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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.8

For the Outlander Sport, Mitsubishi borrowed a portion of the SUV's name and all of the wheelbase from its more established older brother, the Outlander, but despite a similar name, the 2012 Outlander Sport is very much its own vehicle. The Sport burst into Mitsubishi's lineup in 2011 and has already found competition in the highly competitive sport-utility vehicle market from other recent arrivals such as the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke, not to mention slightly bigger SUVs like the Honda CR-V. While small and seating a max of five, the Outlander Sport offers commendable fuel economy, a low starting price, desirable options and laudable warranty.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport headlines when you want a small SUV that stands out for its style as much as its low price and respectable fuel economy. And since it's a newer vehicle from a smaller manufacturer, the Outlander Sport stands out on the road and in parking lots.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Shop elsewhere if you need a compact SUV that has ample power for acceleration and towing. The choice of only one engine - and a not very powerful one at that - is the Outlander Sport's Achilles heel. Its smaller size also limits passenger and cargo space compared with slightly roomier choices like the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage and new Mazda CX-5.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2012 Outlander Sport is indicative of Mitsubishi downsizing its vehicle lineup while upsizing their fuel economy figures. In a wider context, the Outlander Sport is among a new crop of SUVs whose dimensions are meager, but whose available features are not.

Driving the Outlander Sport

Driving Impressions The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a comfortable driving position and great visibility. Getting up to speed quickly is not the Mitsubishi's forte, but once rolling, it provides a compliant,...

relatively quiet ride. Automatic versions of the Outlander Sport use a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that can take getting used to since it doesn't have traditional shift points. However, magnesium paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel offer manual control. The 5-speed manual transmission, only on base Outlander Sport ES models, is light and easy to use. With its small size, the Outlander Sport is a snap to maneuver and park, but the name belies the SUV's less-spirited driving personality when it comes to carving corners. While the Outlander Sport is not meant for serious off-roading, models equipped with Mitsubishi's All Wheel Control have a 2-mode 4WD switch: "auto" for better grip in general and "lock" for slippery conditions.

Rockford Fosgate Audio System
You'll literally feel the music with this 9-speaker, 710-watt sound system that includes a powerful subwoofer. And with a built-in 6-disc CD changer, SiriusXM receiver and available 40-gig hard drive with music server, you'll never be lacking for tunes.

Panoramic Glass Roof
Also part of the Premium Package that includes the Rockford Fosgate system, this expanse of glass spans the Outlander Sport's roof to create a feeling of openness with the outside. Too bad the only thing it doesn't do is literally open.

2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Details
Interior

The 2012 Outlander Sport has a simple, user-friendly interior. Buttons for climate and audio functions are easy to find and use. Leather adorns the steering wheel and shift knob, but you'll have to look to another vehicle if you want seats covered in it. As for interior hue, to take a cue from Henry Ford: You can have any color, as long as it's black. In this case it looks more like a gray scale, but dark all the same and a shame that it doesn't carry over the vibrancy that can be had on the Outlander Sport's outer skin. The front seats are relatively comfortable, while rear seating is tight for three adults but quite tolerable for two. Cargo capacity behind the rear seat is modest by SUV standards at just over 20 cubic feet, but more than doubles that capacity with the seats folded.

Exterior

Here's where the Outlander Sport shines. Up front is an aggressive face that would rightly remind some of Mitsubishi's snarling Lancer Evolution sports car, while the sides are highlighted by deeply sculpted lines that bisect the doors. Big, 18-inch wheels help the SE version stand out, while 16-inchers are standard on ES models. In back is a cute butt that is even more appealing with the optional roof-mounted spoiler. A roof rack can be added to put more of the "u" in this compact utility vehicle.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even a base 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES packs a good amount of comfort, safety and convenience features. Among them are leather wrapping the shift knob and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel, LED taillights, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning with pollen filter, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio buttons, a 4-speaker/140-watt AM/FM/CD system, and Fuse voice-control system. SE models add 18-inch wheels, automatic on/off high-intensity headlights, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, premium fabric seats, and six speakers instead of four. Mitsubishi vehicles also come with a new-car warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.

Optional Equipment

2012 Outlander Sport models can be spruced up with a navigation system and 40-gig hard drive, rear-view camera, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system, remote engine start, and a panoramic glass roof. All-wheel drive is only available on the higher-end Outlander Sport SE, while the rest are front-wheel drive.

Under the Hood

Just one engine is available for Outlander Sport models, a 4-cylinder that runs on regular unleaded. It is mated to a CVT automatic transmission or, for the base version of the vehicle, a 5-speed manual. The Outlander Sport uses a "brake energy regeneration" system to reduce fuel and CO2 emissions that works by capturing kinetic energy during deceleration and then intensively recharging the battery with it. The battery can then reduce its reliance on the engine's alternator which helps conserve fuel.

2.0-liter inline-4
148 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (manual), 25/31 mpg (automatic), 23/28 (automatic, all-wheel drive)

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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 52 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

LOOK NO FURTHER GET ONE!

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 850

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive, reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I just recently purchased the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and absolutely love it! I have read several comments from the so-called experts that say the vehicle is sluggish due to its 2.0 liter engine and that it's noisy but I couldn't DISAGREE more. Please take may advice and ignore the so-called experts and try it out I guarantee you will love it as much as I do!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport is terrific!

By on Friday, July 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great styling, power & MPG in the 5 speed"

Cons: "NONE! wish they had a dealership in Santa Monica!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought a 2014 Outlander Sport with a 5 speed manual transmission and am blown away with how terrific this CUV is! Great styling, Spartan yet functional interior with plenty of power and great MPG...can't say enuff good things about Mitsubishi! I've owned Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW, Jeep & Ford and this OS 5 speed is easily the most fun to drive! Hats off to this UAW, built in the USA, SUV & to the team at Mitsubishi...A job well done!"

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Good value; nice options; solid vehicle.

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Economical; fwd, allwd, 4wd; solid; fun."

Cons: "Road noise; CVT cuts optimal engine performance."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought this two-year-old vehicle recently with 26.6 K miles on it and agree with another reviewer that you get what you pay for, although we're not disappointed at all as yet. Very good mpg. Very solid with no rattles or squeaks. Fit and finish are at least as good or better than some of the other vehicles in this price range. The use of some soft plastics in the vehicle add to the quality and have a nice feel compared to hard plastics. The dash layout is good looking, as well as ergonomically friendly. The vehicle is good-looking, especially the front view. The 2.0 liter engine gets the job done, although it tends to get bogged down by the CVT under certain conditions. Ours has the CVT with the optional paddle shifter mounted to the steering column and the sport slot on the gear selector which, if utilized correctly by the enthusiast to keep the RPMs in the optimal performance range, helps the engine do a pretty acceptable job rather than depending on the CVT alone to handle things such as accelerating after making a turn or negotiating a hill climb of any length. I don't expect it to handle a heavy load very well, as that is not what this vehicle is designed for. This is not a contender in the Lincoln Navigator or Chevy Suburban range, so don't expect it to do the job of one. This vehicle is not difficult to get in and out of like some other cross-overs and the ride is firm, yet bearable, without jarring it's passengers out the window. There is ample front seat leg room for the average sized adult. Children and smaller adults would do well in the back seat, but leave the Incredible Hulk at home or buy something bigger. We're relying on the Mitsubishi reputation for dependability. Having stepped down from a Navigator this vehicle is everything we expected it to be; Dependable, economical, solid, easy to park and maneuver, good looking and fun to drive. I would not discourage anyone thinking of buying one as long as they can tolerate the road noise/tire noise."

6 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Dislike the continuosly variable transmission

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great price"

Cons: "You get what you pay for."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have driven nothing but Mitsubishi SUVs since 1994. The old 2.4 L engine was a fine engine. The 2.0 in the new Outlander Sport is not up to the task. Couple that with a CVT and you have what sounds like a giant blender about to blow up every time you need to merge onto a freeway. I will not be buying another Mitsubishi."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Very nice vehicle....nicely equipped

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Looks...design....great mileage....nice ride."

Cons: "Power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the sport in Jan of 2014...dealer treated very well. Took several long road trips in it. Nice and smooth ride. Could use a little more power but will trade the lack of power for the great fuel mileage."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Safe! Almost no injures after being tboned

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price for options. Safe. Good premium sound system"

Cons: "Not very powerful engine, but I don't care!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We bought a 2013 Outlander sport last November, a used Limited Edition with everything but leather seats and with only 10K miles on it. A month ago a guy didn't stop in a red light and hit the car in the driver's side while my wife was driving. The car was totalled. Airbags deployed and my wife only ended up with minor scratches and bruises. After getting the settlement check with the insurance company we bought another one today, this time a 2014 SE, hoping it'll last longer :) I like the options, the looks, the sunroof. I love the sound system. If you like listening to music/radio while driving, go for the premium sound. The engine, 2.0L, is not very powerful but it does the job."

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

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