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STYLING | 8 out of 10
shares no exterior body panels with its larger sibling
materials and textures are notably better than some of the pieces found in the Lancer line
the only carryovers you'll find are the door mirrors, steering wheel and a few other interior bits
It's a face that evokes speed and performance, but the rest of the car is a relatively conservative
You could think of the 2013 Outlander Sport either as a lighter, shorter (about a foot) version of the Outlander crossover vehicle, with nearly the same overall width and height, or as a tall-wagon version of the Lancer sedan.
Whichever way you see it, the Outlander Sport's styling and details help frame its purpose as a practical, no-nonsense vehicle. But a few subtle styling changes for 2013 do aim to give this model a slightly more upscale touch than before. Most notably, the Outlander Sport gets a restyled front fascia and grille that looks a bit less aggressive and a little softer than before—smoothing over some of the bluntness of the aggressive, shark-like front-end styling that the Outlander Sport has in common with the Outlander SUV and the Lancer compact sedan.
Overall, the Outlander Sport ends up looking more like a tall hatch—sporty from some angles, a bit bulbous from others—and the different sheetmetal than the Outlander, and a rising beltline crease that helps keep from looking too slab-sided. The rear bumper follows a new design for 2013, serving with strategically blacked-out lower-body aero trim to help it look just a little sportier, perhaps.
Inside, up-close impressions of the Outlander Sport aren't always in line with first impressions from a few paces back. The Outlander Sport looks influenced by the more upscale Outlander by design, but it falls victim to the basic Lancer models' drab interior trims up close. Last year Mitsubishi added a little more bright trim, which helped somewhat, and this year seat materials have been updated.
The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is attractively styled inside and out, though its cabin materials tend toward the drab.