2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

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2019
The Car Connection
2019
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

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November 13, 2018

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is another year older and another step behind its competitors in every area but price.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is an most established offering in the booming subcompact crossover SUV market, but it is starting to show its age. Although this mini Mitsu may entice with its low price  and competitive features, we recommend shopping around.

Overall, we’ve rated it 4.5 out of 10 points. (Read more about how we rate cars.) Other competitors have the benefit of more cohesive designs, better safety features, and newer hardware, but starting at just over $21,000 after destination charge, the Outlander Sport offers decent value.

The Outlander Sport is unchanged in the styling department for 2019 and includes only updates to packaging and available active safety features. Its short stature and forgettable looks fail to distinguish it from more wildly styled competitors, but sometimes blending in can be better than standing out.

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Unfortunately, the powertrain options hold over for 2019 as well, betraying the “Sport” designation in the model name. Two inline-4 engines paired to a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are available, one with 148 horsepower and one with 168 hp.either provides thrills or even impressive fuel economy. Most models average around 25 mpg combined.

Despite its short length, the Outlander Sport features a practical and spacious interior, though material quality leaves something to be desired. Neither row of seats is particularly comfortable either, making the Outlander Sport better suited for short jaunts than long road trips.

Unlike its larger sibling, the Outlander Sport’s safety ratings leave a lot to be desired, with middling crash test scores and active safety features that cost extra, though more are available on the 2019 model.

5

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Styling

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can’t be called ugly, but it doesn’t stand out in the design department either.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is entering its ninth year, and compared to the edgy designs of many competitors, its age is starting to show. The front end was revised in 2017 and carries over into this year, but the Outlander Sport still looks like a 9-year-old car with a new face. That’s why we’ve given it 5 out of 10 for styling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

The Outlander Sport seems to be undecided about whether it wants to be a hatchback or SUV, with a stubby profile that suggests its smaller inside than it actually is. Some chrome trim and large wheels on upper trims help things, but overall this subcompact crossover SUV is in need of a full redesign.

Inside, things are somehow drearier. The dashboard looks like it could be straight out of a car from the mid-2000s, and the whole cabin is a sea of black plastic and cloth. Material quality leaves a lot to be desired as well, with switchgear that feels as hollow as it looks. Almost every competitor has better quality and a more interesting design.

If you do opt for the Outlander Sport, get it in a brighter exterior color like blue or red just to liven things up a bit. Otherwise, you might fall asleep at the wheel.

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Performance

Like the rest of it, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s powertrain is from another era, one that we’re not yearning to go back to.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is available in two powertrain choices, neither of which is inspiring. Steering and handling is at least on par with the competition, so we’ve given it 4 out of 10 for performance. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Two engines, two transmissions, and two drivetrains are available on the Outlander Sport, which is better than many competitors but almost no combination seems like a winner. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque and comes with a 5-speed manual transmission as standard. A CVT is available for those who don’t want to row their own, as well as all-wheel-drive, which is exclusive to automatic models.

An upgraded 2.4-liter inline-4 is available and makes 168 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque, which is certainly an improvement but still feels lackadaisical. Unfortunately, the CVT is the only transmission available with this engine, which again comes standard with front-wheel-drive and optional with all-wheel-drive.

Both engines have lackluster acceleration and are incredibly noisy at high engine speeds thanks to a lack of sound deadening material, though the handling of the Outlander Sport is a bright spot. Its short wheelbase makes for tighter cornering and decent suspension manages body roll nicely.

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Comfort & Quality

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is more spacious inside than it looks, but material quality and sound deadening leave a lot to be desired.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport shows its age in the quality department, with lackluster materials and a noisy cabin. However, interior space is better than at first glance, warranting a rating of 5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Despite its short stature and stubby rear end, the Outlander Sport is reasonably spacious and practical inside, thanks to a low load floor in the cargo area and interior volume that keeps it competitive. Unfortunately, neither the front or rear seats are particularly comfortable, with hard, flat cushions that make longer drives a fidgety experience.

Only the dashboard and a few other spots have soft-touch plastics, and the rest of the cabin is a sea of hard, thin plastic that doesn’t stand up to the touch test. Gauges and switches are from another era as well, and the infotainment system looks like an aftermarket unit rather than one properly integrated from the factory.

Unfortunately, the Outlander Sport’s most glaring issue is road and engine noise, as both powertrains are incredibly buzzy under hard acceleration.

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Safety

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport lags behind the competition in both crash test scores and active safety technology.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets middling crash test ratings, and active safety features are only available on the higher trim levels, though more are available this year. That’s why we’ve given it 3 out of 10 for safety. It loses points for expensive active safety gear and a troubling four-star rating from the federal government. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2019, the SE and GT trims offer  blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alerts, and active lane control as an option, while forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights are standard on the top-tier GT trim, which now has a lower-priced version in place of the SEL trim.

The Outlander Sport gets four stars overall from the federal government, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives it mostly “Good” ratings except for notable shortcomings in the driver and passenger small front overlap tests, which receive an “Acceptable” and “Marginal” respectively. The headlights are also rated only a “Marginal,” though the active safety tech gets a “Superior” rating when it is equipped.

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Features

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport’s best feature is still its base price, and all trims offer good value at first glance.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport starts at under $22,000 including destination charge with no configurations coming close to $30,000, and that’s its best feature. Mitsubishi also offers one of the industry’s most competitive powertrain warranties, so we’ve given it 6 out of 10 points accordingly. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

For 2019, last year’s SEL trim is a thing of the past, so the Outlander Sport is available in ES, SE, and GT trims. All versions come standard with 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome exterior trim, as well as a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic climate control, a rearview camera, and a 60/40 split folding rear seat.

Stepping up to the SE trim adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, keyless entry and ignition, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and active safety features like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and active lane control. The top-tier GT model includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers, automatic HID headlights, and roof rails, as well as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

All trims are available in front- or all-wheel-drive, but for our money, the SE trim presents the best combination of features and value, ringing in at less than $25,000.

All Outlander Sports include a 5-year, 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Most rivals have a little over half that coverage, which helps account for the Outlander Sport’s mediocre resale value.

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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Fuel Economy

Despite its small, naturally aspirated engine choices, the 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers only average fuel economy.

The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is available in a variety of powertrain combinations, neither of which are particularly efficient overall. This warrants a score of 4 out of 10 for fuel economy. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Naturally, the most efficient version of the Outlander Sport is the smallest engine option with a CVT and front-wheel-drive, and this version rings in at 24 mpg city, 30 highway, and 27 combined. Opting for the manual transmission drops those numbers to 23/29/25 mpg.

All-wheel drive bumps the 2.0-liter engine’s fuel economy down as well to 23/29/26 mpg, which is surprisingly still better than the manual transmission and front-wheel drive.

If you opt for the more powerful Outlander Sport, there’s not much penalty for fuel economy, as the front-wheel-drive version manages 23/29/25 mpg while adding all-wheel-drive drops highway mileage by 1 mpg to 23/28/25 mpg.

Many competitors manage much better fuel economy overall with less raucous and more powerful engines, so if fuel economy is a primary concern, consider other options over the Outlander Sport.

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$20,695
MSRP based on ES 2.0 Manual
 
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4.5
Overall
Expert Rating
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Styling 5
Performance 4
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety 3
Features 6
Fuel Economy 4
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2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Pricing Insights

  • 2019 Outlander Sport arriving; 2018s still on sale
  • $2,000 factory rebate on 2018s; $500 on 2019s
  • Lease a 2018 from $244 for 39 months
  • APR as low as 0% for 48 months
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