Hi, I’m Charis Michelsen. I write about cars (among other important things). This week, I’ve got a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport to play with. I was told first that it’s super cute, and second that it’s good on gas (somebody has noticed what I pay attention to here…). It’s definitely cute, and I’m still testing everything else!
Some technicalities about the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: It’s EPA rated at 26mpg combined (24 city and 29 highway), which apparently gives it a Fuel Economy & Greenhouse Gas Rating of 7. It got 4 out of 5 stars for every type of crash tested, unless you’re in the front seat and get hit from the side, in which case it scored 5 out of 5. MSRP for the base model is $23,896; if you want all the options, it goes up to $27,745. It also does 0-60 in 8.6 seconds, which I’m pretty sure is fairly respectable for an SUV.
Day 1, 12:15pm
It is much cuter in person than I thought it would be (what, I like tiny cars, don’t judge me). It is also bright blue, and because I am severely sleep deprived at this point, my brain is latching onto the color and won’t let go.
There’s quite a bit of space in both the front and back seats. If I had hordes of people to haul around (which honestly, does not happen that often), this would work out fairly well. I’m pretty sure I could cram five people in the back seat in an emergency, although there are only three seatbelts. (Don’t actually try to put more people in your vehicle than there are seatbelts, for safety reasons, okay.)
Then there’s the trunk:There is not only again lots of space (hello, IKEA) but also a giant speaker. I suspect that’s going to sound amazing. Oh, and the back seats (of course) fold down:I’m almost tempted to go buy furniture, just so I can use the trunk space. Or something else massive. (No, really, I do not need more Things, I don’t, I have enough.)
Day 1, 6:45pm
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport seems massively huge, because I am used to tiny cars. I wish the seat would go up a little higher, but it doesn’t; that’s okay, I can still see the road. To start the car, you just need the key inside it. Then you put your foot on the brake (it does not work with your foot on the gas, okay, FYI) and push the start button.
The first thing it has done is given me the Obey The Rules Of The Road screen (sorry about the flash), which I’m beginning to suspect is standard:Now that I have cleared that screen, let’s play with the touch screen!
I can synch my smartphone to the car, which involves several steps the first time (they’re all in the manual, which I did read this time), but I haven’t tested the functionality yet.
There’s a USB port between the seats, but the car won’t read my classic iPod (no, I will not stop making that joke). It does read the slightly less classic one I got in ’09, at which point I discovered something a little odd; the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport does not read Asian characters:It’s 68% Japanese, come on. Then again, this is not likely to be a common issue for most American drivers, so.
Day 1, 6:57pm
Okay, I’m done fiddling with the touch screen. Now for the actual driving: first, the dash is organic-looking with bars for temperature and fuel:Behind the flash, by the way (sorry), is a trip odometer. I am apparently on “trip A.” At some point I will figure out how to reset that, because it does not automatically reset when you turn off the car.
Day 1, 7:03pm
You know what your suspension is for? Keeping the car from bouncing when you do things like drive over train tracks. Everyone else, stop slowing down! …The Outlander’s suspension is more than up to the task of bouncy railroad tracks.
Day 1, 7:07pm
Visibility out of all sides is actually pretty good; I have not inadvertently cut anyone off because I failed to see them either in the mirror or doing a shoulder check. Full points for lots of window-space!
Day 1, 7:09pm
I should have gone around that semi when I had the chance. …wait, I have another chance. Let’s test the acceleration.
…oh, good. That went fabulously well. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport does indeed accelerate quickly enough to go around traffic. When I accelerated, by the way, a little green eco light flashed on the dashboard, and I don’t know if it was telling me to drive more efficiently (probably) or that I was already driving efficiently (someone remind me to check the manual again).
Day 1, 7:38pm
I would totally drive this through the zombie apocalypse, this is great.
Day 2, 8:09am
Apparently it does. This is actually a good thing; the pressure sensors in the seats are calibrated for tiny people, who generally need more care and attention than adults. So if you do not fasten your tiny child into a seatbelt, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport will know. And it will blink at you.
Day 2, 8:27am
The brakes feel pretty solid – I’ve been in too much traffic to really test them out (I’m fairly sure I would survive a rear impact, but it seems wrong to actively invite one). However, for normal driving, the brakes are great.
I have also discovered where not to put the car into Drive:
If you want the experience of driving a manual, you can have it! The shift knob will shift up and down or you can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. I’m going to just drive it in automatic mode, because I’m not entirely sure that my manual driving capabilities won’t actually make the transmission fall out of the car.
Day 2, 8:30am
I have no idea how much road noise does or does not penetrate into the cabin, because the speakers sound awesome. They’re fantastic. I love the sound system.
Day 2, 8:52am
There are a number of cupholders in the front of the car, which is very handy. I appreciate having multiple cupholders, because they hold all sorts of useful things. However, the one way in the front seems to have a little sign forbidding the placing of cups in it. I have decided it is for keys:
Day 2, 2:23pm
There’s a backup camera. Mitsubishi, I love you.
Charis Michelsen spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissin, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.