2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport at the 2010 New York Auto Show
on April 1, 2010
- Competes with: Kia Soul, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue
- Looks like: The Outlander's kid brother
- Drivetrain: 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with five-speed manual or CVT; front- or all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Fall
Mitsubishi's new five-seat Outlander Sport is the latest in a growing segment of ultra-small crossovers that includes models like the upcoming Nissan Juke and Mini Cooper Countryman. It's offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive and will be available in base ES and upper-level SE trim levels when it hits dealerships in fall.
The design connection between Mitsubishi's larger Outlander crossover and the new Outlander Sport is clearly evident in the front ends of these two models. Both feature Mitsubishi's distinctive trapezoidal grille that's bisected by the bumper, and the slit-like headlights are even a little similar. Overall, the Outlander Sport is about 14 inches shorter than the Outlander. The Outlander Sport's front fenders are made of dent-resistant plastic, and the ES trim level has standard 16-inch wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires, LED taillights and heated side mirrors. The SE trim adds 18-inch alloy rims, fog lamps and high-intensity-discharge headlights.
Outlander Sports come with front bucket seats and a 60/40-split folding backseat with a pass-through to the cargo area. Standard features include air conditioning, cruise control, steering-wheel audio controls, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, USB and auxiliary inputs, and Mitsubishi's Fuse system that features Bluetooth for phone calls and audio streaming. SE trims add automatic climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers and heated front seats. A Navigation Package and a Premium Package, which includes a panoramic glass roof and a Rockford Fosgate audio system, are optional for SE models.
The Outlander Sport is powered by a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that teams with a five-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission with paddle shifters that simulate gear changes. The available all-wheel-drive system includes a Lock mode for particularly slippery driving conditions.
Standard safety features include antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag.
Senior Editor Mike Hanley is a father of three boys; he reviews new cars, admires classic cars and has embraced the minivan lifestyle. Email Mike