For 2015, Mitsubishi Motors is giving some versions of its Outlander Sport small crossover what should prove to be a significant upgrade under the hood.
On 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES and GT models, a new 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine bumps output to 168 horsepower; that’s 20 more than in standard Outlander Sport models with the 2.0-liter engine.
20 more hp for Mitsubishi's smallest crossover
Although Mitsubishi hasn’t yet released full specs—including fuel economy figures or acceleration times—for the 2.4-liter model, the engine makes 167 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm in the Lancer Ralliart hatchback, with which the Outlander Sport shares its platform, and it makes that model significantly quicker. At last update of this review, Mitsubishi hadn't yet provided full fuel economy figures with the new engine, although it did provide a sampling of 23 mpg city, 28 highway with the five-speed manual and front-wheel drive, or 23/26 with the manual and all-wheel drive. In the Lancer, the larger engine pushes fuel economy numbers down by a significant 3 mpg in the city and 4 mpg on the highway.
In any case, it should address a longstanding issue with the lesser 2.0-liter versions of the Outlander Sport: In moderate or rapid acceleration, it can get a little too noisy with the CVT, and passing ability on the highway is sluggish—to the degree that we've actually warned against choosing that model as a long-legged commuter.
Both of these models are, as with the existing Outlander Sport lineup, offered with a choice between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.
Higher horsepower, as well as a higher price
The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4-liter models start at $22,145 for the ES ($1,700 more than the 2.0-liter ES) or $24,445 for the GT.
The Sport 2.4 ES has essentially the same equipment as the base Outlander Sport 2.0 ES, but with a color-keyed front bumper and blacked-out center area. ES models include alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, air conditioning, power windows, locks, and mirrors, and a color LCD multi-information display.
Mid-range SE models aren’t offered with the larger engine; but at the 2.4 GT level, the Outlander Sport includes a power driver’s seat, aluminum pedals, and mirror-integral turn signals. There’s also a GT Premium Package, with a panoramic sunroof, adjustable LED moode lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 710-watt, nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate sound system. A GT Touring Package option can also bring leather upholstery, plus a seven-inch touch-screen system with navigation and real-time traffic info.
The 2.0-liter ES and SE models of the 2015 Outlander Sport have already been on sale, and this year they gained a number of other improvements, including a new CVT calibration, a higher-efficiency oil system, improved noise insulation, and standard LED running lamps.