The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Chicagoland Review by Larry Nutson +VIDEO

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Is It As Good As It Looks?

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

Mitsubishi is on a roll. They say they are the fastest-growing Asian brand in the U.S. for the second consecutive year. Mitsubishi is on a mission to reinvent itself.

As a part of this mission, Mitsubishi’s best-selling model, the Outlander Sport, has been redesigned for 2020.

My first look at the Red Diamond Metallic Outlander Sport that sparkled in the winter sun left me with a good first impression.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Up front there’s a new grille, front bumper fascia, hood, and fenders along with LED headlights and prominently placed LED daytime running lights and LED fog lights. In the back there’s a new rear bumper fascia as well as taillights. A body side character line with chrome front fender faux-vent trim and 18-inch wheels complete the package.

My initial thought was, “Is it as good as it looks?”.

On the inside there’s new seat fabric and upgraded gloss black and silver-painted HVAC controls. A new second generation 8.0-inch Smartphone-link Display Audio (SDA) unit is available in the SE, GT and new ES convenience package.

The 2020 Outlander Sport is offered in ES, ES with convenience package, SP and SE trims all using a 148-horsepower 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder power plant. The GT trim has a 168-horsepower 2.4L engine. Both engines are mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard on all trims and Mitsubishi’s All-Wheel Control (AWC) four wheel drive system is optional. The AWC features 2WD, 4WD and 4WD Lock modes.

To recap, there are ten trim and drivetrain combinations with base prices ranging from a low of $22,495 up to $26,895, plus a $1,095 destination charge.

I drove the top-of-the-line Outlander Sport GT AWC for this review. The sparkling Red Diamond paint cost $595, a cargo area tonneau added $190, and carpeted floor mats for another $145 brought the total to $28,920 including the destination charge.

As I mentioned I thought the exterior looked pretty good. Styling being subjective and open to every individual’s taste, I didn’t note anything that might be polarizing.

On the inside entering and exiting are comfortable and the front cabin offers good room. Seats do indeed have a decent look and feel with the red stitching accents on the GT that nicely complement the black cloth and vinyl seat coverings. Instrument panel controls are well placed however they could have a more refined and integrated design for a more contemporary look. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity are there for our connected lives.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

I was pleasantly surprised that the Outlander Sport had a power-fold feature for the outside mirrors. Living and driving in Chicago or any large city often requires that mirrors be folded to squeeze past a large double-parked truck or to prevent a mirror from being knocked off while parked on the street. A heated steering wheel would be nice to have as well as a hands-free power rear liftgate is the norm these days.

A good offering of automatic driver-assistance safety (ADAS) features are available on SE and GT trims including forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert. These are all great high-tech features that do indeed make maneuvering safer and more confident and help prevent crashes.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

At a touch under 172 inches long the Outlander Sport is very comfortable to maneuver in a crowded large city. There’s a 60/40 split-fold rear seat with 21.7 cu.ft. of storage space behind it. This opens up to 49.5 cu.ft. with the rear seat folded. Not huge and somewhat limited by the slope of the rear hatch.

EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the GT are 25 mpg combined, with 23 city mpg and 28 highway mpg.

Mitsubishi's warranty is among the best in its class with a Limited warranty for 5 years or 60,000 miles and a Powertrain warranty for 10 years or 100,000 miles. More information and specifications on the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport can be found at

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Overall the Outlander Sport offers reasonable value and might just make a good choice for those on a tight budget but needing the versatility of a crossover SUV. The interior especially the instrument panel needs some work to give it a more refined and contemporary look and feel. It’s a crossover SUV designed for the city and does provide good versatility. North America is one of Mitsubishi’s biggest markets, and although they sell vehicles around the world, a bit more emphasis on design for North American customers will help the brand a lot.

© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy