Crossover & Midsize

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Is Both Ahead and Behind the Curve

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a subcompact crossover SUV, a size that is currently very popular with buyers. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport first arrived in 2011; however, it hasn’t been redesigned since 2015. With many newer competitors, the Outlander Sport is falling behind, but it does still have a number of positive features too. In a recent review, AutoTrader highlighted the pluses and minuses of the new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.

On the plus side of the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

On the positive side, the new 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will come with lots of standard features while also offering a good price. Mitsubishi hasn’t yet provided details about what those features will include, though.

AutoTrader suggests that standard driver-assist features would be great, including forward collision mitigation. For the 2020 model year, forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and blind-spot warning with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert have come standard with the 2.0 SE and 2.4 GT trims but haven’t been available on the other three trim levels.

Other possible standard features might be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. For 2020, the top four trims have come standard with this compatibility, but it’s still optional on the base trim.

AutoTrader also likes the Outlander Sport’s price, which it estimates will start between $23,750 and $26,750 depending on the trim level along with the ability to comfortably transport adults in the rear seat despite having a subcompact size. The Outlander Sport also has a good ride quality. Its interior is nice, with soft-touch plastics and good ergonomics.

On the negative side of the 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

On the flip side, AutoTrader points to a few aspects it doesn’t enjoy about the Outlander Sport. The SUV has a “noisy and underpowered base engine” along with an “unpleasant CVT.” The Outlander Sports main engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder one that generates 148 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque.

It’s paired with a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is available. The 2.4 GT trim has a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 168 hp and 167 lb-ft of torque.

In keeping with its petite size, it doesn’t offer much cargo room. There are 21.7 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. With the seats folded down, that becomes 49.5 cubic feet. There’s slightly less if the upgraded audio system is included at 48.8 cubic feet. While it’s a dependable ride, the Outlander Sport doesn’t have great fuel efficiency or strong resale value either.

Its rivals

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Despite the efforts of Mitsubishi to keep the Outlander Sport relevant, its competitors are more impressive. AutoTrader has a number of competitors that it suggests as possible alternatives. It calls the 2021 Mazda CX-3 “one of the more entertaining vehicles in this class.” The 2021 Hyundai Kona stands out for being “well priced and well equipped.”

Several options have standard all-wheel drive, including the 2021 Fiat 500X and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. Another Mitsubishi crossover, the Eclipse Cross, is an option that has been more recently been redesigned. The 2022 model is expected early in 2021. AutoTrader suggests considering a used Honda CR-V. While it’s larger, it is the best-selling crossover and a very strong contender.

The Outlander Sport is Mitsubishi’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., but the company doesn’t have strong sales in this country. While the newest generation of Mitsubishi Outlander arrives for 2022, there is no indication to date of a full redesign of the Outlander Sport. The current 2021 model year Outlander Sport is “pleasant,” according to AutoTrader, but it doesn’t have a ton to make it worth recommending it.