By Keith Buglewicz
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
In a deep sea of Honda CR-Vs, Toyota RAV4s and Subaru Foresters, the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport compact SUV is often overlooked and overshadowed. That’s unfortunate because the Outlander Sport is one efficient, well-equipped and affordable compact-crossover SUV. Base models still offer a manual transmission, and the upper trims come nicely equipped with features like a Rockford Fosgate audio system, leather seating and an advanced all-wheel-drive option. Two 4-cylinder engine choices provide decent power and good fuel economy, and the Outlander Sport’s interior accommodations are right in line with the Ford Escape and Nissan Juke. However, unlike many of its competitors, the Outlander Sport does not have advanced driver assists like autonomous braking, lane-departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
If you’re looking for a compact SUV that stands out from the crowd, yet won’t cost an arm and a leg when you start adding options, check out the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is another great reason to buy.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2017 the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport compact-crossover SUV gains automatic climate control, a shark-fin antenna and new upgraded cloth seating material on the ES trim.
If Mitsubishi’s 2017 Outlander Sport SUV lags behind its competition in one area, it would have to be age. While the Outlander Sport did undergo a few facelifts along the...
... way, its guts have remained the same since 2011. The design must be a good one, because the Outlander Sport continues to be Mitsubishi’s best-selling model. We get it. The Outlander Sport offers a very comfortable cabin neatly detailed and filled with comfort and convenience features. It offers a manual transmission on base front-wheel-drive (FWD) models, a rarity these days. It gets really good gas mileage thanks to a pair of efficient 4-cylinder engine options and an even better CVT automatic transmission. While not nearly as lively in the corners as the Mazda CX-5 or Kia Sportage, the Outlander Sport is still a very competent compact SUV, especially when equipped with the optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system.
ROCKFORD FOSGATE AUDIO SYSTEM
The 2017 Outlander Sport SUV offers a kicking 710-watt, 9-speaker Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade guaranteed to please the music lover in all of us. Deep bass is provided by a powered sub, and the system can be paired with a 40-gigabyte music-storage hard drive.
GREAT VALUE FOR THE MONEY
While other compact SUVs offer a sub-$20,000 model, it won’t come with standard auto climate control and a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty. Even a nicely equipped top-of-the-line GT with AWD barely touches the $30,000 zone.
The 2017 Outlander Sport interior offers new seat fabric on the ES trim and is complemented by piano-black accents, bright trim around the center stack and a 6.1-inch display audio system. The light-gray interior color option helps brighten up what can usually be a somber black interior at this price. The comfortable front seats are supportive over a long drive, while the rear seats are definitely for smaller adults; 6-footers will feel cramped. Behind the second row is a pretty small cargo area, offering just 20 cubic feet of space, although it opens up considerably when you fold down the rear seatbacks.
There's no doubting the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a sharp-looking little SUV. The family resemblance is most noticeable up front where the nose mimics the styling of the bigger Outlander. It’s an aggressive design that looks good here. The rest of the vehicle has remained largely unchanged over the years, with the exception of molding around the wheelwells. The proportions are spot-on, and the compact size -- it's about eight inches shorter than a CR-V -- makes it easy to maneuver around tight urban parking lots. An optionally available roof rack can carry larger items that won't fit inside.
The base Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES offers some solid features for its roughly $20,700 price, including leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, LED taillights, automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, steering-wheel-mounted cruise control and audio buttons, a 4-speaker/140-watt AM/FM/CD system, and Fuse voice-control system. A multicolor information display reads out fuel consumption, outside temperature and other data. Safety systems include hill-start assist, stability control and seven standard airbags, plus a driver's-side knee airbag. Mitsubishi vehicles also come with a new-car warranty that includes 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.
Skip the base 2.0-liter engine and get the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which offers more power and torque with only a minor penalty in fuel economy. Otherwise, features get added as you work up the trim ladder. The SE model adds fog lights, push-button ignition, a rearview camera and the 6.1-inch display audio system, while the SEL takes that and adds leather seating, chrome exhaust and power-folding sideview mirrors. The top-line GT adds a panoramic glass roof, HID headlights, and the awesome Rockford Fosgate audio system. All-wheel drive is available on all models and is standard on the GT.
The base engine in the 2017 Outlander Sport is a forgettable 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with only 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a 5-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission, but it's overwhelmed by this little SUV, which comes in front- or all-wheel drive. Instead, get the available 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. At 168 horsepower it's no powerhouse, but it doesn't have to work as hard to get the Outlander Sport moving, so it's quieter as well as offering more punch. The continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only option, but it mimics a standard transmission with "shift" points, and it was smooth enough. An AWD system is available on all models, offering peace of mind for slippery-road conditions.
148 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
145 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/29 mpg (manual), 24/30 mpg (automatic, FWD), 23/29 mpg (automatic, AWD)
168 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
167 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (FWD), 22/27 mpg (AWD)
Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.
Mitsubishi holds the line on the 2017 Outlander Sport, with a front-wheel-drive base ES model starting with a reasonable $20,700 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), including the $850 destination charge. The new Outlander Sport SEL model starts at a little over $25,000, and the GT starts at a bit less than $28,600. AWD adds about $1,400 to any Outlander Sport model. That price undercuts 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 if you load up an Outlander Sport GT with AWD, you'll still be around the $30,000 mark. Whatever you choose, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers are paying for this vehicle in your area. The downside is that the Outlander Sport is near the bottom of the class for resale value.