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2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Performance


#15 out of 15 in Subcompact SUVs

MSRP
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2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 4.2

The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is neither sporty nor powerful, nor is it fuel-efficient. Getting the Outlander Sport GT helps a bit with power, but it’s still no powerhouse.

  • "The ‘Sport’ in Outlander Sport is a misnomer. The engine is underpowered, the continuously variable automatic transmission performs poorly, and handling and suspension tuning are unrefined. It's a pretty dreary vehicle to drive." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "And while its driving characteristics and fuel economy fall short of the Mazda CX-5 and Kia Sportage, the Outlander Sport is a very stable vehicle made even better by Mitsubishi's advanced all-wheel-drive system." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engine: 2.4-liter inline-four with 168 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque (GT)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)

Not only is the base engine noisy, but it also struggles to move this SUV with any urgency. Acceleration comes leisurely. The GT has a stronger engine, and while it is an improvement, it’s still satisfactory at best.

  • "The continuously variable transmission (CVT) can drone a bit under hard acceleration, but it works well overall. With either a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter or a 168-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, the Outlander Sport isn’t as spry as some competitors. But the latter is the better choice, with only a small penalty in fuel consumption." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The base 2.0-liter engine is weak. It’s noisy and slow compared with others in the segment. At least the CVT has simulated gears for a more conventional feel during acceleration. The 2.4-liter engine makes a bit of a difference, but it’s only available with the GT trim." -- Autotrader
  • "It's fairly noisy, and even with the bigger of the two engines, it's not the least bit quick off the line or at highway speeds." -- Edmunds (2019)

MPG Estimates

Even the Outlander Sport’s best fuel economy estimates are subpar for a subcompact SUV.

  • 2.0-liter, FWD: 24/30 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter, AWD: 23/29 mpg
  • 2.4-liter, FWD: 23/29 mpg
  • 2.4-liter, AWD: 23/28 mpg

Handling and Braking

Most aspects of the Outlander Sport’s ride and handling earn mixed reviews. Some critics claim the ride is harsh, with plenty of road flaws entering the cabin. However, others say that it’s smooth on pavement. Some find the steering to be responsive, but others note there’s little steering feel and excessive body roll. Either way, plenty of rivals are both gentler and sportier.

  • "This is a softly sprung crossover designed for urban duty. It’s agreeable enough, riding smoothly and fairly quietly for a bargain-priced SUV. The optional all-wheel drive system is useful for rough weather but doesn’t transform the Outlander Sport into a real SUV by any means." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport made its debut in 2011, so it feels old against newer competitors built on more modern platforms like the Honda HR-V and Subaru Crosstrek. Even so, the Outlander Sport can be fun. The ride is a bit firm, but it corners nicely and has decent feedback from the steering and brakes." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Outlander Sport lacks the ride comfort and suspension compliance of its competition. For a vehicle that has been on the market for as long as this Mitsu has, there's really no excuse for this. It's OK for around-town use, but long-distance drivers should look elsewhere. The ride is particularly egregious: harsh over bumps yet floaty over smoother undulations, giving you the worst of both worlds." -- Edmunds (2020)
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