Our Outlander Sport came equipped with the optional Premium Package and Navigation Package. These upgrades definitely made the driving experience more enjoyable. The panoramic roof is a great addition, but the disappointment is that the roof doesn’t actually open. It’s a glass roof that provides great sunlight and adds to the airy feel of a small vehicle, but would have been a better feature if it truly provided an open-air feeling.
The navigation system was the same system that I used while in the Evo X last year. Overall, it’s an easy system to use, though the graphics quality does not seem to be as crisp as some other newer systems on the market. The display would seem grainy at times, depending on the degree of magnification of certain maps.
On the outside, the design cues are definitely trademark Mitsubishi. The signature front grille is difficult to miss, and exudes an air of aggressive sportiness and athleticism. The body shape and angles are clean and precise. I had no trouble with any blind spots.
The most interesting visual comparison came when our Subaru Outback was parked in front of the Outlander Sport. The Outlander Sport has a tight wheelbase that adds to the nimble handling, but the rear overhang behind the rear wheel seems to have been cut off abruptly. The result is a rear cargo area that looks chopped off and somewhat off balance compared to the front overhang in front of the front wheels.
The Premium Package also added basic utility roof rails. This is a must if you travel with a lot of gear because you likely might not be able to fit everything inside. Our family consists of two adults, two young kids, and two dogs. To make a weekend trip to Tahoe to ski or cycle, I didn’t feel that everything would fit given the small volume behind the back seats. One could argue that we have enough cargo to justify a full sized SUV, but we normally make this trip in a 2010 Subaru Outback without issue.
Value/ Who should buy it?
Initially, I had a hard time discerning the ideal buyer for this crossover. But as I drove it more, both short and long road trips, with and without cycling gear, I came to the realization that this vehicle would be great for the single, active outdoors enthusiast. Its compact size is very maneuverable and nimble, and though it’s underpowered, handling is sporty and fun. But it really only has enough cargo space for one person’s gear. You can possibly add more gear, if you carry your bikes on the roof or on a hitch rack, but once you add a dog or a child, space becomes tight.
I was hoping that this might end up being a compact SUV that would stimulate my senses and add to the debate of which one to actually buy for my next car. Sadly, despite the crisp handling and decent features and amenities, the car just seems too underpowered to make the cut. It was less responsive at the gas pedal than I would have liked, and despite getting decent mileage over the five day period that I had it, it still seemed to drink more gas than the EPA rating (24mpg around town, 29mpg highway). I experienced closer to 22mpg on average, though it might have been simply because I wanted the car to get up and go at times.
Overall, I enjoyed the ride of the Outlander Sport, but the power and pep was non-existent, and took away from the overall experience of the ride.
2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Specs
- Engine: 2.0 Liter DOHC Inline 4 MIVEC
- Power: 143 hp at 6,000 rpm (SE AWC)
- Torque: 143 lb ft at 4,200 rpm (SE AWC)
- Transmission: 6 speed continuous variable timing automatic transmission
- EPA estimated MPG: 24 City / 29 Highway
- Price: $22,995 / $27,575 as tested
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