The 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport definitely doesn't transcend its affordable price with respect to cabin appointments or overall refinement, but it offers a nice, comfortable, space-efficient interior.
From the inside, you might get to thinking that the Outlander Sport is nearly the same size as more mainstream compact crossovers, like the Ford Escape, even though it's really a half-size down. Front seats feel fairly snug but supportive, and in back there's real space for two adults or three kids. Aging drivers or busy moms will find that seat height is just right—a little higher than a sedan, yet lower than a larger SUV. You get get in by merely sitting and turning, or load children in without straining your back. With a nicely contoured back seat, and a fold-down padded armrest and dual cupholders in back, there's plenty of useful space there as well.
A nice, low cargo floor and easy-folding rear seatbacks (split 60/40) combine to provide cargo space and versatility that's very impressive considering the compact exterior. There's also a slightly higher-up trunk pass-through that could accommodate multiple sets of skis.
There are a few more soft-touch surfaces here than in some other rival vehicles, but it's mostly in the form of a padded dash cover; otherwise it's budget-sedan material. The red gauge illumination you get in the Outlander Sport will be polarizing, although we do tend to like the somewhat sporty look—including a number of subtle accent-lighting touches, such as how the large moonroof is lit around the rim.
Unfortunately noise and refinement are details that Mitsubishi hasn't addressed properly, at least in previous model years. The Outlander Sport has been one of the noisiest vehicles in this class; but for 2014 Mitsubishi has added more noise insulation as well as a new engine balancer shaft. We hope to revisit this model soon and report back on the level of improvement, but based on previous experiences there's been way too much noise and harshness—especially during passing or long mountain grades.