The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is a younger, hipper version of the Outlander that trades the third row for a sportier look, nicer interior and turns it into a much more appealing package for many buyers.
With a starting price of just over $20,000 and dealer incentives dropping the Outlander Sport to around $14,000 at many dealers, this mid-size SUV is an insane value.
Is the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport A Good SUV?
The Outlander Sport is a good SUV for the price. It’s a smaller, more modern looking Outlander. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely worth a test drive if you’re in the market for the Mazda CX-5 or Hyundai Tuscon.
The 2018 Outlander Sport is a great value – especially when you factor in the 10-year 100,000 mile warranty.
Mitsubishi includes a many of safety and technology features on the higher trim levels, which also offer a better engine option.
There are a few missing comfort features, like front seats that move up and down, and the ride isn’t as smooth as you’ll find on the competition but there’s a lot to love at the price.
While it’s not my first choice in the segment, it’s hard to argue with the features and warranty that you get for the price. The Mazda CX-5 handles better, looks sportier and offers more upscale interior options — but it’s also more expensive and it’s lacking Apple CarPlay & Android Auto support.
What’s New for 2018
Mitsubishi updated the Outlander Sport for 2018 with new front and rear bumpers and added LED running lights to the LE trim and higher. Buyers also get Apple CarPlay & Android Auto on the 7-inch touch screen.
We also see a new interior setup with a redesigned center console, a new shift lever and a new silver paint option.
Rounding out the changes, Mitsubishi drops the GT trim level and adds a new Touring package to the now top of the line SEL trim level that adds a panoramic sunroof, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Tech & Safety
A touch screen with Mitsubishi software is standard across all Outlander Sport Trim levels, but you should be looking at the LE, SE or SEL trims, which include support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
With this feature, you can plug your iPhone or Android phone into the car by USB and access maps, music, messages and other apps on the car’s touch screen. It’s a major upgrade from simply using Bluetooth or using the line out function that comes from plugging your phone into the car.
The stereo is okay and there is a dedicated subwoofer in the back that you can use to dial up the bass with the optional Touring package on the SEL. The Outlander Sport has two USB ports and two 12V outlets.
The Outlander comes with adaptive cruise control, but this is not available on the Outlander Sport. Most of the safety features are not available on the entry trim levels and are, in fact, tied into the Touring package that adds $2,000 to the price of the SEL trim. With the Touring package you get:
This is in addition to the upgraded stereo and the panoramic glass sunroof. Ultimately we’d like to see these on more trim levels.
Driving the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The 2018 Outlander Sport isn’t as quick or quiet as the competition. Even with the upgraded 2.4L engine, it’s not going to satisfy your need for speed and you’ll need to put up with a noisier ride. Slow acceleration makes merging into traffic and getting up to speed a chore.
Mitsubishi does deliver surprising handling with the Outlander Sport. It’s not Mazda level, but it’s still good. There’s also surprisingly little body roll, which helps the Outlander Sport feel composed even with a higher sitting position.
The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is the default on higher trim levels and it performs OK. Road and vehicle noise is very evident in the Outlander Sport.
When it comes to fuel economy, the Outlander Sport falls in behind the competition. The 2.4L engine with the CVT and the all wheel drive option I tested delivers 25 MPG combined, with 28 MPG highway and 23 MPG city.
2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Interior & Design
While not plush, the interior definitely feels like a step up from the Outlander’s Utilitarian style. There are still lots of hard plastics throughout the cabin, but everything is in reach and the overall style looks and feels more modern.
The front seats are not incredible comfortable and they sit you up almost like a bus seat, which is an odd feeling while driving. There is no up and down setting for the seats, which adds to this odd sitting position.
There’s a decent amount of room for rear passengers, and overall it is easy to get in and out of both the front and back seats. Cargo capacity is good and there are a lot of small cubbies and storage spots to hold items.
Ultimately the interior is well put together, but the style feels dated compared to the competition. It’s another area where you’re trading off style and materials for a lower price.
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