By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 24/31 mpg (manual), 25/31 mpg (automatic), 23/28 (automatic, all-wheel drive)
By dave on Sunday, March 01, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, warranty"
Cons: "about 5- 20 horsepower less than the competition"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I reviewed and drove the cx5, escape, and this vehicle. I reviewed all of the interior dimensions before choosing the outlander sport. The Crv, Rav4, and Sportage were out of my price range. I wanted a normally aspirated engine without a turbocharger for reliability. I wanted a new 4-wheel drive for under $20,000. I managed to get my 2015 outlander sport ES AWD automatic with fog lights for $19,500. I'M 6-3, 220# and the vehicle has plenty of head and leg room. My brother rode in the back and had enough room and he's 6-1, 230#. Cargo Space is lacking, but it will fit 10 bags of groceries behind the rear seat. Sure this vehicle is a little short on power (5-20 horsepower less than the competition), but I drive the speed limit so it doesn't really matter. Ride comfort is half decent. It rides better than my 2002 gallant that's for sure. No one can expect a $20,000 SUV to perform like a luxury Mercedes SUV anyway. I'm not to keen about the CVT transmission, but with the 100,000 mile drivetrain warranty, who cares. I feel that the outlander sport is the cheapest AWD SUV you'll find and the warranty can't be beat. If you want a slightly better ride, pay $6,000 more for a Honda CRV. Otherwise, pay around $4,000 more for an Escape, CX5, RAV4, or Sportage"
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Bill on Saturday, February 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The experts talk badly about this car due to what they say is poor acceleration and sluggish CVT. They are wrong , the car is more than capable. It is not a race car. It is a great value with great reliability, good mpg, and plenty of features at a fair price."
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."
10 people out of 20 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."
8 people out of 13 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