The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a compact crossover that combines the versatility to carry people or cargo with an affordable price. Crossovers are a crowded segment with a wide range of choices, and the Outlander Sport is made for those on a budget.
It’s available with two engines starting with a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 148 horsepower. Our review vehicle was the top Outlander Sport GT, which gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 168 horsepower paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission.
That’s not a lot of horsepower, but the engine does a solid job of getting the Outlander Sport around town. Merging onto the highway, however, is more of a challenge. It is slow getting up to speed, even with the gas pedal mashed to the floor. If you need a burst of power for high-speed passing, it takes its time.
Under acceleration, the transmission, which is fine at low speeds, loudly makes its presence known. It’s intrusive, and considerable noise makes its way into the cabin. Once you’re up to speed, things quiet down, but the Outlander Sport lets you know it’s giving you all it’s got every time you hit the gas.
In addition to the noise of the CVT, there’s also ample wind and road noise, especially if the weather is rainy or windy. The overall ride is smooth. Larger pot holes and uneven pavement won’t go unnoticed, but they won’t jar passengers either. The Outlander Sport delivers a generally comfortable ride.
On the plus side, there’s great fuel economy with an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon on the highway, 24 in the city, and 27 combined on models with the 2.0-liter and front-wheel drive. Even the 2.4-liter with all-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon on the highway, 23 in the city, and 25 combined. Anyone with a long commute will appreciate those numbers.
The interior of the Outlander Sport isn’t luxurious, but it’s quite comfortable with supportive front seats that don’t get stiff over longer drives. The fabric trims look good and feel nice to the touch, helping create a positive first impression. It’s also roomy and will comfortably seat three adults in the back on all but the longest trips.
If you’re looking at cargo instead of people, there’s 21.7 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 49.5 cubic feet behind the front seats. It easily holds a family’s luggage for a weekend getaway or supplies for a home improvement project. A low load floor and wide liftgate opening make it easy to load heavy or bulky cargo.
Standard features on the GT include heated front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and a leather-wrapped shift knob. It also has a 7-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Sirius XM, and a six-speaker audio system.
There’s a solid suite of safety features with hill start assist, automatic high beam headlights, forward collision mitigation, blind-spot warning with lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning all standard on the GT trim. In addition, it received an overall four-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration in crash tests.
Where the Outlander Sport makes its case is value. Base models start at just $20,495, while the top GT with all-wheel drive comes in at $26,545. That puts a well-equipped crossover with a comfortable interior, great fuel economy, and all-wheel drive in your driveway at less than the cost of many sedans.
The idea of a budget-minded crossover might be a turnoff to some, but the Outlander Sport has plenty of good reasons to give it a second look. If you’re in the market for a performance vehicle or an off-road heavyweight, this isn’t the crossover for you. You’ll find those out there, but you’ll pay for the privilege.
The 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is now available at dealerships.