2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

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MSRP: $20,395 - 25,995

2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Review

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport doesn't offer much compared to rivals. Almost every competitor is more athletic, features a higher-quality interior, and earns better safety and predicted reliability scores. That's why this Mitsubishi ranks near the bottom of the class.

7.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 6.2
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Above-average cargo room
  • Long warranty
  • Underwhelming powertrains
  • Numb steering
  • Dated cabin design
  • Subpar fuel economy

New for 2018

  • Touch screen now standard
  • Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and advanced safety features now available

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport a Good SUV?

The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport isn't really a good SUV. There are reasons to like it: the infotainment system is easy to master, there's plenty of cargo space, it rides smoothly, and it comes with a long warranty. However, there are plenty of strikes against the Outlander Sport as well. The powertrains feel weak and don't get good gas mileage, and many competitors are more agile and maneuverable. The cabin styling feels outdated compared to rivals, and the Outlander Sport has one of the lowest crash test and predicted reliability scores in the class.

Should I Buy the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

You should not buy the Outlander Sport, except as a gift for somebody you don't like. The Outlander Sport trails its rivals, some of which even cost less, making this Mitsubishi a bad value. Instead, you should look to classmates like the Mazda CX-3, Jeep Renegade, and Honda HR-V. All three of these highly ranked competitors have lower base prices than the Outlander Sport, and they offer sharper performance and more upscale interiors.

Compare the Outlander Sport, Renegade, and HR-V »

Should I Buy a New or Used Mitsubishi Outlander Sport?

The Outlander Sport was introduced as an all-new model for the 2011 model year, and it has seen few major changes since. The 2016 model added a new trim (the SEL) and made some styling upgrades. The 2017 model added a new trim (the LE) and made automatic climate control standard. For 2018, a touch screen is standard with the infotainment system, and Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning are all newly available.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used car instead of a new one, though be aware that older models may not have as many features. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Outlander Sport »

We Did the Research for You: 65 Reviews Analyzed

To help you decide if the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the right SUV for you, we've gathered and analyzed 65 professional reviews. We've also included information about the Outlander Sport's fuel economy, safety scores, features, and more to give you an idea of its strengths and weaknesses.

This overview uses applicable research and reviews from every year of the current generation, which includes the 2011 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party manages the ads on our site.

How Much Does the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Cost?

The Outlander Sport starts at $20,395 for the base ES trim, which is right in the middle of the range of base prices in the subcompact SUV class. Many of the highest-ranked models have lower starting prices than the Outlander Sport. However, the range-topping SEL trim is priced at $24,495, which is less than many competitors’ top-of-the-line trims.

Looking to buy now? Use our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport or Mazda CX-3?

The Mazda CX-3 is one of the highest-rated SUVs in the class. Its cabin looks better and uses nicer materials than most competitors. The CX-3 also provides a more enjoyable driving experience than almost every other subcompact SUV. It fares better in crash tests than the Outlander Sport, and it even costs less. Both models have below-average predicted reliability ratings, but there's just no reason to buy the Mitsubishi over the CX-3.

Which Is Better: Mitsubishi Outlander Sport or Jeep Renegade?

The Jeep Renegade is clearly a better vehicle than the Outlander Sport. The Renegade has the lowest starting price in the class but still features a handsome interior built with quality materials. The Renegade is one of the best off-roaders in the class (though it isn't nearly as capable as its big brother, the Jeep Wrangler), and it handles well on the pavement. Just keep in mind that – like the Outlander Sport – the Renegade has a low predicted reliability score.

Compare the Outlander Sport, CX-3, and Renegade »

Outlander Sport Interior

How Many People Does the Outlander Sport Seat?

The Outlander Sport seats five and comes standard with cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and heated front seats are optional. The front seats have nice cushioning and support, along with ample space. However, the driver's seat in particular has an unusually upright position – and the optional power-adjustable seat doesn't solve the issue. Additionally, the rear seats don't provide tall adults with much head- or legroom.

Outlander Sport and Car Seats

There are full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on each of the rear outboard seats, plus an upper tether anchor on the rear middle seat.

Outlander Sport Interior Quality

Though the cabin has bland styling and has only received minor updates since the SUV's 2011 debut, it is well-built and fitted with soft-touch materials. Still, many competitors have cabins that appear more upscale and have finer-quality materials.

Outlander Sport Cargo Space

Only a few subcompact SUVs have better cargo capacity than the Outlander Sport. There's 21.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, and standard split-folding rear seats expand the cargo space to 49.5 cubic feet. A flat load floor and low liftover height add to this SUV's cargo-carrying utility.

Outlander Sport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Mitsubishi added a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system as a standard feature across all trim levels for the 2018 model year. Overall, it's straightforward to use, with a mixture of touch controls and some physical buttons and knobs. All but the base model feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, which mirror many of your phone's apps (like the maps app for navigation) on the touch screen. For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Optional add-ons include satellite radio, a Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, and a panoramic sunroof. The center stack controls are within easy reach of the driver's seat.

Read more about interior »

Outlander Sport Performance

Outlander Sport Engine: Sluggish Acceleration

The Outlander Sport is not a quick SUV, whether it's equipped with the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine or the optional 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Acceleration on the highway in particular is unimpressive with both engines. The optional larger engine is noticeably more powerful and smoother than the unrefined base engine, so it's the better option. The base engine comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and is optional with an automatic transmission (CVT). The larger engine only comes with the automatic.

Outlander Sport Gas Mileage: Marginal Fuel Economy

Many subcompact SUVs get better gas mileage than the Outlander Sport. This SUV only manages to get 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway when equipped with the base engine and optional automatic transmission. 

Outlander Sport Ride and Handling: No Sport in the Outlander Sport

You and your passengers will appreciate the Outlander Sport's smooth ride over rough roads. However, you may be less impressed with its handling. For the most part, this subcompact SUV stays composed when going around turns at normal speeds. There's significantly more body lean when turning at speed, however. The Outlander Sport's power steering isn't centered very well, so you will likely need to frequently readjust the wheel to maintain your position in the lane. Front-wheel drive is standard in every trim, and all-wheel drive is optional.

Read more about performance »

Outlander Sport Reliability

Is the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Reliable?

The 2018 Outlander Sport has a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is below average compared to other subcompact SUVs.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Warranty

The 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport comes with a five-year/60,000-mile limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is a longer warranty than those covering most competitors.

Read more about reliability »

Outlander Sport Safety

Outlander Sport Crash Test Results

Most subcompact SUVs earn better safety scores than the Outlander Sport, which has a four-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earns four out of five stars in front crash and rollover tests, and five stars in the side crash test.

Outlander Sport Safety Features

A rearview camera is the only safety feature that comes standard in the Outlander Sport. The top-of-the-line SEL model is available with an option package that adds forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. Some competitors offer even more safety features, like blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert. 

Read more about safety »

Which Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Model Is Right for Me?

The SE model strikes the best balance of price and features, with desirable add-ons over the base trim including heated front seats, satellite radio, and smartphone integration.

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission come standard in the base ES model, while an automatic transmission is available. All other trims come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and the automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available in all trims for $1,500.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport ES

The base ES trim is priced at $20,395 with the standard manual transmission, or $21,595 with the available automatic. Features in this trim include cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a four-speaker audio system, and a rearview camera. There are no options available for the ES model. 

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SE

Starting at $22,995, the SE model adds heated front seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, and push-button start. There are no options available for the SE model.

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL

The top-of-the-line SEL model costs $24,495 and has leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and rain-sensing wipers. 

The SEL trim is available with a Touring package ($2,000), which adds a panoramic sunroof, a nine-speaker Rockford Fosgate premium audio system, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Mitsubishi dealer.

See 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport specs and trims »

The Final Call

Many buyers are willing to make some sacrifices for a cheaper vehicle. Unfortunately, the Outlander Sport requires those sacrifices, but it won’t save you money. Many better rivals have lower prices. The Outlander Sport has disappointing powertrains, lackluster handling, and poor fuel economy, though its ride is comfortable. Inside, there's plenty of cargo space and a straightforward infotainment system, but an outdated design that isn't nearly as upscale as those found in rivals. Ultimately, you'll be better off with a class rival. Consider competitors like the Jeep Renegade, Honda HR-V, or Mazda CX-3, all three of which are much better models with lower base prices than the Outlander Sport.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "If you're looking for a compact SUV that stands out from the crowd, yet won't cost an arm and a leg when you start adding options, check out the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. The standard 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is another great reason to buy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Notable drawbacks include a lack of power from the base engine (the upgraded 2.4-liter engine is only marginally better), lifeless steering and handling, a lack of interior and cargo space, a shortage of advanced safety features, a loud cabin and a price that doesn't justify tolerating these issues. It's no surprise that the Outlander Sport was given a rare Edmunds 'D' rating." -- Edmunds (2016)
  • "The Outlander Sport is a small crossover based on Mitsubishi's larger Outlander model. It comes up short on cargo room, engine power and handling compared to many similarly-priced rivals, but pleasant styling and decent fuel efficiency make it worth a look." -- Left Lane News (2016)
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