Updated Outlander Sport still roomy and efficient

Next month the completely redesigned 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander compact crossover arrives at dealerships. Meanwhile, there’s the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport to consider.

Now in its third year of production, for 2013 the Outlander Sport’s exterior has been modestly updated, including a new grille and redesigned front fascia, new rear bumper, and black side sills (to match the lower sections of the new front and rear bumpers). Inside, new seat fabric has been employed, front doors include chrome accents, there’s a center console push-button for the all-wheel-drive control, cabin noise is reduced by improved insulation material, and the premium audio system benefits from new speakers that are more powerful.

The rear multi-link suspension has been tweaked to improve ride and handling, and drivers should notice better feel in the electric power steering system thanks to some tweaking there, too. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) has been recalibrated for better acceleration and smoother shifting.

The Outlander Sport is a foot shorter than the regular Outlander, and has five seats instead of the Outlander’s seven. Rear-seat riders in the Sport are given ample legroom, and even with rear seats in the upright position, the rear cargo area is surprisingly large.

Three trim levels are offered: ES, SE, and LE, all available with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive. Base pricing ranges from $19,170 to $24,895.

Propulsion for all models is provided by a 148-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine, paired with a five-speed manual transmission on the ES with 2WD, and a CVT Sportronic on all other versions. Acceleration can’t be called outstanding, but it’s far from pathetic. Outlander Sport’s performance will likely be less of a buyer attractant than its frugal use of fuel: 25 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with 2WD, and 24/29 with AWD.

All models come standard with paddle shifters, auxiliary audio controls on the steering wheel, and Mitsubishi’s FUSE Handsfree Link system with a USB port that allows voice operation of the audio system, a cellphone or iPod.

Additional standard features on my tester, an SE with AWD, include heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, satellite radio and a slide-adjustable center armrest.

Also standard on the SE and worthy of separate mention are super-wide-range HID headlights and halogen foglights, much appreciated by me and anyone else who regularly drives the rural and mountain back roads of the Puget Sound region.

An optional Premium Package ($2,050) on the tester included a rear camera system, black roof rails, and a panoramic sunroof whose only weakness was a fixed (“unopenable”) glass panel. The package also substituted an epic-level 710-watt Rockford Fosgate audio system with nine speakers (including a 10-inch subwoofer) for the standard 140-watt, six-speaker system.

The tester’s other optional item ($2,000) was an uncomplicated, user-considerate navigation system that includes a rear camera system.

2013 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SPORT SE AWD

Base price, including destination charge: $24,520

Price as driven: $28,570

Mary Lowry is a free-lance automotive writer who has been reviewing cars for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a board member of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

More in Herald Business Journal

Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million complex expected to open in spring 2019.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the publicly owned downtown Everett events center.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Bombardier promotes its C Series airliner as American made

It says more than half its all-new jet is made in US factories with final assembly near Montreal.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Justice Department confirms criminal probe in Uber case

A former Uber executive is accused of stealing self-driving car technology from Google.

Trudeau snubs Boeing, unveils plan to buy used Aussie jets

Trudeau will be assessing the impact fighter jet contracts have on his country’s economy.

Most Read