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)
A 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is among the few compact-utility vehicles that start under $20,000, including destination. Its entry price undercuts rivals such as the Mazda CX-5, Nissan Juke, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, Mini Cooper and even the Hyundai Tucson by hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even a well-equipped Outlander Sport is relatively easy on the wallet, climbing to the mid-$20,000 mark. A fully loaded, top-of-the-line 2013 Outlander Sport SE with AWD can reach about $32,000. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are paying for this vehicle in your area. Resale values for the Outlander Sport are near the bottom of its class.
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"
2 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Jamie on Monday, January 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, heated fabric seats, drives great!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I searched for an SUV that I liked for a long time. Finally settled with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and love it!"
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Oliver Outlander Sport on Friday, January 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Small, Fun, Sporty with 5 speed, VERY well equiped"
Cons: "dents easily, can get noisy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Overall Im very happy, GREAT price(6k less than other SUVs) lots of option even on the base unit but its not stripped out. I have alloy wheels (19"), leather steering wheel, tinted windows, USB port, and blue tooth - not bad for a base model with NO options! I wanted a 5 speed manual(lots of fun - and yes its even sporty) gets great mileage my average so far is 30.1 MPG mostly city commute, I have even hit 40+ MPG a few times hypermiling! Normally I get 500 miles to a tank of gas! Its small on the outside but big on the inside I have room for 5 adults and plently room in back for cargo. It is however a bit CHEAP, thin metal skin (put a dent in the roof at a car wash from the air dryer) a bit loud, bit bouncy, BUT for the price I would definitely buy again. Peace of mind with 10 yr warranty and tip safety pick by iihs to top it off."
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Dan on Tuesday, December 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Price, Options, Looks"
Cons: "Quality, Refinement, Noisy Ride/Engine"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I have owned my Outlander Sport for about a year and a half now. I was initially drawn by the price, mpg, and looks. I am pretty much the target audience of this car... 26 yr old male looking for something bigger than my Cavalier that still got decent gas mileage and looks cool. Mine is fully loaded red SE model except for all wheel drive. Starting out, I ended up bringing it back to the dealer because the rear end sounded clunky about a week after purchasing... spent multiple trips and calls to Mitsubishi trying to fix it. They finally kind-of fixed it but it still makes slight noises in the rear on bumpy roads that can get irritating. The ride is pretty rough and noisy, and everything about the car is pretty cheap, you can just tell. Example, the in-dash navigation is straight from 2000 and looks like any aftermarket DVD/navigation unit you can buy at Best Buy. I would not recommend this for long trips all the time, the CVT transmission struggles at interstate speeds and its hard to get over 23-24mpg going 75mph. The panoramic sunroof is nice, and the Rockford Fosgate stereo is awesome. Overall, spend the extra money to get something like an Equinox or Escape and you won't regret it. The options, price, and looks were what drew me in. But the ride and quality are missing. I am really hoping this thing will get me to 100,000 miles, but I am kind of doubtful."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By outlanderlover on Monday, November 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value, fun to drive, gas economy, extras!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I don't know how anybody could not love this car! Phenominal gas mileage, runs well in the snow, sharp looking design, and lots of added extras. The heated seats alone are a savior!"
8 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By iatosea73 on Sunday, November 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, ride, bluetooth system, easy access"
Cons: "responsiveness of CVT drivetrain, no compass"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My wife and I were looking for a vehicle that would be easier on my back; in our exhaustive search we looked at a Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Nissan Altima, Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Hyundai Tuscon, Mazda 5, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV-4, and finally, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. To be honest, I almost didn't go to the dealership because the "official" reviews for the Mitsubishi were so poor. But, it seemed like it might be a good value, and the online reviews by people who actually owned the vehicle seemed pretty positive. It turned out to be the right vehicle for us, and for thousands less than the competition. We got the standard ES with no extra options, but the vehicle comes packed with standard features we find very useful, especially the bluetooth hands-free phone system. The vehicle is quiet and rides very nice (the ride of the RAV-4 was AWFUL), and best of all is super easy to get in and out of. Yes, it is not a sports car - the drivetrain is not terribly responsive, especially compared to cars like the Mazda CX-5 - but my wife and I are parents of a 20-month old girl, and neither one of us plan on driving the car at the local race track. It gets us from point A to B comfortably (my mom has a new CR-V, and even she admits the comfort of the seats is poor) and economically - on the highway we've gotten up to 33 mpg, and average about 27 mpg in mixed city/highway driving. If you can live with the quirks of the CVT drivetrain, you will have yourself a sharp-looking, comfortable and efficient car."
13 people out of 13 found this review helpful