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 harley on Thursday, August 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "36 mpg freeway at 60mph, great design"
Cons: "somewhat noisy, needs rear seat ceiling light"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Sleeper SUV! Great style, 36mpg at 60mph cruise control, fair amount of road noise, has enough pep when needed. needs rear seat ceiling light"
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Gigi2three on Monday, June 30, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage & options. Reliable."
Cons: "Cheap carpet and trim~hard to clean"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This vehicle is great on gas and a pleasure to drive. Only problem thus far (in a little over 2 years of ownership) was that the battery was weak from sitting on the lot for an extended period of time. My dealer tested and gave it a full charge and I have had no problems since. The navigation system with MP3 and 7 speakers is what really sold me. My one drawback about this vehicle is that I think they could have given it a better quality carpet and trim on the interior-very cheap and ruins the overall feel."
11 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By sea nymph on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,600overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "good price point & known Mitsubishi reliability"
Cons: "nearest dealer is 4 hours from where I live so"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"a nice change from what i was driving. i like the fact that this automobile isn't seen everywhere. i like to own something different that not everyone has. It gets alot of "second glances""
13 people out of 20 found this review helpful
By Persy76 on Thursday, April 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas mileage, great stereo, comfortable, sexy"
Cons: "Not very powerful"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought this vehicle in early December and absolutely love it! I got everything installed that I could - including auto starter and heated seats - which have been GREAT this winter (in Pittsburgh, PA). Drives great in bad snow, good gas mileage, comfortable and looks really nice. It is not a powerful car in reference to horsepower, but it drives smooth and handles well in city traffic. And for just a little more - I got the 100,000 bumper to bumper warranty!!!"
10 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Jack on Sunday, April 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage. Options it offers."
Cons: "CVT trans. Not enough power. Use paddle shifters."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Comfortable. Fostgate sound system is the best I ve had in a vehicle. Panoramic glass roof is an addition. Not much storage. The options are endless. I ve owned it for 8 months and still finding something new about it. Great turning radius. XID headlights that are adjustable with the payload are a huge plus. Can't say enough about the sound system that compliments the Bluetooth and Sirius radio. 2.0 engine lacks power on expressway. CVT trans doesn't help it either. Cannot get used to the trans not shifting. For the price, and options, its a steal."
11 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By Kasey on Saturday, February 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "handles road well"
Cons: "blind spots uncomfortable rough ride poor quality"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"rough riding car uncomfortable seats. Radio and Bluetooth poor quality. Very noisy can hear road as you drive. Many blind spots"
8 people out of 18 found this review helpful