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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 2 reviews
Brand new for 2011 is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Essentially a downsized Outlander, this mini-ute adds a couple of available gizmos but loses the Outlander’s third-row seat, as well as over 20 feet of cargo space, resulting in 50 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The Lancer-derived front grille and fascia give this family-friendly, five-passenger subcompact crossover a distinctly aggressive look, and available upgrades, such as LED cabin illumination, a larger rear spoiler, and various exterior chrome accents and corner extensions add to its curb appeal. An available rear-view camera, meanwhile, as well as its shorter wheelbase give the Outlander Sport a distinct edge over its larger cousin in maneuvering around crowded parking lots.
Two trim levels, the base ES and feature-rich SE, define the Outlander Sport lineup, with both powered by a tolerably efficient if somewhat punchless four-cylinder powerplant. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard for both trims, though the SE is available with full-time all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction. Mitsubishi heralds the Outlander Sport as a jauntier alternative to its ordinarily staid lineup, but according to many reviewers, rivals such as the Chevy Equinox, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage, and Nissan Rogue offer more cargo space, refinement, and overall excitement, albeit for a significantly higher price.
The sole powerplant offering for the 2011 Outlander Sport is a variable-valve-timed 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder (I4) engine. A standard five-speed manual transmission graces the base ES, while the SE trim level gets delivered with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that’s optional for the ES. With either transmission, expect 148 hp and a trailer-challenged 145 lb-ft of torque out of the four-banger, to the tune of 24/31 mpg with the five-speed stick, 25/31 with the CVT, and 24/29 from the SE AWD. The SE AWD's drivetrain includes a mechanical, center-mounted limited-slip differential.
Despite its small size, the 2011 Outlander Sport comes with big-time standard features. The base ES trim offers 16-inch steel wheels, rear spoiler, trip computer, cloth upholstery, power windows, door locks, and heated outside mirrors, telescoping and tilting steering wheel with mounted audio and cruise controls, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, 140-watt single-CD audio system with four speakers, Bluetooth hands-free technology, and a USB connection. The SE, meantime, adds 18-inch alloy wheels, premium cloth upholstery, keyless ignition, front console, six speakers, and climate control.
Options include HDD navigation with 40GB of music storage and a rear-view camera, upgraded exterior trim, and a 6-CD changer across the lineup. The ES is also offered with available 16-inch alloy wheels, while the SE can be delivered with remote engine start, LED cabin illumination, and the Premium Package, featuring a 710-watt, nine-speaker Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system, satellite radio, power sunroof, and roof rails.
Safety-wise, the 2011 Outlander Sport boasts four-wheel ABS, traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, driver’s-side knee airbag, front head restraint whiplash protection, and a remote anti-theft alarm on both trims. The SE also adds standard HID headlights and front fog/driving lights, the latter optional for the base ES trim.
Owner input is obviously lacking for the spanking-new 2011 Outlander Sport, but early returns from professional reviewers are decidedly mixed. Tepid acceleration and dodgy handling are among this little crossover’s downsides, while spiffy looks, a smooth ride, and wallet-friendly base price try to compensate. Mitsubishi, meanwhile, has high hopes for this subcompact CUV, but time will tell.
by Eric Tallberg
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