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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Comfort & Quality

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On Comfort & Quality
The Outlander Sport is more than a foot shorter than the Outlander—and just 169 inches long alogether (shorter than most compact cars)—but you wouldn't know it from the inside. The design includes comfortable seating for four (five in a pinch) plus a rather low, flat cargo floor and straightforward, flat-folding back seats.

Front seats are on the narrow side, and they'll be fairly snug for taller occupants, but they have impressive mid-back support, which is unusual in inexpensive vehicles, and the coarse cloth upholstery feels grippy and durable. In back, the seating position is quite firm and upright—and it's only passable for two adults across—but it's a perfectly good package for two adults to ride in back for going across town for an event or away for a few hours.

The back seats are split 60/40, and they fold easily with one arm down to that low cargo floor includes; there's a nice, low cargo floor, and the larger seatback includes a separate, slightly higher-up trunk pass-through that would be good for multiple sets of skis. Built into the same enclosure is a fold-down, padded armrest with two cupholders built in.

The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has an excellent layout, with comfortable seating and good versatility, but road noise and drab trim are serious blemishes.

We really like the way the Outlander Sport is lit inside, too. Although it's red lighting, there's a lot of attention to detail, and the very large moonroof is even lit around the rim—a subtle touch that you might notice when parked but not when driving.

Unfortunately, Mitsubishi misses some other important, more broad-ranging details: The interior is a bit too drab and plasticky for most tastes, and more importantly for those who plan to do a lot of highway driving, there's a lot of road noise; in a test vehicle, tire and road rumble was present in the vehicle as long as it was rolling, and it became obtrusive on the highway.

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.

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