By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – As Mitsubishi continues its rebound in this market, I had the chance to test drive the 2018 Outlander Sport.
For this model year, the small crossover got a new grille, LED daytime running lights as standard on upper trim models, a new rear fascia, a new center console design, shift lever and USB ports.
Other equipment was made standard like CarPlay and Android Auto on Se and SEL trim lines. A new touring package included forward collision mitigation, lane departure warning and automatic high beams, a premium audio system and a fixed panoramic roof. The roof featured LED lights that illuminated the slide track; it’s the first time I’ve seen that feature.
The Outlander had a 2.4-liter four cylinder engine that made 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a continuously variable transmission or Sportronic in Mitsubishi lingo.
The combination got 23 mpg on the highway, 28 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. My test vehicle had what Mitsubishi has branded all-wheel-control or AWC. I took that to mean all-wheel-drive, especially since there was a switch for four-wheel-drive inside. I didn’t get the chance to test it since the pavement was dry.
The engine provided some oomph. Although I found the drone of the CVT a little annoying, especially under hard acceleration, the Outlander could accelerate with authority. Sightlines were good. It handled the expressways here without problems and the ride was smooth. Cornering was good. All-in-all, it was easy to drive.
It had a really clean interior design. There was a three-dial climate control beneath the infotainment screen. And beneath those controls, there were two USB jacks and a 12V socket.
The TFT screen in front of the driver was flanked on either side by the odometer and the speedometer. Both were black with white numerals. There was a smart key with pushbutton lock and unlock as well as pushbutton start and stop.
I climbed into the back seat and found it a little close. It’s doubtful that three adults could sit in the backseat comfortably. Two would find it spacious. Still, the head space was a little close.
Other creature comforts included satellite radio, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There were heated front seats; about the only thing missing was a navigation system.
When I checked, there was a half tank of fuel and the Outlander had a range of 160 miles. I scrolled through the information screen and found that I had averaged 20.6 mpg and 33 mph. That wasn’t bad.
For $29,310 as tested, the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2.4 wasn’t a bad ride.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com