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2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWD Review By John Heilig


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2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

AUTO PAGE SPECS

MODEL: 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWD

ENGINE: 2.0-liter DOHC I-4

TRANSMISSION: CVT

HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 148 hp @ 6,000 rpm/145 lb.-ft. @ 4,200 rpm

WHEELBASE: 105.1 in.

LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 169.1 x 69.7 x 64.2 in.

TIRES: P225/55R18

CARGO: 21.7/49.5 cu. ft. (behind 2nd row/1st row)

ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway

FUEL TANK: 15.8 gal.

CURB WEIGHT: 3,241 lbs.

STICKER: $29,945 (includes $850 destination, $4,900 options)

BOTTOM LINE: the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is definitely a player in the arena of small SUVs. It has good power and a comfortable ride. Overall it is small, but there is good room for the front passengers.          

Even though my wife said she felt the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport tester we drove resembled a funeral car because it was all black with little to break it up, we both felt the smaller version of the Outlander sport utility was a good rider/driver. The Sport has good power from the 2.0-liter four powering the front wheels (when you’re not in all-wheel drive mode. If you feel you’d like more performance, you can always use the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters to sequentially shift the CVT transmission.          

The Outlander Sport is about 14 inches shorter than the Outlander, even though both are built on the same wheelbase. The Outlander has a 2.4-liter engine that delivers 166 horsepower, and it has a larger cargo capacity. The Sport is Mitsubishi’s best-selling vehicle in the United States.          

The front seats are comfortable with some side support. We didn’t need this feature in extremely warm weather, but the front sets are also heated. The bench-like rear seat has tight legroom. This is a small SUV, after all. There is a small center hump in the rear so it is possible for a third passenger to ride there.          

With a huge speaker from the Rockford Fosgate sound system dominating the cargo area, I thought the capacity might be compromised. It wasn’t, but I had to lower the rear seat backs to accommodate my golf bag. Under the cargo floor is a temporary spare.          

I felt the navigation system was extremely difficult to program. I was getting so frustrated at one time that my wife suggested we either give up or use the GPS on our cell phone, but that isn’t the “out” for a dedicated journalist. The system kept wanting to go where it wanted to go as I was trying to program it. Eventually, I was able to plug in a destination. One feature I liked about the nav system was its memory of recent previous destinations, so you don’t have to program in “home” every time, for example.          

On the other hand, the excellent Rockford Fosgate sound system was easy to program for whatever source we wanted.          

Equally easy to set up was the HVAC system which proved to be excellent in some very hot weather. It cooled the car quickly. Temperature, fan speed and air direction are controlled with three knobs.          

As I said, the Outlander Sport is a front wheel drive vehicle in normal mode. There is an All-wheel drive button on the center console when you want to configure it for off-roading.          

The driver faces a fairly standard instrument panel with a tachometer on the left, speedometer on the right and an information panel in between. Storage consists of a cubby at the base of the center stack that may have originally been an ash tray. It included an extra cup holder. The center console/arm rest is a two-level affair with USB and 12-volt connections. Besides the standard two cup holders, there is room for water bottles in all doors.          

Mitsubishi’s Outlander Sport is a small SUV with a lot of capabilities. I’m sure an owner/drive could easily learn to work out some of the issues I had, like with the navigation system, and gain the most performance from the vehicle. There’s plenty of power that can either keep you out of trouble or get you into trouble, whatever is your choice.

© 2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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