THE 2014 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT SE IMPRESSES ON MANY LEVELS INCLUDING PRICE AND COMFORT.
Review and photos by Vinnie Richichi
To paraphrase that great 80s movie quote....I'm just a car standing in front of a driver asking him to love her! That's kind of the bottom line takeaway I got from spending a week in the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport compact crossover. It may not have all of the sleek curves or be as well equipped as the other cars in its class but it is a more than capable ride from a car company that wants you to know it is doing just fine thank you very much.
Looking at the Outlander Sport from the outside it is one of the more appealing vehicles in its class. It slots in more hatchback than SUV but with all wheel drive capability. The nose has been toned down over past editions but still carries the unique front treatment that identifies Mitsubishi. It has a high roof, muscular wheel wells lots of glass and wide door openings that allow you and your cargo to get in and out with a minimum of difficulty.
Once inside the front seats while not fancy are comfortable. The rear seat again while not fancy shines in the leg room department. Controls are logical well placed and easy to use. The Nav screen is small and had an aftermarket feel to it but again...it worked. Drop the back seat and the Outlander Sport felt like it has about as much room as anything in its class probably due to the tall roof line. Visibility was excellent, among the best in the class.
If you are looking for a highway hauler or a boat tower the Outlander is somewhat underpowered, but if your thing is rolling around town in the snow, picking the kids up at school, going to the mall and using it as 95% of the folks that own this class of vehicle do, the 2.0 liter 148 hp engine with a CVT is quite peppy. It could use a bit more gusto on the open road and for that reason I think the manual transmission is the way to go here. The Outlander Sport handles like a small car. It is extremely manueverable in city traffic, holds the road nicely through back country curves with a nice feel to the electric power steering and has more of a car like ride than SUV as well. All wheel drive is controlled through an electric switch that offers 2, 4 wheel drive and Lock modes making it a true 4 wheel drive.
The Outlander Sport SE I drove stickered at $25,820 with Premium Package and destination charges. After checking several local dealer websites 2014 models can be had for under $20k (Jim Shorkey Mitsubishi). Gas mileage comes in at 24 city/29 highway/26 combined miles per gallon. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a top Safety Pick of the Insurance institute of Highway Safety and is considered to be one of the safest vehicles in its class.
There is a lot to like about the Outlander Sport, especially if safety is number one on your list. It's not the quickest nor the most powerful nor the prettiest compact SUV out there. What it is is comfortable, good, reliable, roomy and value priced. And looking to be loved.