The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is Back and Better Than Ever
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is back and better than ever. This compact SUV combines impressive agility and incredible versatility for the day ahead. I take pride in being your leading Mitsubishi fun and will work to pair you with the Outlander Sport if you want it quickly and easily. Get ready to conquer the trails or tackle your daily commute in this best-selling SUV.
When it comes to keeping you and your passengers protected, there’s no better vehicle you could choose than that of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander. From its available Forward Collision Mitigation to its Blind Spot Warning and Lane Change Assist, this year’s Outlander takes being safe to a whole new level. To learn more about this year’s model and its many standard and available safety features.
If you’re in the midst of shopping for your next vehicle, we encourage you to stop by showrooms to learn more about what the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander has to offer. With a variety of safety features to choose from, this year’s model will be sure to inspire confidence at every turn. Mitsubishi had wondered aloud with so many models that lacked some of the details that US customers desired and that could sway buying choices in close races. True, that’s a battle with an overseas headquarters that you’ll hear from the US reps for almost every foreign automaker, but as you pile on the obstacles they multiply exponentially, not additionally. Or there’s this: For more than a year, while its competition has been trumpeting new product, Mitsubishi had not bleached the gap but has for once done a crossover that would cover the market.
That changes with the arrival of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander, an SUV that we’re told will begin a new-product offensive over the next 18 months that, along with a much larger marketing budget. This should begin to turn things around. This is the fourth generation of Mitsubishi’s volume model, one that hasn’t really been changed since it arrived in 2006 and wasn’t just showing its age, but practically crowing about it. Don’t even remind me of the CVT 2nd generation gear box that was on the 2007 model, and the fading radio screen due direct sun.
How new is the 2017 Outlander? Every piece of sheetmetal and glass is fresh from the drawing board, save for one exterior and one under-hood carryover: the windshield and the 3.0-liter V6 engine. Thanks from the slower 2.4 engine that made the car unfit for terrain handling. That buoyed my confidence in the exercise. The new interior will look relevant through to a mid-cycle refresh. The difference between the cabins of the third – and fourth-generation Outlanders isn’t just a showcase of different interiors, it’s an obvious and apparent showcase of different eras of interiors. When the 2006 model arrived, its cockpit served it well for the time, but the copious amount of hard plastic and joins in the instrument and door panels is a throwback to that particular – and in car terms, when things are moving so quickly now – bygone era. Most cars will demonstrate the same discrepancy; it’s just that the cars in the competitive set haven’t remained untouched since 2006.
The new cockpit is one that makes sense for 2017 and that, with proper model support; we can see maintaining its relevant look through to a mid-cycle refresh. Instead of numerous pieces put together to form the instrument panel, it’s a one-piece cowl up top with a vastly more harmonious design theme throughout. The console is limited to a panel canted toward the driver with a smattering of buttons, mainly for controlling the climate system, and the rest of the usual functions handled by a touchscreen. With more room inside, the second row had plenty of space for us at 5’11”; with the driver’s seat set in our preferred position our knees had a couple of inches of room when we got behind. Mitsubishi has made it more easy to reach the third row, but it does call those two extra seats “emergency seating.” With the second row placed forward far enough for us to sit in the third row, it was possible for us to also sit in the second row but we had to spread our knees to get around the front seat. It’s fine for quick trips that average-sized adults might need to make and perfect for kids.
That cabin is wrapped in an exterior that goes much more mainstream than the shark-nosed Outlander of today. Some will miss the gaping, chrome-ringed maw and cross-bar bumper, and some think it represents Mitsubishi’s final descent into a milquetoast surrender and eventual departure from the US market. We’ll admit the front end is still taking us time to get used to, but we like it from the sides and the back. Yes, it’s sedate and unadorned, but it’s not anonymous, and we think it is the kind of design that will help Mitsubishi reach more buyers and its modest sales goal of 15,000 per year – and stay in the US. Less aggressive throughout, the softer lines are touched by finer detailing in items like the front bumper character line, upper and lower side lines and taillight treatment.
Primarily, though, the redesign and its details are meant to provide a coefficient of drag of 0.31 and class-leading fuel economy in the midsize CUV segment dominated by the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe. Only the Sorento and Santa Fe among those has a seven-seat option, but the Outlander nearly outdoes them all regardless with 25 miles per gallon in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 27 combined for ES and SE trims with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder MIVEC engine. The more slippery body gets another boost in the economy stakes with the vehicle having lost 220 pounds compared to its predecessor. Compare those mpg numbers to the five-seat RAV4’s 24 city, 31 highway or the 18 city, 25 highway, 21 combined of the seven-seater, front-wheel-drive Hyundai Santa Fe GLS.
Many of the roads we drove were composed of that special kind of tarmac that produces a sticky sound that makes one think there’s a car nearby with a flat tire. It was tough to get a real feel for the improvements in noise, vibration and handling until we drove the current generation Outlander and then hopped into the new one on the same stretch of road, at which point the difference was clear. Especially with the work done around the A-pillar and mirrors, the new Outlander cuts down on the drone that can wear on you over long distances and that you find yourself using the volume knob to combat.
The ride was never cushy, though. Even though the cabin noise and exterior treatment have gotten softer, the point wasn’t to make a vehicle that’s gone soft and will perhaps appeal to the most people. The point has been to make a vehicle that is the Mitsubishi of the segment, akin to the way Mazda makes vehicles that provide its trademark character. With the four-cylinder Outlander especially, we believe they’ve succeeded.