By Jennifer Geiger on April 10, 2012
Mitsubishi's smallest crossover and best-selling vehicle gets slightly refreshed for 2013. Aside from exterior styling tweaks and a revised suspension, the Outlander Sport’s unlovable continuously variable automatic transmission gets recalibrated for the second time since the vehicle’s model-year 2011 debut.
The compact crossover's face gets updated with a tweaked grille, new fog lamp design, black side sills and revised bumpers. Eighteen-inch wheels are newly standard across all trim levels, replacing 16s on base models. More chrome trim dots the exterior, which comes in several new colors: White Pearl and Quick Silver join Laguna Blue, Labrador Black Pearl, Mercury Gray and Rally Red.
More chrome trim and new seat fabrics are added to the cabin. A new all-wheel-drive control button joins the control panel for 2013.
Base ES and SE models return for 2013, as does Outlander Sport's powertrain: a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual transmission or CVT. Mitsubishi says another recalibration of the CVT for 2013 should improve acceleration and make shifts feel smoother.
With the 2013 model, production moves from Japan to Normal, Ill. The Outlander Sport will also be exported to foreign markets. Production starts in July.
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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer