2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWD Verdict
While Mitsubishi would have you believe the Outlander Sport is like a lifted and stretched Lancer Sportback Ralliart, the performance of our well-equipped SE AWD model failed to deliver what the crossover's aggressive looks and Sport moniker promised. That was the recurring theme among staffers who helped log 20,277 miles on the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE AWD during its 12-month stay in the Motor Trend garage. That is, unless "sport" means the ability to handle slick roads, light off-roading, and weekend IKEA excursions.
Creative director Alan Muir, who chaperoned the Outlander Sport during its tenure, noted that "just about every single design cue on the Outlander says 'go faster,' from the big tailgate spoiler to the side panel lines to the snarling dog-like nose with bulging corner extensions. It all says, 'Get out of my way--coming through.' But don't be fooled by the aggressive styling of this beast. It's far from sporty."
During the Outlander Sport's maiden voyage, Muir thought the parking brake was still engaged. To his dismay, it was not. The 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder felt underpowered; freeway on-ramp merges and passing on two-lane roads required careful planning.
Other staffers agreed. Drivetrain complaints ranged from the engine's underwhelming power to the CVT, which made "it sound unhappy at wide-open throttle," wrote online news director Zach Gale. On a trip from Southern California to the Rocky Mountains, I found the all-wheel-drive Outlander Sport's CVT "downshifted" to climb the 6000-foot-plus summits, even in FWD mode. On the return trip, with AWD engaged and boxes of kitchenware in the back, the Outlander Sport struggled even more.
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport hauls lots of cargo, but with just 148 hp, this crossover can't get out of its own way.
On a drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, Muir questioned the Outlander Sport's handling abilities. After the crossover's stability control intervened in a corner, Muir concluded that the Outlander Sport "doesn't like to be driven hard around corners or even on the straights."
In testing, the Outlander Sport reached 60 mph in 9.7 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 17.4 seconds at 80.7 mph. It managed 0.77 g around the skidpad, and stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet. EPA-rated fuel economy, stands at 24/29 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive and 25/31 mpg with the CVT and front drive. Mitsubishi says the 2013 Outlander Sport's CVT has been retuned to deliver better acceleration performance, though we have yet to test the updated model.
The $28,825 as-tested price may seem a bit steep for a 148-hp compact crossover, but our Outlander Sport included push-button start and hands-free keyless entry, 18-inch alloys, HID headlights, driver-selectable all-wheel drive, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and foglights. A fixed panoramic glass roof, 710-watt premium audio system, navigation, backup camera, and exterior sport appearance package were among the options.
Gale liked the panoramic roof's ambient lighting, which he hadn't seen elsewhere, saying, "At night, there are two lines of LED lights that reflect off the roof, making it look like the aisles
of a plane or movie theater. It's a bit weird,
With 48.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, the compact crossover can swallow more than its exterior size suggests. Muir found the Outlander Sport great for running errands around town. "This update comes to you after numerous trips to IKEA and about every furniture store in Southern California. From a practical standpoint, I'm happy with the Outlander. The navigation system located all the furniture stores, the 710-watt sound system kept me entertained on the way, and the interior is a pretty nice place to occupy. It's just a shame the driving experience is not what it could be."
The infotainment system left a bit to be desired as well. Associate online editor Benson Kong reported the system was slow to boot up while at other times it didn't respond at all. It didn't matter if he used the steering-wheel-mounted controls or touch screen. Kong concluded the entire system needs more processing power.
One impressive feature not found on many crossover is the driver-selectable all-wheel-control (AWC) system, which has settings for saving fuel (FWD), slippery conditions (4WD), and rough terrain (LOCK).
On our January trip to the Rocky Mountains, rain began to fall along with the temperature, which prompted a "Possible Slippery Roads" warning on the Outlander Sport's information screen. The AWC system sorted out the traction as we descended the mountain ahead of the approaching snow storm into warmer, rainy conditions.
For the price, the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers lots of content and should satisfy those who want an around-town vehicle with good visibility and the ability to handle less-than-ideal road conditions. But those with long highway commutes who want some sport to go along with the driving experience would be well advised to look elsewhere for a fun-to-drive crossover.
|Service life||12 mo/19,957 mi|
|Options||Navigation ($2000: incl rear camera, 40 GB hard drive, aux jack), Premium Pkg ($1800: Panoramic glass roof, black roof rails, Rockford-Fosgate audio w/satellite radio), Exterior Sport Pkg ($995: spoiler, diffuser garnish, chrome trim, alloy fuel door), Cargo Pkg ($185: mat, tonneau cover, net), wheel locks ($55)|
|Price as tested||$28,825|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||24/29/26 mpg|
|Average Fuel Econ||23.5 mpg|
|3-year residual value*||$10,606|
|*Automotive Lease Guide|
|2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport|
|Drivetrain layout||Front engine, AWD|
|Engine type||I-4, aluminum block/head|
|Valvetrain||DOHC, 16 valves/cyl|
|Displacement||121.9 cu in/1998 cc|
|Power (SAE net)||148 hp @ 6000 rpm|
|Torque (SAE net)||145 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm|
|Weight to power||22.7 lb/hp|
|Transmission||Cont variable auto|
|Suspension, front; rear||Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar|
|Brakes, f;r||11.6-in vented disc; 11.9-in disc, ABS|
|Wheels, f;r||7.0 x 18-in, cast aluminum|
|Tires, f;r||225/55R18 97H M+S Goodyear Eagle LS2|
|Track, f/r||60.0/60.0 in|
|Length x width x height||169.1 x 69.7 x 64.2 in|
|Ground clearance||8.5 in|
|Apprch/depart angle||19.2/30.1 deg|
|Turning circle||34.8 ft|
|Curb weight||3364 lb|
|Weight dist, f/r||58/42%|
|Towing capacity||Not rated|
|Headroom, f/m/r||38.9/36.8 in|
|Legroom, f/m/r||41.6/36.3 in|
|Shoulder room, f/r||56.2/55.7 in|
|Cargo volume (f/r)||48.8/20.1 cu ft|
|Acceleration to mph|
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In its ongoing struggle for relevance—and maybe a sale or two—Mitsubishi is adopting a family approach to its models. Each nameplate will be offered in more than one variant, the Lancer line providing an excellent example of this strategy. It extends from mild—the basic Lancer DE sedan, starting at $15,535—to wild—the 291-hp Lancer Evolution X, an all-wheel-drive street tiger starting at almost $35,000. Mitsubishi is now taking this approach with the Outlander, introducing a smaller, two-row sibling, the Outlander Sport.
More Than a Badge Job—and Less
Although the Sport shares its structure, Evo-inspired front-end styling, and 105.1-inch wheelbase with the standard Outlander, it’s not the same vehicle with a different badge. It shares no sheetmetal with the regular Outlander, is significantly smaller in all its exterior dimensions, and boasts superior aerodynamics. The Sport ditches the Outlander’s optional third-row seat and eliminates the fore-and-aft adjustability of the second row.
More than 14 inches come out of the Outlander’s overall length—14.6, to be exact—for a new shadow 169.1 inches long. Width has been trimmed 1.2 inches, to 69.7; and the roofline is 1.9 inches lower, at 64.2. As you might expect, substantially reduced dimensions pay off at the scales. Expect the Sport’s curb weight to be about 3100 to 3300 pounds, or roughly 400 fewer pounds than a similarly equipped Outlander’s.
With a much lighter vehicle, you might also expect increased performance, but there’s a caveat. Unlike the standard Outlander, there’s no V-6 engine option here. The standard (and only) engine is Mitsubishi’s all-aluminum 16-valve, 2.0-liter inline-four, mated to a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT with paddle shifters that allow the driver the illusion of six speeds. The engine is rated for 148 hp and 145 lb-ft feet of torque (143 and 143 in vehicles sold in California), and Mitsubishi anticipates an EPA highway fuel-economy rating of 31 mpg.
Even with the Sport’s lower curb weight, 148 hp is not enough to generate anything approximating face-distorting acceleration. The Sport is a little quicker with the slick-shifting five-speed, but if you want four driven wheels, you’ll find yourself manipulating the CVT’s paddle shifters, as Mitsubishi offers no manual option with all-wheel drive. This is not entirely a bad thing. The magnesium shifters are generously sized and fixed to the steering column—rather than twirling with the wheel—which makes them easy to find during quick maneuvers. The shift responses can’t match those of a dual-clutch automated manual, but they’re not sluggish, either, and lend a little something to the fun-to-drive quotient.
What’s Your Hurry?
However, in this context, the word “sport” is stretched pretty thin. As with most crossovers, that part of the equation is embodied not by the vehicle but by the stuff you take with you. The Outlander Sport features slightly lower spring rates than the regular Outlander—in deference to its reduced weight—which pays off in smooth ride quality. Although we got little seat time at this preview drive, we left with an impression of decent feel and precision from the electrically boosted power-steering system, relaxed responses, quiet operation, and good traction from the electromechanical all-wheel-drive system—virtues, for sure, but not the kind of attributes we associate with sporty driving.
Dynamics notwithstanding, the Outlander Sport figures to be an attractive buy. All its safety features—stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, and front-side, driver’s-knee, and curtain airbags—are standard equipment. Other standard gear includes air conditioning, a tilting and telescoping steering column, cruise control, power windows, heated power mirrors, power locks with remote locking, and audio controls mounted on a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Outlander Sport will be available in two trim levels: ES and SE, the former starting at about $19,000, the latter at about $22,000. The ES is front-wheel drive only and can be had with the manual transmission; the SE is available in front- or all-wheel drive and only with the CVT. Maxed out with all the options—a 710-watt, nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio system; a panoramic sunroof with mood lighting; the Fuse hands-free media interface (similar to Ford’s Sync); Sirius satellite radio; HID headlamps; and upgraded trim inside and out—Mitsubishi says an Outlander Sport’s Monroney shouldn’t exceed $25,000. That’s an attractive price for an attractive crossover, a combination of virtues that makes the Sport a welcome addition to the Outlander family when it arrives in November.
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2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The Outlander Sport is a lighter, shorter version of the Outlander crossover vehicle—about a foot shorter but the same in wheelbase, with nearly the same overall width and height. But it looks and drives quite differently—and with its parallel-parking-friendly packaging, it aims at those in the city rather than the suburbs.
Mitsubishi has shed most of the sport-utility cues in the 2011 Outlander Sport, making it look from most angles more like a tall hatch. The blunt, sharklike front end looks just as good here as it does in the Outlander and Lancer family—and it could be mistaken for a serious performance vehicle by those not in the know. From the side, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport gets all-new sheetmetal, with a rising beltline crease that helps keep from looking too slab-sided, but this vehicle is disappointingly bland and ordinary-looking from the rear.
A lot of the heft is gone from the experience, replaced by better responsiveness, and it feels a lot more like the Lancer sedan, which also shares some underpinnings. This is the first Mitsubishi to get electric power steering, but they've managed to tune it to feel almost exactly the same as their excellent hydraulic units. Outlander Sport's 3,100-pound weight and that excellent steering contribute to the light-and-nimble feel, no doubt, and drives a class smaller than most compact crossovers like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, or even the Kia Sportage—but it also doesn't feel as anesthetized as the Scion xD or xB in their standard tune.
Review continues below
That's the good. The 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes with either a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or a five-speed manual gearbox, with a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for all versions. And while the stick might be a good choice, the CVT that most come with is a little sluggish and disappointing when you want to tap into all the power. In the city, it's at ease, but on the highway the powertrain feels boomy and overwhelmed (fuel economy isn't impressive on the highway either). Adding to that impression is a whole lot of road noise from inside the cabin. Interior plastics and trim, while they're better than those in the Lancer, are still less than inspiring.
Otherwise there's lots positive to point out in the Outlander Sport's excellent interior packaging. From the inside, it doesn't feel much smaller than smaller compact crossovers, like the Sportage. Front seats feel fairly snug but supportive, and in back there's real space for two adults or three kids. The back seats are split 60/40; there's a nice, low cargo floor, and the larger seatback includes a separate, slightly higher-up trunk pass-through that would be good for multiple sets of skis. Built into the same enclosure is a fold-down, padded armrest with two cupholders built in.
If you can look past the Outlander Sport's boomy interior and just-adequate powertrain performance, the Outlander Sport stands out as quite a deal—especially for the base front-wheel-drive model, at $19,275 including destination. Even loaded SE models with AWD total less than $26k, including premium audio, automatic climate control, heated seats and mirrors, and a panoramic sunroof. In all, if you can overlook the road noise and sluggish powertrain, the Sport is quite a great deal.
Sport 2011 outlander mitsubishi
But you know who I entered and am already studying. It seems to the gynecologist. Right.Road Test: 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Svetka and Andryukha really liked it, he even boasted to me as his best friend, that his wife is like a girl, although after two births. Of course, I was glad out loud for him, but my heart was warmed by the fact that I was the first. However, he got Svetka not whole, it's not destiny to see. Like everything good in this life, this story ended quickly.
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And there: How many times have I imagined what would happen next. And how deftly and skillfully I will bring her to "condition", and how imperiously I will lay her on the sofa, and how slowly, firmly looking into her eyes, slowly. Take off all her clothes, and she, trembling and breathing hotly, will pull me towards herself, and only then will I give free rein to my wildness, forcing her to groan sweetly in the arms of a strong and domineering male: Yeah.
These fantasies drove me into awe, which always ended the same way. It was also lucky if I was at home alone and the bath was free.