$8,910 - $11,194

2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport was new.


Performance: 7.1

Some test drivers note that the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers a comfortable ride, strong brakes and accurate steering. However, those attributes aren’t enough to overcome their complaints about the Outlander Sport’s sluggish acceleration and noisy engine.

  • "The Outlander Sport's lightness and smaller size could be expected to translate into a certain agility, but the Sport's suspension tuning is too soft to make handling entertaining and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, borrowed from the Lancer compact car, lacks power, particularly when matched with the Sport's continuously variable transmission." -- Edmunds
  • "The engine is always heard, and it sounds somewhat coarse during full-throttle acceleration. The CVT doesn't help here as it can allow engine speed to race ahead of road speed." -- Consumer Guide (2012) 
  • "On the open undulating roads surrounding Sonoma's Infineon Raceway, the Outlander Sport delivered a ride and handling compromise that's a near-perfect balance." -- Popular Mechanics (2011)
  • "We floored it as we attempted to pass other cars on the highway, which only resulted in moderate acceleration and a horrible straining sound from the engine compartment." -- CNET (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with paddle shifters is optional. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The EPA reports that the Outlander Sport gets up to 24/31 mpg city/highway, which is good for an affordable compact SUV.  

While reviewers note that the Outlander Sport’s fuel economy is impressive, most also say that the engine needs more power. They write that regardless of which transmission you choose, the Outlander Sport doesn’t get up to speed quickly enough, even when you floor the gas pedal.

  • "The CVT automatic is a boon to economy, but does no favors for the Sport's already meager engine power, making for lackadaisical acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "With either transmission, the engine tends to run out of steam at high speeds prompting a deep stab of the accelerator pedal or a downshift to summon the meager passing reserves." -- Consumer Guide (2012)  
  • "There have been few vehicles where I could literally put my foot to the floor and not be nervous about the looming blast of power, and this Outlander is one of those few. When accelerating in this SUV, not only was I itching for more oomph, my ears were also being irritated with the sounds of engine, wind and road noise." -- AutoWeek (2011)
  • "Floor the throttle and the Outlander Sport displays enough punch to satisfy most drivers." -- Truck Trend (2011)

Handling and Braking

Auto writers say that the 2013 Outlander Sport offers a comfortable ride and strong brakes. However, more than one reviewer writes that the Outlander Sport leans in turns and doesn’t handle as well as other SUVs in the class. If you’re looking for an SUV with nimble handling, consider rivals like the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape.

  • "The 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is fine for an urban runabout, but those who want more athletic handling will find the Kia Sportage and Nissan Juke more satisfying." -- Edmunds
  • "Sharp turns can induce some body lean, but this SUV is well composed otherwise. Brakes are strong with good pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2012) 
  • "The suspension absorbed potholes well and yields a solid ride." -- AutoWeek (2011)
  • "With a suspension that is neither too cushy nor too firm, the Outlander Sport is fine for straight-line cruising. Although we enjoyed the relative sharpness and feel offered by the steering rack, the Outlander suffers from waves of body roll at anything higher than average Grand Marquis cornering speeds." -- Car and Driver (2011)

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