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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: Driven Page 3

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The downsides are essentially the same as what haunt the entire Lancer and Outlander family: an interior that's a bit too drab and plasticky and, yes, way too much road noise inside. Just a little more noise insulation (or perhaps softer-sidewall tires) would go a long way; you hear a lot of road noise pretty much as long as the vehicle is rolling.

Road noise is an issue...but the price is right

That said, we're really impressed with the Outlander Sport's combination of responsiveness and ride quality. The suspension does a great job of absorbing minor road shocks; so it's surprising that when you load up the suspension a bit more in cornering that it feels as good as it does. Unfortunately, the Outlander Sport doesn't get the more sophisticated Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel-drive system that's in the Lancer Evolution family and the top-of-the-line Outlander GT, but you'd only miss that in rally-car-style driving or in conditions like slushy winter roads.

Interior controls are much like those of the Lancer family, which is to say they're very straightforward and feel good...in a non-luxurious sense. Sound system controls are mounted high, while climate controls—including a full auto mode—are mounted below. There's a little more soft touch here—mainly in the form of a layer of padded material that's been added to the dash—but it's still not even remotely an upscale look or feel.

The bottom-line sticker of our test Outlander Sport SE AWD was just $25,575, and that included the $1,800 Premium Package that brings the panoramic sunroof, Rockford Fosgate premium audio with subwoofer, Sirius satellite radio, a 6-CD changer, and black roof rails. Standard equipment is already impressive, with the SE including automatic climate control, heated front seats and mirrors, the FUSE Bluetooth hands-free system, and a good set of steering-wheel control for audio functions. Safety kit includes the expected stability control, anti-lock brakes, and side and side-curtain bags, and the Outlander Sport also comes with front knee bags.

If you can look past the Outlander Sport's boomy interior and just-adequate powertrain performance, the Outlander Sport stands out as quite a deal—especially for the base front-wheel-drive model, at $19,275 including destination.

The virtual test drive might have been a gimmick, but Mitsubishi had nothing to cover up here; take one out for a drive and you'll find this to be one of the best takes on 'tall small' yet.


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Comments (4)
  1. I wanted to like this car when I test-drove it. I loved the looks and everything inside that it had to offer. I drove it twice...and couldn't get past how loud and underpowered it is. I'm now looking at a Nissan Rogue or 2012 Honda CR-V (depending on what it ends up looking like, as there's not even a spy shot out there yet).
     
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  2. Appreciated this review, Bengt. I would put this car pretty much at the top of my futures list. I would buy one with the AWD that you mention thaht goes for $25,575 that includes the sunroof and Rockford Fosgate stereo system. My '08 Lancer GTS also has this and ZZ Top's 'Fandango' never sounded so good than it did on this stereo the other night in Coeur d'Alene, ID.
    Who cares about a little road noise when you're diggin' music that loud and might I add, accurately loud? That RF sound system is flawless. Mitsubishi designed it so the sound comes from all 9 speakers right at the front seat occupants-loud and proud. Rock to some Foghat, Guess Who, Tragically Hip and Drive-By Truckers in your 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.
     
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  3. I have the same model, an AWD one with the upgraded audio system and the panoramic roof. I was inclined to go for just an AWD without any options, but the dealership I went to (the more reasonably priced one) only had one AWD and that was the one with options. I'm glad that I had to get this, because I LOVE the audio system. The tweeters direct some mid and high levels directly at you and the subwoofer adds a nice punch if you're in the mood for some bass. I don't even bother to close the roof because it feels much more roomy when it's open. I put on 1300 miles in a month and a half, and I got 25.03 mpg calculated at my last fill up (50% city, 50% highway).
     
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  4. Things I don't like about this car:
    1. There's some sort of a rattle that comes from somewhere in the front when the rpm is around 2300-3000. I haven't been able to place the source, but this should NOT happen in a new car.
    2. The engine can be whiny and noisy when pushed.
    3. The back hatch gets really dirty VERY quick. I live in WA and we have rain/drizzle almost every other day. One day after washing, if there's a slight drizzle for 5-10 minutes, the hatch gets huge dirt spots. I think it's because of the way the rear tires are positioned, with almost no overhang at the back. Sides look clean, back looks like it's been offroading.
    4. They could have provided a tad more space in the back. It's very nice and compact and easy to park, but 6 more inches in the back wouldn't have made much of a difference but given tons more cargo room.
    I almost always have music playing, so the noise problems aren't too bothersome, but occasionally when I do turn it off it can get annoying.
     
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