By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.7
In creating the 2013 Outlander Sport SUV, Mitsubishi borrowed more than just the name from its Outlander SUV, it also liberated a good deal of the chassis and suspension. Designed to compete with the smallest of compact SUVs such as the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke, the Outlander Sport brings all the excitement and style of its rivals, albeit with less power but also a much lower price. Good road manners, a fuel-efficient engine and a low sticker price are the Outlander Sport's trump cards, but we think people will like it just because it's such a fun and affordable little SUV.
If you don't need more room than is found in a Ford Focus or VW Golf hatchback, but you want a vehicle that sits up a bit higher with good ground clearance and available 4-wheel drive (4WD), the fun and frugal 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport makes a good choice.
"Cute" doesn't always translate into "quick," as is the case with the Outlander Sport. If you need power to pass, pull or haul, you might be better served by a turbocharged or V6-powered SUV. Those needing maximum cargo space might look to the larger Outlander, Kia Sportage or Mazda CX-5.
The 2013 Outlander Sport receives a mild exterior freshening, improvements to its suspension and power steering setup and some interior upgrades; 18-inch wheels are made standard while 4WD is now available on the ES trim.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport has a comfortable driving position and great views out. 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, paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel offer manual control. The 5-speed manual transmission, only on the base Outlander Sport ES 2-wheel-drive (2WD) model, 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.
The 2013 Outlander Sport has a simple, user-friendly interior. 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. 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.
Here's where the 2013 Outlander Sport SUV 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 both the ES and SE version stand out, a change up from last year's 16-inchers. 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.
Even a base 2013 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, 18-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 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.
All 2013 Outlander Sport models can be spruced up with a navigation system and 40-gig hard drive, rearview camera, a 710-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system, remote engine start, and a panoramic glass roof. All-wheel drive is available on both the ES and SE trims.
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.
148 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg (manual), 24/31 mpg (automatic), 24/29 mpg (automatic, AWD)
By LongTimeMitsOwner on Friday, January 30, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cost, Decent MPG, design, looks"
Cons: "Lack options, starting issues in cold, Clunky CVT"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This is my 7th Mitsubishi since 1995. I have owned Mirage, Eclipse, Eclipse RS, Lancer, Lancer OZ, Galant, and now the Outlander Sport. I purchased this car in August 2014 and had no major issues. It does seem to have a delayed starting issue in the cold, a couple times I thought it would not turn over. This only happens after sitting overnight when temps drop below 30 Degrees. The dealer has no reason for it. Would I buy again? Not sure, maybe go for the SE model. The starting issues is more annoying than anything, I am expecting any day this winter to not be able to start it. Hopefully not"
11 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By Larry on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,850overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"bought 2014 outlander sport 5 speed on dec 2014 brand new.. currently has 8800 miles- no service issues. Feels safe since its not low to the ground or tiny . average 28-31mpg depending on my driving. wish it had more power but its pretty average for the crossover segment."
9 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Kevin_CMH on Thursday, January 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,555overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice looking car, pretty ok gas mileage."
Cons: "Poor radio/Bluetooth, Poor performance, poor ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Its a good value but don't expect much. I purchased this car 6 months ago. I knew going into this the performance was going to be lacking. Was I surprised that its even worse than I thought. I don't think it would get out of its own way. The radio/bluetooth is almost impossible to use. My phone calls drop constantly and the dealer and mitsubishi wont acknowledge this issue. Gas mileage is not as good as what the paperwork says, its not so bad but just is kinda ok. Overall I would be suspect to recommend this car to other people."
7 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By billy mac on Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "got this at a below market price."
Cons: "wish it had a 6CD changer like the 2013 had."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Purchased new in Dec 2013, Have 12000 miles on it now. Around town I average 26MPG and on the Highway I get between 29 and 34MPG, depending on the driving conditions. I have a bad right leg and looked at many SUV'S, for getting in and out of. This fit the bill, very comfortable and has enough bells and whistles to keep me happy."
11 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By BostonMNT on Monday, December 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I didnt opt for the info-tainment package. But, I was able to purchase for 18.5k. It was a few thousand less than a RAV4, and Mazda CX5. And unlike them I got bluetooth integration for my phone, alloy wheels, wheel mounted cruise and radio controls. The RAV4 had an antique 4 speed auto, and not much else. The CX5 had a 5speed auto but I thought the Outlander Sport drove better and felt more solid. I have been very happy with the Mitsubishi but I will say the CVT transmission took some getting used to. The highs: - I get 29.5mpg on the highway if i take it easy - The alloy wheels look much better than the hubcaps that came standard on mazda and the metal wheels of the RAV4. - I don't drive much but i have put 7k miles on it. I purchased in 2012 and I put gas in it, change the oil and thats it. It has been rock solid. - Cabin Air filter, and Air filter easy to change - This car is quieter than my friends Matrix, my old Suzuki SX4, and my brothers Equinox. I've read that consumer reports no longer recommends this car because owner satisfaction is too low. But mechanically they rate it much better than average... go figure. The Lows: - A month after i purchased my local dealer (5 miles away) shut his Mitsubishi dealership. Now i have to travel 25 miles to the closest Mitsubishi dealer if I need warranty work. (had 3 recalls so far over minor stuff) Its an absolute drag to have to dedicate the entire day to drive there, wait, and drive home. - Merging on the highway is loud, and i have to watch the tach to make sure I dont redline (but honestly the redline is 6500rpm so its pretty high) What Mitsubishi should change: - Make the roofline taller so I can get bigger boxes in :-) - And reopen some dealerships... having to travel so far is a real pain."
15 people out of 27 found this review helpful
By Bill on Sunday, December 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very underrated suv. It is not a race car but moves just fine. I get 28 miles per gallon and a lot more features for less money than Toyota, Honda, etc. Typically Mitsubishi has lower resale values but I drove them for years with great reliability."
1 person out of 5 found this review helpful