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Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Offers Solid Value



2014-Mitsubishi-Outlander.jpg

Although the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander went through a much-needed redesign this year, note that the Sport model only made minor changes.

Among the notable additions were a new audio system, a steering wheel that now includes stereo controls, and models that utilize the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) can expect quieter and smoother performance

When shopping for an Outlander, note that there's quite a major difference between the "standard" Outlander and the Outlander Sport.

The Outlander is a seven-passenger crossover sport utility vehicle. The Outlander Sport is not nearly as family-friendly. It only seats five people and is a compact crossover SUV.

When compared to a long list of compact SUV competitors, the Outlander offers some definite value. Offered in three trims (base, ES, SE), the Outlander Sport starts at an affordable $19,470, while the high-end Sport is priced at $23,995.

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

  • Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 148 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 24-31 mpg
  • Price: $19,470 to $23,995
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years, unlimited; corrosion 7 years/100,00

What critics of the Sport will say is the Outlander falls short of the two industry standards for the class - the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. Bu the truth is that most competitors fall short when stacked up against the CR-V and RAV-4. The compact SUV class also features some other strong rivals like the Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, and several others.

The Sport's major attributes - affordable pricing and excellent fuel economy (24-31 mpg) - mostly involve the pocketbook. However, sticker price and gas mileage aren't the vehicle's only selling points. Performance is an area where the Outlander Sport offers some surprising results.

One might suspect that the Outlander can be challenged when driving in mountainous locations, because it's seemingly an underpowered SUV - a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. But the Outlander Sport never seemed to labor too hard in providing sufficient power during a short trip to Lake Tahoe.

There's nothing too flashy regarding the Outlander's interior. Yet it has all the basic controls, offering them in a well conceived cockpit that's easy to master and conveniently located.

Both leg and head room is plentiful for 6-footers in the front cabin, which also features supportive seating. It's fairly roomy in a backseat that will accommodate three adults. The cargo area is also spacious, allowing for a fair amount of baggage for a road trip or some weekend chores.

The Outlander Sport has some admirable qualities, especially for an SUV that starts below the $20,000 range. It will serve as a solid commuter vehicle thanks to its gas mileage, and can be trusted to deliver in the winter months with its reliable all-wheel drive.

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Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at skiweidel@gmail.com
Follow him on Twitter at @jeffweidel.




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