Modest but meaningful enhancements lie ahead for the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, as the automaker aims to further raise the appeal of its best-selling model. Key change on the upgrade list involves the fitment of a next-generation CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) which Mitsu says is equivalent to a 7-speed automatic. Backing a mildly revised 148-horsepower version of its familiar 2.0-liter MIVEC 4-cylinder engine, the new CVT makes this 5-passenger compact crossover a touch quicker off the line and more responsive overall while contributing to improvements in its EPA ratings. Front-drive Outlander Sport models gain 1 mpg in all modes, raising their estimated econo numbers to 24/32/28 mpg city/highway/combined while the 4-wheel drive variants go plus-one on their city and combined stats to net 24/30/27 mpg numbers for 2015. As in 2014, figures for the 2015 front-drive/ES-only Outlander Sport with a 5-speed manual transmission continue at 24/30/26 mpg.
Available in ES and upline SE trims, all versions of the 2015 Outlander Sport also gain a more energy-efficient next-generation electric power steering unit. The cabin is now even better isolated thanks to thicker window glass in the front doors and additional rear-quarter-panel sound insulation. At SE level, the ES-spec's new Carbon audio panel trim is replaced with piano black and silver accent elements while its seat heater switchgear is repositioned for better accessibility. The primo Outlander Sport model also gets new LED running lights.
In addition to various free-standing options for both ES and SE models, the range-topping version once again can be upgraded with Deluxe, Premium and Touring Packages that bring everything from leather upholstery and a panoramic glass roof to a 710-watt Rockford-Fosgate premium audio system and MMCS Navigation with a 7.0-inch high-def touchscreen and voice command. The 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport arrives in showrooms later this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to its actual on-sale date.
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