and the standard warranties.  I had always looked at this as one of the first steps up from the old Suzuki SX4 of which i am quite familiar with and actually sold for awhile.  And for a small SUV, it's room and space are very very good.  Which is great for larger guys.  

    Vehicles like HRV, CX3, Juke etc. don't seem to have the spaciousness of the OS.  I like the interior in spite of its cheap spots and datedness.  I like its simplicity.  I don't like the non reclining rear seats.  The cargo area is good sized.

    I have also found that at highway cruising, regardless of 2.0 or 2.4 it is comfortably decent at speed and can get close to 30 consistently on the highway with AWD.

    The Encore has an extra sense of luxury to it that this may lack, but comparatively, you can make a case for an Outlander Sport as a better buy / product than a Trax.  Me personally, I would never get a Kona, HRV or CX3 over the OS.

    (side note, outlanders are not that much more than outlander sports).

    The OS really sort of takes over now for what the Lancer was in Mits product lineup.  The volume selling small car.  The eclipse Cross should have been larger.

    I do think the OS only makes sense up to a certain price point.  I wouldn't look at a loaded one due to its datedness.  But for an AWD crossover at or below 18-20k in real money, for the right buyers i endorse it.  I think there is a point where you start to look at lower level Escapes as an upgrade competitior.

    We have some friends who have one and they have always liked it.

    I could be fine putting my teenage daughter in one when she starts driving, if it is a good money choice.

    Mitsubishis biggest fault with this so far is never putting a real awesome powertrain it it.

     

     

    Edited by regfootball

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There has always been something slightly redeeming to me about both the Outlander and Outlander Sport. Yes they're dated, but they do their jobs well especially for the price you'll pay and the warranty that comes with it.  It's kinda buying a poor man's LR Defender in 2017.... You don't expect much in creature comforts, but you get everything you expect and enough capability to get you there.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    People down the block traded their CR-V for a new Outlander.  Eclipse Cross AWC whipped the Compass Limited 4X4 in several drag races over onto the YouTube... CVT v. 9 speed auto... Mitsu is way down on advertised horses but has better torque... results were shocking to me, moreso because of the Mitsu's 153 hp rating and CVT than the Compass' pronounced, and verified, lack of speed.  Yes yes, a drag race is a narrow measure of a vehicle... but it is a valid one... the whole powertrain working together to give a result that belies the advertised ratings proves what I'm saying.  It is not the sheer numbers but the competitive comparison of a drag race that bears this out.

    Eclipse Cross also acquitted itself well on their off-road course... leading me to call the Mitsu AWC system as "unsung hero" in comparison to the Jeep, which performed flawlessly of course on the same route, but that is expected.

    I have to remember that Mitsu has a pretty good history of authentic off-road and rally vehicles, so their lighter duty system being capable was only a mild surprise.

    Haha, now I want to go lurking on the Mitsu lot this weekend to put noseprints on the Eclipse Cross. 

    Edited by ocnblu
    • Like 2

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 4/26/2018 at 5:40 AM, ocnblu said:

    People down the block traded their CR-V for a new Outlander.  Eclipse Cross AWC whipped the Compass Limited 4X4 in several drag races over onto the YouTube... CVT v. 9 speed auto... Mitsu is way down on advertised horses but has better torque... results were shocking to me, moreso because of the Mitsu's 153 hp rating and CVT than the Compass' pronounced, and verified, lack of speed.  Yes yes, a drag race is a narrow measure of a vehicle... but it is a valid one... the whole powertrain working together to give a result that belies the advertised ratings proves what I'm saying.  It is not the sheer numbers but the competitive comparison of a drag race that bears this out.

    Eclipse Cross also acquitted itself well on their off-road course... leading me to call the Mitsu AWC system as "unsung hero" in comparison to the Jeep, which performed flawlessly of course on the same route, but that is expected.

    I have to remember that Mitsu has a pretty good history of authentic off-road and rally vehicles, so their lighter duty system being capable was only a mild surprise.

    Haha, now I want to go lurking on the Mitsu lot this weekend to put noseprints on the Eclipse Cross. 

    Huge discounts in future are inevitable for the Eclipse Cross.  To get one now while they are holding close to MSRP is a recipe for being upside down, if one isn't willing to wait.  Of course, maybe there is a chance they won't have to for awhile, but Mits history suggests the discounts are needed.  Now, i must try an Eclipse Cross.  Still at the end of the day, I would judge it vs an Escape 2.0 at a low price.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    ocnblu

    Posted (edited)

    Local Mitsu dealer is a sad place.  The lot was dirty.  And on top of that, they had rows of brand new vehicles, all backed INTO EACH OTHER.  I'm serious... their rear bumpers were touching!  WHO would want to buy a new car from a place like that?  It is sad to know I worked there when it was a proud Lincoln-Mercury dealer for six years... now it is a dump, under different ownership.  :(

    Edited by ocnblu

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      It feels weird to be writing a review of the previous-generation Mazda3 when the new model is currently sitting out front at dealers. But I find this situation to be unique because I had the chance to explore a 2019 Mazda3 to get some first impressions while working on a review of the 2018 model. This gives me a chance to compare the two in certain aspects, along with pondering the question of whether or not the previous model is still a good buy.
      Despite the new model taking the styling up another level, the outgoing model is still a looker. From the bold front end with a large grille and slightly angled headlights, to sculpting running along the sides, the 2018 3 still stands out in the compact crowd. The older design also allows for slightly better rear headroom and a larger area of glass for improved visibility.  But the new 3 holds a significant edge over the old model when it comes to the interior. The modern design and use of high-quality materials really help boost Mazda’s ambitions of becoming something more premium. But the 2018 model I found to have a slightly easier center stack layout and more interior room. One item I didn’t get the chance to play within the 2019 Mazda3 is the infotainment system. Aside from boasting a larger screen, Mazda has also dropped the touchscreen functionality. The latter has been a big issue on some of the recent Mazda vehicles I have driven, including the 2018 3. It is difficult to figure out which parts of the screen are touch-enabled and which aren’t. The system is also beginning to show its age somewhat as the system showed some slowdown in certain areas such as connecting to my phone via Bluetooth. Under the hood of the 2018 model is either a 2.0L or 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. My tester had the latter which produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet. This engine can also be found under 2019 Mazda3, albeit slightly tweaked - 186 for both horsepower and torque. I find the Mazda3 to be the best application for the 2.5 engine. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows the 2.5 to provide a smooth and quick acceleration for most situations you find yourself in. However, the 2.5 feels like it is running out of breath when going above 70 mph, making passing and merging onto a highway slightly difficult. Where the 3 really shines is down a twisty road. Very few vehicles can match the sharp handling characteristics on offer. The suspension keeps the vehicle level when cornering and quickly respond to change in direction. Steering is quick and features a nice weight when turning. Ride quality is slightly rough with a fair number of bumps coming inside. Some of this can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels fitted on my tester.  Should you consider a 2018 Mazda3 when the bright and shiny 2019 3 is available now? I can only give a half-answer as I haven’t driven the 2019 model yet. But having sat in one, I can see why someone would consider it. The impressive design inside and out can make you believe you’re driving something from a luxury brand. The 2018 model still has some things going for it such as having slightly more interior space, similar fuel economy figures, and dealers beginning to lower prices on them to get them out. As I am writing this (May 5th), I have seen dealers in my local drop prices by $1,000 to $3,000 on 2018 models. Right now, I would be willing to pocket the extra cash and go with a 2018 Mazda3. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 3, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 3
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L SKYACTIV-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline:  Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,098 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
      Base Price: $24,945
      As Tested Price: $28,035 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Equipment Package - $1,600.00
      Soul Red Metallic Paint - $300.00
      Scuff Plates/Door Sill Trim Plate - $125.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $100.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It feels weird to be writing a review of the previous-generation Mazda3 when the new model is currently sitting out front at dealers. But I find this situation to be unique because I had the chance to explore a 2019 Mazda3 to get some first impressions while working on a review of the 2018 model. This gives me a chance to compare the two in certain aspects, along with pondering the question of whether or not the previous model is still a good buy.
      Despite the new model taking the styling up another level, the outgoing model is still a looker. From the bold front end with a large grille and slightly angled headlights, to sculpting running along the sides, the 2018 3 still stands out in the compact crowd. The older design also allows for slightly better rear headroom and a larger area of glass for improved visibility.  But the new 3 holds a significant edge over the old model when it comes to the interior. The modern design and use of high-quality materials really help boost Mazda’s ambitions of becoming something more premium. But the 2018 model I found to have a slightly easier center stack layout and more interior room. One item I didn’t get the chance to play within the 2019 Mazda3 is the infotainment system. Aside from boasting a larger screen, Mazda has also dropped the touchscreen functionality. The latter has been a big issue on some of the recent Mazda vehicles I have driven, including the 2018 3. It is difficult to figure out which parts of the screen are touch-enabled and which aren’t. The system is also beginning to show its age somewhat as the system showed some slowdown in certain areas such as connecting to my phone via Bluetooth. Under the hood of the 2018 model is either a 2.0L or 2.5L SkyActiv-G four-cylinder. My tester had the latter which produces 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet. This engine can also be found under 2019 Mazda3, albeit slightly tweaked - 186 for both horsepower and torque. I find the Mazda3 to be the best application for the 2.5 engine. The lighter weight of the vehicle allows the 2.5 to provide a smooth and quick acceleration for most situations you find yourself in. However, the 2.5 feels like it is running out of breath when going above 70 mph, making passing and merging onto a highway slightly difficult. Where the 3 really shines is down a twisty road. Very few vehicles can match the sharp handling characteristics on offer. The suspension keeps the vehicle level when cornering and quickly respond to change in direction. Steering is quick and features a nice weight when turning. Ride quality is slightly rough with a fair number of bumps coming inside. Some of this can be attributed to the 18-inch wheels fitted on my tester.  Should you consider a 2018 Mazda3 when the bright and shiny 2019 3 is available now? I can only give a half-answer as I haven’t driven the 2019 model yet. But having sat in one, I can see why someone would consider it. The impressive design inside and out can make you believe you’re driving something from a luxury brand. The 2018 model still has some things going for it such as having slightly more interior space, similar fuel economy figures, and dealers beginning to lower prices on them to get them out. As I am writing this (May 5th), I have seen dealers in my local drop prices by $1,000 to $3,000 on 2018 models. Right now, I would be willing to pocket the extra cash and go with a 2018 Mazda3. Disclaimer: Mazda Provided the 3, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: 3
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.5L SKYACTIV-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline:  Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 5,700
      Torque @ RPM: 185 @ 3,250 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/35/30
      Curb Weight: 3,098 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Salamanca, Mexico
      Base Price: $24,945
      As Tested Price: $28,035 (Includes $890.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Equipment Package - $1,600.00
      Soul Red Metallic Paint - $300.00
      Scuff Plates/Door Sill Trim Plate - $125.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $100.00
      Cargo Mat - $75.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      MITSUBISHI MOTORS REPORTS APRIL 2019 SALES
      CYPRESS, Calif. – Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA), the fastest-growing Asian brand in the U.S. for the second consecutive year1, today reported April 2019 sales of 6,963 vehicles.
      Calendar year to date sales through the end of April stood at 49,030 vehicles, representing a year-over-year increase of 12% compared to the same period in 2018, and the brand's best calendar year-to-date sales since 2004. April 2019 sales were down 13% over April 2018.
      News and Notes:
      Outlander total volume was up 5% year-over-year. Eclipse Cross total volume was up more than 40% year-over-year, marking the vehicle's best-ever April. Mirage and Mirage G4, the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered non-hybrid vehicle currently available in America2, continue to buck the consumer trend away from sedans and small passenger cars, with total volume up 8.5% year-over-year.  
      APR
      YTD
       
      2019
      2018
      2019
      2018
      Mirage
      2004
      2069
      8246
      7601
      Lancer3
      0
      441
      0
      2503
      Outlander Sport
      1468
      2286
      13925
      15716
      Outlander
      2408
      2266
      16148
      15365
      Outlander PHEV
      163
      273
      794
      1269
      Eclipse Cross
      920
      655
      9917
      1308
      Total
      6963
      7990
      49030
      43762
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mitsubishi dealers are living in interesting times.  After a tumultuous fall in sales after the recession, the last year and a quarter has given Mitsubishi double digit gains in sales.  Sales for 2018 rose 14 percent and so far this year, sales are up an astonishing 17.6 percent. 
      The question for Mitsubishi is where do they go from here?  With two small crossovers, a large one, and a subcompact car, the next logical answer for their dealers is adding a mid-size pickup to the mix.  Mitsubishi last offered a pickup in the Mitsubishi Raider which was a rebadged Dodge Dakota. 
      Now part of the Nissan-Renault alliance, Mitsubishi is reportedly taking the lead on building the platform for the next line of trucks for the trio. Mitsubishi currently builds the Triton for other global markets, while Nissan fields the Navara, and Renault produces the Alaskan.  All three would be consolidated to a single platform headed by the Mitsubishi effort in about 5 years.  Five years is an eternety in the automotive world, but it may be that the dealerships would need to wait that long to get their wish. 
      It was recently revealed that Nissan is working on a next generation Nissan Frontier, but that truck will use an updated version of its current platform rather than move to a global one.  Still it is possible that a future Frontier could move to the Mitsubishi based platform that is years away from production.
      In the meantime, Mitsubishi is working to expand its dealership network. There are some markets in the US where the brand is non-existent. So Mitsubishi is looking to expand in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York, and Boston. 


      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Mitsubishi dealers are living in interesting times.  After a tumultuous fall in sales after the recession, the last year and a quarter has given Mitsubishi double digit gains in sales.  Sales for 2018 rose 14 percent and so far this year, sales are up an astonishing 17.6 percent. 
      The question for Mitsubishi is where do they go from here?  With two small crossovers, a large one, and a subcompact car, the next logical answer for their dealers is adding a mid-size pickup to the mix.  Mitsubishi last offered a pickup in the Mitsubishi Raider which was a rebadged Dodge Dakota. 
      Now part of the Nissan-Renault alliance, Mitsubishi is reportedly taking the lead on building the platform for the next line of trucks for the trio. Mitsubishi currently builds the Triton for other global markets, while Nissan fields the Navara, and Renault produces the Alaskan.  All three would be consolidated to a single platform headed by the Mitsubishi effort in about 5 years.  Five years is an eternety in the automotive world, but it may be that the dealerships would need to wait that long to get their wish. 
      It was recently revealed that Nissan is working on a next generation Nissan Frontier, but that truck will use an updated version of its current platform rather than move to a global one.  Still it is possible that a future Frontier could move to the Mitsubishi based platform that is years away from production.
      In the meantime, Mitsubishi is working to expand its dealership network. There are some markets in the US where the brand is non-existent. So Mitsubishi is looking to expand in markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York, and Boston. 

  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. Nick
      Nick
      (32 years old)
    2. RichW5
      RichW5
      (77 years old)
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...