2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Comfort & Quality

7.0
Comfort & Quality

In terms of size and space, there's quite a lot to like in the Outlander Sport for the practically minded.

Although the Outlander Sport is a size (or half-size) smaller than the compact crossover mainstream, it doesn't feel so much so. Front seats feel fairly snug but supportive, and in back there's real space for two adults or three kids. And seat height is at the right level to allow what many aging crossover shoppers seek: easy entry that's just a matter of sitting and turning. 

Somewhat plasticky, low-rent trims are the only letdowns in a package that hits the mark for size, space, and versatility.

The back seats are split 60/40 and fold down easily with just one arm. Plus, 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.

Ths Outlander Sport is lit inside in red—an aesthetic choice that's going to elicit polarized responses, no doubt. We like it, as well as how 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.

Otherwise, you do get what you pay for inside; 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. 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—don't expect anything above the feel of a budget-priced compact sedan cabin.

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