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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 New for 2012

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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 57 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Excellent Value!

By on Friday, July 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Didn't even have the Outlander on my radar but test drove at a dealership. Smooth comfortable, quiet. Thought exterior looked great, good safety ratings, decent fuel consumption but the kicker for me was the 5/60K bumper to bumper plus the 10yr/100K power train w/$0.00 deductible BUT even beyond that term, lifetime warranty on the drive train w/$100.00 duductible! How can you go wrong?! Good looking, great value for the dollar!"

great small SUV for personal use

By on Sunday, March 6, 2016

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

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: "great price and appearance"

Cons: "none that I have observed after a year"

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

"Good over the road SUV with excellent fuel economy. Real fun to drive around town or on a 1000 mile trip. Plenty of room inside. Has all the amenities to enhance personal comfort. Power driver seat,leather seats,heated seats, push to start, great convenient lock and unlock doors, auto lights and wipers. All you need to do is drive it."

9 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Follow-up Review

By on Sunday, November 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Value, fuel economy, standard features"

Cons: "Engine can get noisy"

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

"This is a follow-up to my review 1 year ago. We have a 2015 Outlander Sport SE 4WD with the 2.0 engine. This car has been absolutely bullet proof, not a single problem with anything. We have averaged almost 29 MPG which is 2 MPG better than the EPA estimate. Most of the driving has been around town, but on the highway we have gotten 31 MPG. I'm 6'1" and I find this to be a very comfortable car to drive. It can be a bit noisy under hard acceleration, but overall it is pretty quiet for a small SUV. As others have said, the amount of standard equipment you get with this car would cost you thousands more on other SUV's. Ours was built in the Normal Illinois plant, which unfortunately Mitsubishi is closing, so to top it all off it was made in America!!"

26 people out of 42 found this review helpful

This is our 2nd New Outlander and 3rd Mitsubishi.

By on Friday, September 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good to drive and sits a bit higher than cars."

Cons: "Sun hits backup camera and blocks it out at times."

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

My Mitsubishi Sport Outlander

"Great vehicle and nice riding, good on gas mileage. No negatives on the Outlander. If you're looking for a larger 'trunk' area you might want to go with the Outlander rather than the sport but the sport is just fine for normal trips."

9 people out of 21 found this review helpful

My Mitsubishi Sport Outlander

Pay attention to what real OWNERS say! Great Car!

By on Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

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: "Great MPG, Comfortable ride, Handles Great, Looks"

Cons: "low on power but not an issue, plenty for the car."

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

"Are you kidding? Buy it! We mulled around for two weeks trying to decide between the Honda CRV, Subaru XT and the Outlander Sport. The Mitsubishi had the best warranty by a long shot (not the warranty was much of a concern with Honda or Subaru). It boiled down to bang for your buck. We got a LOADED SE Outlander with the glass roof for around the starting price of the other two. We bought the Mitsubishi thinking we just got more bells and whistles but a cheapo car. Well, we were wrong. We just wrapped up a 2000 mile road trip and we were stunned. Economy: This car averaged 31 MPG over the full distance. (Keep in mind this is the 4X4) The insurance rate was lower than the other two SUVs we were considering. Comfort: I have a very bad back and that is the most comfortable I have been in a car since I drove a Lincoln. It rides, handles and stops very well. Power: Many people comment the power is lacking in this car. My wife and I feel it is just right. It is not slow by any means. 70 -80 mph with no issues through the mountains. Acceleration is actually impressive. MPG is the concern for us and this car finds that balance between power and MPG. The CVT transmission is a little weird at first but you soon get used to the shift or no shift depending on where your foot is on the accelerator. I have fun working with the transmission keeping the MPG maxed out. Design: The interior is not Lexus quality but it is as good if not better than Honda, Toyota or Subaru. We LOVE the Rockford Fosgate stereo system with the touch screen and deep bass. The illuminated glass roof is a treat at night. The exterior is aggressive and sporty. It turns heads. We had several people ask us what kind of car this was and they liked it. Value: We feel we could not have done better with any other car. The Mitsubishi dealers seem happy to have our business instead of considering it a chore to sell us a car (Honda, Subaru). We bought this car for work commuter duty. We have already decided it will be much more than that."

23 people out of 37 found this review helpful

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!"

15 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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