Green Cars Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Featured

Published on December 1st, 2012 | by Charis Michelsen


Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: SUV + Cute, Days 1+2

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport FeaturedHi, 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.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Front Seat

Let’s look at the inside of the car, shall we.

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:Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Trunk Folds DownI’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:Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Safety ScreenNow 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:Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Does Not Read JapaneseIt’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

Something I kept noticing last night – the seatbelt warning sign for the passenger seat kept flashing:Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Passenger Seatbelt 1That bag has a laptop and some books in it. I wonder if the car thinks it’s a small child…

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Passenger Seatbelt 2Apparently 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:

Because going down the street in first gear is not really advisable.

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:Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Not A Cup Holder

Day 2, 2:23pm

There’s a backup camera. Mitsubishi, I love you.

And tomorrow, we test the SUV on the interstate!

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About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, 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.

  • davidjmusic

    This is a great true compact SUV for city driving. The only compliant I have is the lack of rear cupholders in the lower trim levels as the rear center armrest is only available in the trim and there are no cup storage in the rear doors.

  • Jason Carpp

    I wish I could say that I find the Mitsubishi Outlander to be cute looking. Unfortunately, I disagree withe statement that it’s cute. It does look attractive from some angles, but it looks god awful in others. My least favourite part of the Outlander is the nose of the car. It looks like someone in the styling dept. was smoking something during the styling of the rig. Another thing I don’t like is its lack of a diesel engine. I don’t know just how much horsepower the engine delivers, but for a vehicle of this size, weight, and what it’s used for, if I was Mitsubishi of America, I’d offer a 2.5 litre turbodiesel engine, probably delivering 150hp and 300ft-lbs of torque.

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