2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review
While performance enthusiasts may turn up their noses at the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, this compact SUV will appeal to shoppers who want an affordable crossover with plenty of standard features, and don’t mind skimping on performance.
For some reviewers, the Outlander Sport is disappointing because it’s not as fun to drive as its name suggests. Rather than being fast and agile, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is underpowered, has sloppy handling and has a loud continuously variable transmission (CVT). However, critics think the Outlander Sport’s great fuel economy ratings from both its manual and CVT transmissions will be a redeeming factor for fuel-conscious buyers.
The Outlander Sport’s cabin isn’t criticized quite as much. Aside from being made of slightly cheap plastics, reviewers appreciate that the Outlander Sport is equipped with standard features such as a USB port and Mitsubishi’s voice-activated Bluetooth system, which is called FUSE. Though the Outlander Sport has far less cargo space than larger compact SUVs, like the GMC Terrain, reviewers say the Outlander Sport still has plenty of space for several suitcases. The Outlander Sport also shines when it comes to passenger space. Most test drivers say that even tall drivers and passengers will have plenty of space, though several complain that the seats are too hard for their tastes.
Before buying a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, think about what you want from your compact SUV. If you need one that costs less than $20,000, has excellent fuel economy ratings and provides enough space to fit basketball-playing teenagers, reviewers say the 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport shouldn’t disappoint.
Other Compact SUVs to Consider
The Kia Sportage costs slightly less than the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and reviewers think it also gives shoppers a lot for their money. Like the Outlander Sport, the Sportage has a standard USB port, steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth and good fuel economy ratings, but it also offers a lot of things the Outlander Sport doesn’t. The Sportage has more cargo space and a more powerful base engine than the Outlander Sport. The Kia Sportage also has an optional turbocharged engine on the highest trim.
The Outlander Sport can’t top the performance of the Volkswagen Tiguan, which has an engine that’s significantly more powerful than that of the Mitsubishi or Kia. With the Tiguan, you’ll get a high-quality interior, comfortable rear seats and a bit more cargo space than what the Outlander Sport offers. However, you’ll pay more at the gas pump because the Tiguan requires premium gasoline and has some of the lowest fuel economy ratings in the class.
Details: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was first introduced for the 2011 model year, and continues into 2012 with some adjustments in its engineering. Mitsubishi says it made the engine quieter, tweaked the CVT to improve performance and added an up-shift indicator light to models with a manual transmission. Other changes include new 16-inch wheel covers on ES models,18-inch alloy wheel designs on SE models and a rearview camera integrated into the rearview mirror on SE models with the premium package.
The Outlander Sport is available in ES and SE trims. Base ES two-wheel drive models have a standard five-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is optional. The SE model comes standard with the CVT, and all-wheel drive is optional on this trim.
See the full list of 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport specifications.
- "The Outlander Sport is a comfortable, livable vehicle with a versatile interior. It counters merely OK interior appointments and a subpar drivetrain with sporty handling and versatility that belies its tidy exterior size." -- Consumer Guide
- "For the price and the segment, it packs all the baubles you'd expect, plus something that sets Mitsubishi apart – its all-wheel drive system." -- Autoblog
- "Overall, this is a nice effort by Mitsubishi. It looks great, drives decently, and is generally well done. But I would prefer a better powertrain." -- AutoWeek
- "So the … Outlander Sport isn't great at either of the things its name implies. It's cheap, though. And big enough for gear, small enough to park, easy on gas and comes with an iPod adapter standard." -- Edmunds