Saturday Road Test – Mitsubishi’s Best Seller

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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

A Well Equipped Looker

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD – The price is as attractive as the exterior style, the ride is quiet, and the warranty is a long one on the Outlander Sport, Mitsubishi’s best-selling vehicle.

Those on a tight budget might be attracted to the base price of $19,595 for the ES model or a base of $23,995 for the more upscale and tested SE with all-wheel drive.

Added sound proofing made for a hushed interior during an interstate trip allowing one to enjoy the 710 watt Rockwood Fosgate Premium Sound system with 9 speakers and 10 inch subwoofer that steals a little cargo space, but is well worth the sacrifice. It comes as part of a $1,000 “Premium Package” that also includes an auto dimming rear view mirror and power driver’s seat. For sure, it will pump out enough bass to affect the read outs on your new Apple iWatch.

Both front seats were heated just in time for chilly fall mornings. Two adults will fit into the second row seats with no complaints, and if you want a third row the idea is to step up to the roughly foot longer Mitsu Outlander without the Sport moniker.

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Mitsubishi offers a 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, a 5 year, 60,000 mile basic warranty and 5 years of roadside assistance regardless of mileage.

Add in a generous list of standard features, and the price on the tested Sport came to $25,820. As you can see there is a lot to like here, and in many ways it was one of the best Mitsubishis that I have ever driven. It was particularly fun to punch up the all-wheel drive for a little off roading around a nearby mountain, or at least what passes for one in these parts.

Handling was on a par with the class, the ride was comfortable and the short turning radius came in handy when I had to make a mostly legal tight in town U turn.

The downside was the 2.0 liter four that was rated at 148 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm with 145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm. Coupled with a lackluster CVT transmission acceleration was on the leisurely side. Look for a 0-60 run of more than 9 seconds. Where you will notice it most is starting from red lights on parkways and on long interstate hills. The base model comes with a five speed stick and that might improve things.

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The CVT cranked up a lot of noise but little forward progress compared with the competition yet two things should be pointed out.

Mitsubishi says later models carry an improved CVT and secondly, there will be customers for whom acceleration is not a big deal but economy is.

On that note, the EPA rates the Sport at 24 in city, 29 out on the highway with a combined 26 miles per gallon. I finished the week at 25 mpg all on regular unleaded.

As for cargo space, there is 21.7 cubic feet with the 60/40 split rear seats up, and 49.5 cubes with them folded. That is more than the Nissan Juke and less than the Kia Sportage, for example.

For those who will largely drive in city traffic, the Sport just might be the ticket. My guess is that Mitsubishi dealers will offer a better deal than you can haggle from one of the segment’s higher volume dealers.

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