The Outlander Sport takes a sportier tack—looking (and feeling) more like a tall hatch—but it doesn't always feel as sprightly as you might expect from the driver's seat.
There really are two different assessments of how the Outlander Sport drives—and it depends on how importantly you value acceleration and straight-ahead responsiveness. Although the manual is a better choice to make the most of the 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, this is not a particularly quick vehicle, and the on-road performance provided with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is quite disappointing. With the CVT, it feels strictly economy class, with on the road performance feeling sluggish and boomy when pressed.
But it's a completely different story if you're talking about cornering; the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport drives with a light, responsive feel—more like a compact sedan than a larger crossover—and this is a good pick for those who want compactness and maneuverability, not all-out ruggedness. Mitsubishi got the tuning of the electric power steering right, and with good body control, the Outlander Sport handles better than other tall subcompacts like the Nissan Cube or the Scion xD or xB. Excellent brakes also add confidence.