Mitsubishi Outlander Sport: SUV + Cute, Days 5-7 and Final Impressions


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 many other things!

Day 5, 10:52am

I am on my way to visit my dad in Rockford – 65, 70 miles or so, most of it tollway. It is on this trip that I have finally found the road noise – at around 75mph down the interstate.  It’s not incredibly loud, but I can hear it with the music off.

Day 5, 10:56am

I am beginning to think I won’t be able to test the Outlander under adverse conditions, because the weather has been gorgeous all week. (No, I am not going to drive it into Lake Michigan to see how it does.)  This is the worst weather I have seen in five days:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport What Inclement Weather

Spoiler alert: That was the worst weather I saw the rest of the week, too.

Day 5, 11:17am

So I keep forgetting that cruise control exists, because I never use it. The controls for it in the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport are on the steering wheel, they’re incredibly intuitive, and it works perfectly well.

There’s just one problem: the people in front of me keep slowing down unexpectedly. I don’t think Mitsubishi can solve this one. On the plus side, temporarily turning off the cruise control and then resuming, also super easy.

Day 5, 2:55pm

The love-hate relationship with the GPS continues (to be completely fair, this particular issue is not specific to Mitsubishi cars, but it’s not universal either), with some low-fuel warnings thrown in.

First, the awesome:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Low Fuel Warning
There’s a blinking fuel icon next to the gauge, too.

Not only did I get a warning light (it said “low fuel warning,” but by the time I got my phone in place the words were gone, so just the yellow triangle up there sticks around) but it also made a little ding. I am very pleased.

Then came the Where Is The Nearest Gas Station fun, and the GPS would not just find the closest one. No. It listed them all in alphabetical order, which does not help me at all when the car is telling me it’s about to run out of gas.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Will Not Navigate To Nearest Gas Station
Am I doing something wrong here?

See how it does not say “set” up there. So that was a little frustrating. On the other hand, 18 miles after the light went on, there was still fuel in the tank.

Day 5, 3:04pm

25mpg! Considering that this is not a tiny car (it’s actually fairly small for an SUV, now that I’m not subconsciously comparing it to my regular car), and it’s running on a gas-powered ICE, that’s pretty good. It is in fact a fuel-efficient SUV.

Day 5, 3:34pm

I have now found exit ramps with no one on them. However, I feel like if I perform my usual exit ramp shenanigans, I might actually die – the SUV is higher off the ground because of what it is, it’s top-heavier, and while it’s not exactly likely to roll, I don’t want to come anywhere close.

That having been said, the speed limit on the clover leaf says 25mph. 60mph seems excessive on the first bit of that, 40-45 seems totally okay. Unless you’re doing something incredibly stupid, I don’t think you’re going to roll the Outlander Sport.

Day 6, 10:48am

Did you know that driving off-road in a state park will get you arrested? I had no idea. This is why I ask other people questions. The closest I got to taking the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport off-road was this:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport This Is Not Off-Road
That’s not a test of its ruggedness at all.

Those are rocks around the gravel lot, presumably to prevent people from doing what I was considering doing. (Well, I was considering it until I found out that it is Not Permitted, anyway.)

That having been said, it’s pretty smooth on the gravel road. I was pleased.

Day 6, 1:36pm

I also went looking for some inclines to go up and down, but I live near Chicago. The tallest hills around here are the highway overpasses (that is not hyperbole, it really isn’t). I did find this, by going 50 miles northwest:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Climbs Hills

It’s not much of an incline, but there were several like it. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport navigates the mostly-flat terrain of the Midwest with total ease. I’m pretty sure it would handle steeper hills fine, given how hard it was not working as I drove around here.

Day 7, 2:57pm

Okay, I have been completely unable to find adverse weather conditions in which to drive recklessly, so I’m going to tell you about the inside of the car.  I really, really like the inside of the car.

There aren’t a lot of extraneous buttons, but there’s quite a bit of functionality:

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Steering Wheel Controls

Cruise control on the right, volume on the left, and voice control/phone control on the lower left. Super easy, super simple, does quite a bit.  Also it seems to be easily cleanable, and wow, that is so much of a plus.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Touch Screen Controls

The touch screen controls are also ridiculously simple – very, very user friendly. The only point at which I needed to consult the manual was for pairing my phone with the car.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Other Controls

Also, dials are fun. I love dials. There is no reasonable explanation for this. However, even if you are not easily entertained by dials, these are at least simple, functional, and can be fiddled with without taking your eyes off the road.

Day 7, 7:01pm

It is finally cold enough for the seat heaters! By which I mean it’s almost below freezing and I’m not wearing a jacket.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Seat Heater
Best place ever for a seat heater button.

And tomorrow I have to give it back, which is vaguely depressing. I reiterate – if I had things or people to haul around on a regular basis, this would be a fabulous little SUV in which to do it. It’s got great mileage, it’s safe, and it’s not huge. Since it’s just me and the most I carry with me regularly is a backpack, it’s a little too much car for my needs.

It is, however, cute enough that I’d probably seriously consider it anyway.

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.
  • Chuck Quinlan

    I assume this was a 2013 Outlander Sport you tested, correct? Can you please tell me how you were able to get the panoramic roof open?

    I am conidering buyng this very vehicle but everyone I have spoken to, including Mitsubishi sales people, says the panoramic roof can not be opened.

    Do you recall how you did it?

  • Good job Mitsubishi, keep it up.

  • Good job Mitsubishi, keep it up.

  • wolfo

    Nice utie, I have it for almost 3 years now. Little underpowered, but stable and insanely practical

  • wolfo

    Nice utie, I have it for almost 3 years now. Little underpowered, but stable and insanely practical