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2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Overview
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, also known as the Mitsubishi RVR, has been in its second generation since 2010. The 2018 model receives a minor but notable mid-cycle refresh, complete with styling updates and feature improvements. With a starting price of just under $20,000 for the 2017 model, this compact crossover appeals to many simply because of its low cost. It has become the company’s best-selling vehicle in the United States, although these days Mitsubishi only offers a few models in U.S. markets.
For 2018, updates to the Outlander Sport’s exterior include new front and back bumpers, LED running lights, and a new rear skid plate and reflectors. The interior receives a 7.0-inch Smartphone Link display screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a redesigned center console, and a new shift lever. A new Alloy Silver exterior color is also available.
Under the hood of the Outlander Sport, buyers can choose between a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque or a slightly more potent 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 168 hp and 167 lb-ft. The smaller engine can be had with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the larger engine is available only with the CVT. Buyers also have the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), although the top-shelf GT trim is offered exclusively with AWD. Fuel economy is decent but unremarkable for such a small vehicle—with FWD and an automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter engine manages 24 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined and the larger 2.4-liter engine gets 23, 28, and 25. The thirstiest are the Outlander Sports with the 2.4-liter engine and AWD, which get EPA figures of 22, 27, and 24.
The Outlander Sport isn’t large, but it does sport more than 20 cubic feet of space behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 50 cubic feet with the seats folded. As for the quality of the ride, the Outlander Sport has been criticized in the past for its lack of sound insulation and its cheap-feeling cabin materials. Mitsubishi doesn’t seem to have addressed the material quality for 2018, but it does claim to have made improvements in terms of road noise.
Inside the Outlander Sport, the base ES trim comes standard with a 4-speaker stereo and automatic climate control. Stepping up to the LE trim adds fog lights, heated front seats, an infotainment touchscreen, and a reversing camera. The SE trim gets an upgraded audio system and push-button start, while SEL models further add a power driver’s seat, leather upholstery, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and chrome exterior trim. Finally, the range-topping GT trim receives a sunroof and a premium audio system. A Touring package added for 2018 comes with a panoramic roof and several active safety features.
The current-generation Outlander Sport has gotten mixed crash-test results. The 2017 model earned mostly Good ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), aside from an Acceptable rating on the difficult small frontal-overlap test. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA) was a little harsher, awarding the 2017 Outlander Sport a 4-star overall rating. For 2018, however, Mitsubishi has added some optional enhanced safety features as part of the Touring package, including automatic high beams, lane-departure warning, forward-collision mitigation, and a reversing camera.
Compared to competitors like the Kia Sorento, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda CR-V, or Toyota RAV4, the Outlander Sport still doesn’t seem to be the best at anything. Its main appeal is a cheap entry price into the practicality of a crossover, as long as extra bells and whistles or peppy performance aren’t particularly important to you. The changes for 2018 aren’t revolutionary but they keep the model relevant, and the Outlander Sport remains an appealing—if somewhat unremarkable—all-rounder.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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